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lazyflower
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08 Sep 2016, 6:21 am

For some reason, people have always described me as a creative person. Though it's true that I enjoy doing creative things, I don't think I'm a creative person. I'm not good at coming up with creative ideas and turning them into something.

For example, I think it'd be cool to become a singer-songwriter. I can sing and play multiple instruments, but I can never seem to write a song. I never know what to write about, because my life isn't that interesting. Every time I try to write a song, I end up erasing it, because it sounds too cheesy or just.. Bad.

The same thing goes for writing fiction. It's odd because I'm a decent writer, when it comes to essays, but I'm struggling with writing fiction. I used to write lots of short stories, when I was a child - but now just coming up with an idea in the first place is hard. I'm afraid my mind is too "dull". I'm by no means a visual thinker, or someone who has ideas coming to them all the time. I do find inspiration from time to time, but I can't seem to turn it into something. It's kind of frustrating.

Have any of you felt this way as well? Is there anything to do to become better?



BirdInFlight
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08 Sep 2016, 8:21 am

Creativity and getting original ideas is one of those things that can both be coaxed with applied effort yet can also be even more elusive if you're forcing it.

There's a lot to be said for sitting down and just going for it, writing or composing anything that comes to mind until you get something good. Some people say just do it and don't censor the ideas until later upon review, and this is the best way to get the creative juices flowing. It's important not to self-judge everything that's coming out while it's coming out of you. For writing, for example, just start writing anything and see where it takes you. Music composition, the same, just start playing some notes randomly. Then play them over again and see if they suggest the next few notes. Just be playful with it and be prepared not to think it's any good, just let stuff happen.

With songwriting, you don't really need an interesting life, especially -- you can think about emotions you've felt, and write a song about that. Most songs are about emotional life, feeling happy, feeling sad. You don't have to specify what you feel happy or sad about -- art can be left mysterious and nobody minds too much.

The other side of all this is that if you have to force anything, it usually proves more difficult; creativity can respond to applied coaxing where you get into a relaxed space, but it dies when forced due to a feeling of pressure and frustration and too much efforting to create.


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kraftiekortie
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08 Sep 2016, 8:25 am

Create fiction based upon your life experience. One can embellish one's life story considerably, even with very little actual material.

Remember, when it is said that something is "based on a true story," it means that maybe 10% of it is true!

Create stuff which you wish you could do, but feel stymied from doing so based upon your circumstances.



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08 Sep 2016, 8:33 am

It could be that your standards are very high. For instance, if you grow flowers for a living you might notice every spot and imperfection on a rose--but everyone else sees a gorgeous flower!



whatamievendoing
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08 Sep 2016, 9:08 am

I'm actually the opposite of that for the most part. I get so many ideas (mostly musical) that I'm very indecisive about which ones to execute and which ones to postpone. It's almost as terrible as having no inspiration whatsoever.


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10 Sep 2016, 6:11 am

Boring could be a creative muse for a song.

I might add in creative interesting Exagerations VERY LARGE ONES

Be you and right about it..
Or do what I do sometimes create on the spot songs of happenings. Some are heard only by me, a few others or get spots in my programs. 8)


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PhosphorusDecree
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10 Sep 2016, 3:53 pm

When you're starting out in an art-form, you're not going to be very good at it. It's very easy to forget that, and judge your early efforts too harshly. From my own experience in a songwriting group, I know most of us start out writing really simple, derivative songs. Gradually they get more complex and original as we learn more technique and develop a more distinctive style. But the early, not-so-good songs were a necessary step.


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10 Sep 2016, 4:01 pm

Simple in the mind of the beginner. Now and Zen I still have a beginners mind.
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Darmok
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10 Sep 2016, 4:10 pm

lazyflower wrote:
The same thing goes for writing fiction. It's odd because I'm a decent writer, when it comes to essays, but I'm struggling with writing fiction.


I'm the same way, and there are a couple of fiction-related threads here where people discuss this. In many academic areas I'm extremely creative and original, but I have no head for or interest in fiction writing, and rarely ever read fiction (with a few literary exceptions).


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Kraichgauer
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10 Sep 2016, 5:27 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Create fiction based upon your life experience. One can embellish one's life story considerably, even with very little actual material.

Remember, when it is said that something is "based on a true story," it means that maybe 10% of it is true!

Create stuff which you wish you could do, but feel stymied from doing so based upon your circumstances.


Writers like William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Charles Bukowski used their own lives as the basis of their fiction all the time.


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drlaugh
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16 Sep 2016, 5:43 pm

Someone (Seinfield?) said the closer to you the funnier your humor will be for your audiences.

Life is easier to right. (At least for me)


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howler0322
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19 Sep 2016, 8:25 pm

I can relate to that in a way. When I try to write fiction, more often than not it will start out sounding strong. But after writing a few pages, I will gradually lose my enthusiasm for it and it ends up just sounding stupid to me at least. My parents have frequently told me the best thing to do is just keep writing.



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20 Sep 2016, 4:53 am

howler0322 wrote:
I can relate to that in a way. When I try to write fiction, more often than not it will start out sounding strong. But after writing a few pages, I will gradually lose my enthusiasm for it and it ends up just sounding stupid to me at least. My parents have frequently told me the best thing to do is just keep writing.


I think your parents are right. I can fully understand being disappointed by your own writing, as I feel the exact same thing far too often. Just remember, just because you've written something down doesn't make it written in stone. You can revise and rewrite it as much as you like.


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