You know the stereotype of the messy, unstructured, freewheeling creative, of the artist’s studio being so disorganized and random it gives “chaos” a whole new meaning.
No wonder this meme is so popular.
It’s the kind of non-thinking that appeals to the lo-awarenes mass.
You can have your best moments writing fast for a hard deadline.
Because you’ve been procrastinating for weeks.
But this is not how you become a great writer – or even make a good life for yourself with writing, of any kind.
Greatness is engineered.
With decision and principles.
You can’t do large-scale mind-blowing work with mesmerizing consistency if you rely on haphazard bursts of “inspiration”,
Salman Rushdie’s “Enchantress of Florence” might be a good example of this.
Rushdie is one of my favorite authors, but his work is so hit-and-miss.
The “Enchantress” is enthralling for the first 100-200 pages, then it feels like rushing through what should be another tome or two.
And the material isn’t as inventive, by far. Rushdie ends up slipping into his own clichés, whether because he ran out of time or out of pages on a book deal.
It’s a myth that your best work is done haphazardly.
Spontaneity is something you engineer. It needs room to grow into – room you make.
By having a semi-finished draft long before the deadline.
You go on to other business, and you keep getting ideas and revisiting it to refine.
Not to nitpick, but to remove what doesn’t belong and replace it with insight and Beauty that came to you the Integral way – from the 13 other things you’ve been doing.
If you have the stress-focus that comes from an impending hard deadline, you can’t enjoy spontaneity like that – not much of it. You’re too lost in the weeds of grinding through another sentence, of getting through to the end, of getting rid of obvious errors and banalities.
That’s why you haven’t mastered the pen until you’ve mastered the discipline of starting early and drafting with plenty of time to spare.
Because that time isn’t spare. It’s when you’re mind gets to Integrate what you have already written with itself and the rest of your experience. It’s in those fusions and intersections that you’ll find your best ideas – and the most lucrative.
It’s not about filling your writing quota.
You don’t make writing a habit, you make great writing a habit.
I don’t care if you’re a writer, a sculptor or a professional chef working on a new recipe. The basic principles are the same.
This is just a hint at number 20 of the Time-Tested Techniques That Make GREAT Writing a Consistent Habit. There are 22 of them, and I’m sharing them as part of the weekly writing workshop for Patreon supporters.
Normally that’s $30 a month to get access. But you can get the full list of principles to make on-command creativity by getting on Patreon and making a $5 pledge right now.
It’s a steal of a deal, and applies for the next 24 hours only,
The access gate then goes to $30, then $90, then the $265 god-level tier. Your choice. Take action or miss out.
Now go forth and conquer!