Tapping Your Creativity with J.J. Brown

order arial,sans-serif;”>John Lennon once said that every child is an artist until he is told he isn’t. It doesn’t have to be an actual person saying this to an actual child (or an adult) for them to feel ‘not good enough’ at being creative. A first attempt can be pretty intimidating, especially if this is a new experience for you or you’re trying something different. Comparing yourself to another’s artwork can be pretty tempting to do, but it’s counter-productive and wreaks havoc on your self-esteem.

By all means, look at another artist’s paintings or another writer’s work, but use their final product as a tool to guide you. Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa from 1503 to 1506 and even then, it’s suspected he worked on it as late as 1517. Look at the back of any Stephen King novel and you’ll see two sets of dates – the start date and the finish date. It takes King anywhere from three to five years to write each novel and he works on more than one at the same time.

I’ve always regarded being creative as something akin to archaeology. You have a plot laid out, the tools to uncover it, and an idea of what it looks like. As with a chisel and hammer, you take pen and paper (or canvas and brush) and start to dig. You don’t find the whole thing right away – maybe a piece here, a fragment there. You follow a line that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere and then find that it splits off into a different direction. Eventually, you have an almost complete skeleton to speculate and ponder over.

Are you finished? Hardly. The best thing to do with a roughed out draft or sketch is to set it aside for a few days. Then the real work begins. Details start to emerge that you didn’t see before. The piece which appeared to be apropos of nothing has now found its proper place. The fragment that didn’t seem to relate to anything is suddenly a crucial plot point.

This is where opening up to your creative self can be a little terrifying. It’s about letting go of the inner critic, ignoring that little voice that says you can’t do it, and taking that huge step forward. Because what you’re trying to unearth isn’t a work of art or the next Great American Novel. What you’re doing is sifting through the doubts and worries and ‘I can’ts’ to find that young artist and say, “I am an artist and I can.”

creative-tools

____________________________________________

Jennifer.brown.secrets

When J.J. Brown is not writing, she is hanging out with her horse, playing team trivia, and enjoying movies with her friends. Follow her on Twitter at @jjbwordslinger.

A mass grave, an old house with puzzling photographs under the floorboards, Marita ‘Marty’ Brye may find herself having to reach deep into a distant past to make peace with her mother’s death.  Secrets & Howls on Amazon

2 Responses to Tapping Your Creativity with J.J. Brown

  1. Citizen Reporter December 13, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    This is accurate

    Reply
  2. William "Bill" Hicks December 13, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    WOW!……How intuitive. This is an inspiration for my novel.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *