Monday, August 31, 2009

Gut-Level Project

I had a really great conversation with my writing coach/mentor at work recently. She was telling me she's observed how, in most any area of life, people make the best and most authentic choices when they use their intuition as the basis for their decision-making. Even when - or maybe especially when - conventional wisdom says things are done a certain way, but intuition says to do it differently.

After she said that, it hit me: That's exactly why perfectionism and fear of bad aren't interfering with my novel writing project. Despite using a spreadsheet and taking a methodical tack, I am letting intuition guide most of my decisions. (The novel was inspired by a dream I had - how much more woo-woo can you get?) And I think that's part of why it doesn't feel like work; intuition isn't bound by rules or expectations, and there's a profound freedom in that.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Creative Process

Do you have creative people around you? I've always been drawn to artistic types. My husband is an amazing songwriter, and my best friend since childhood is an astonishingly talented artist. I'm fascinated by the creative process, and I think just being around other creative people really ups my game.

I'm extremely structured and methodical in how I go about creating. I plan, outline, map, revise, rinse, and repeat. My husband is completely different. He'll strum absently on his guitar until a melody emerges, and compose lyrics as they occur to him in bursts of inspiration. He almost never writes down anything, and he does very little of what I'd call revision. Process seems pretty irrelevant for him.

Despite our night-and-day approaches, we do find common ground. We both get excited about new ideas, we visualize success, and we offer each other ideas and feedback. And we're finding that there are a lot of parallels between the music industry and the book publishing industry. Not that we're competing, mind you, but it'll be interesting to see who makes the first breakthrough.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Writing Tool: Evernote

I've been using Evernote to write and store my outlines, character sketches, notes, writing tips, and other things I want to keep or remember. I can access my documents on the web from any computer with internet access. You can organize the documents into notebooks, and categorize them with tags. There are other great features, too, and the basic service is free. Firefox users can install an add-on that allows them to "clip" and save content from the internet, or even entire pages.

Free Evernote accounts are limited to a monthly upload allowance of 40 MB, and I've never maxed out. Because of the upload limit, it's not the best tool for storing images or other large media files, but there are other types of free web services for that sort of thing.