Are You Creative? Part 1

tonbo on a lilypad at NYBG
At the start, everything is infinite possibility.

To break in my new blog, I wanted to do a quick post. I just finished building myself a website more or less from scratch. The huge gap between what I envisioned and how long it took me to achieve it meant this took longer than I ever imagined. There were countless revisions, lots of time-outs to learn new skills, content to be generated and refined and the grudging evolution of my concept. Finishing was exhilarating, like finishing a book or exhibition. My mind was whirling with questions and observations. I wanted to share.

I sat down to write the post and I suddenly got writer’s block. Since I’m neither an expert in making websites nor some creativity mega-guru, I’m having a really bad case of who-am-I-to-be-going-on-about-this?-itis. I thought back to why I’m writing this. I don’t want to tell you what I did as much as I’m really interested in learning about how other people approach their work and problem solving.

So this is an invitation to a dialogue about creativity. And voila! The block disappears. I’m going to divide my questions into a series of posts because, frankly, I prefer reading and responding to a smaller post and I have many questions.

So my talented, creative and intelligent friends (and this includes anyone reading this) how do you structure your creative processes and deal with the challenges of making something?

Let’s start off  “easy” and talk about how do you start?

6 thoughts on “Are You Creative? Part 1”

  1. First of all, congratulations on the ‘birth’ of this blog.

    I am really interested in the processes too. I recently realised my problem is I spread myself way too thin between my creative outlets. But going with writing, I generally write a first draft in s rush of bad grammar and massive plot flaws. Then I like to sit on the draft before going back and rewriting. I am also lucky in that I married a very good editor who doesn’t pull any punches.


    1. Mark, thanks so much for responding to the post.

      I hope you’ll stay tuned because I will be writing about editing next week and I’d love to hear your thoughts. You are lucky that you have a good editor in house!

      So before you start to draft, what is your prep? Do you have a stage before you sit down to do the first draft?

      I know you paint also. Is your painting process different from your writing process?


      1. I don’t really have a pre-draft preparation routine apart from making a cup of coffee or tea, which I then let go cold while I’m lost in the mad rush of words. But then, my work is short stories. Any research I need to do is done on the fly and integrated as I go too.

        Painting is very different. I use references a lot so I first get this sorted. Then I spend time getting the paper and paints ready. I also do a few preliminary sketches before I start.


  2. Wow!! I’m very impressed you built this from scratch. It aint easy. My problem is like Mark’s too. I spread myself to thin. I have many things I want to start. I alwyas have ideas, but following through is my nemesis. I”m working on it. Readin and seeing what other people do inspires me to do what I can.; I think you have done a tremendous job here. Congratulations on a job well done.


    1. Thanks, Kelly. You’ve been really patient with me when I ask you for advice.

      I totally understand what you mean by follow through. In fact, this is also a topic I want to discuss with people, soon.

      I’m going to ask you the same question as I asked Mark. When you write, is sitting down to do the first draft the beginning?

      Just thought I’d make sure to clear up that the blog is a WordPress template. 🙂

      Just thought I’d mention that the blog is a wordpress template.


  3. I’m another one who’s spread too thin. I find myself being pulled away from writing by photography, which is instant gratification (and also a source of income). Writing a fiction book is hard work. I think the gratification part comes in sections. I congratulate myself and get a sense of exhilaration when I’ve written a detailed character description for backstory, or an action scene that really moves, or a killer chapter ending that will entice the reader to turn the page. I’ve written non-fiction articles for so long now, the process is easy. Once I have a wicked lead sentence, the rest sort of follows. With fiction, if I break it down into scenes (like magazine article size), I find it easier.


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