more care

So how do you care and feed your writer?

First, you think about where and what part of you writing comes from. Dorothea Brande, a teacher of creative writing, maintains that a writer has two parts, a creative part/child and a critical part/adult, and that the two should not be mixed, that the intellect will always go for the critical part and eventually shut down the creative. So begin to see the divisions in yourself, the part that is excited about writing something and the part that shuts it down. The part you must feed, you must nurture, is the part that is excited.

You begin to pay attention to it. Is it quiet? Is it happy? Is it busy on a project? Is it grieving because you aren’t letting it work? Do you have a child? Do you have a pet? Do you have a plant? You have to care for each. Treat your creativity the way you would one of those.

The critical part of you will be useful later, in revisions, and in the business of writing, which is selling. But it isn’t useful in the creation, and it is so risk adverse that it will keep you from ever doing anything. For this and far, far more, see Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande.  More on the care and feeding of your writer next week……………

Here are the rules for the care and feeding of a writer that I presented at the Writers’ League of Texas‘s Agent/Editor Conference:

1. Relax

2. Remember fun

3. Lower expectations

4. Set boundaries

5. Be alert to what nurtures

6. Find your discipline style

7. Incorporate the physical

2 responses to “more care

  1. Karleen, I love this. Thank you!

  2. I have been trying to figure out which part of me writes. I am still trying to wrap my head around it. I am going to read the book. There was a time in my life where I have to incorporate very intentionally all my senses in order to be mindful of the present moment. Now, I can enjoy the writing process so much more because of the groundwork I have covered. I look forward in writing. Thanks for your post!

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