When I was a kid I loved to color. Actually, still do and I'm so glad the bebe is getting to the age when she actually *likes* to color and draw and be creative. Whether she's dancing around the living room singing "Wheels on the Bus" or sitting in her highchair a breakfast breakin' out to "I Love Rock-n-Roll" (that was this morning's entertainment)...it's just so fun to see her stretch her mind and try new things.
But I digress. When I was a kid. Yeah, when I was a kid I loved being creative. Coloring, writing (maybe more precisely re-writing stories as I'd have told them), singing...And then somewhere along the road I stopped being truly creative, following my own rules and started paying too much attention to the rules other people laid out for me.
Not that following the rules is totally a bad thing...I mean, stop lights are there for a reason! But when it comes to the creative sides of our brains, there is a tight balance between following the rules set out for us and creating our own path. I'm still not great at it, but here are a couple things that have helped me out these past few years.
-- I can control the writing. That's it. I can write everyday, I can sub to my CP's, I can make revisions. I can learn from workshops and craft books and then apply those lessons to my own writing.
-- I can control submissions. Whether to contests or agents or editors, I'm in control of what I sub and when I sub.
-- I can't control an editor's or agent's or contest judge's past. Not everyone will love my stories or characters. But I can control how I react to (sometimes) bad feedback. I can take comment 1 and run with it, ignore comments 3 through 4 and move on with the next book. And I can apply the feedback I've gotten on previous manuscripts to new work.
-- I can keep learning. Writing is an on-going learning process, at least for me. Actually for most of us, I think, writing is on-going learning. Because if we aren't learning, what is the point of the obstacles we place before our characters (and ourselves) as we write?
-- My writing process or schedule and my self-worth cannot be wrapped up in how other writer's write. They just can't. I couldn't creatively write my way out of a paperbag before about 1PM. Non-fiction, no problem in the morning hours...but fiction is a late-day thing for me. I've been reamed because of that and, really, who's business is it if I write in the AM, PM or some combo of both?
So those are the rules I live by. The rest? Well, those are the rules that can be broken.
Oh! And stealing a tidbit from Margie, my wordcount just passed 30K...nearing the end of the wip!