1. Vertz
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    Vertz Member

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    Discipline vs Artistic Flow

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Vertz, May 14, 2008.

    I've been thinking a lot about this issue lately, especially when it comes to finishing a project. Is it better to write on a schedule, or should writers just wait for the artistic moments to come along? I've heard arguments for both sides, and people seem pretty adamant about their choice.

    Personally, I've found that I need discipline in my writing. I guess this stems from the fact that my "artsy" moments come when I'm not really able to drop what I'm doing and write. If I just waited for those moments, I wouldn't be able to really finish anything. Plus, there's a bigger temptation to just wait for the moment, which has led me to wait months between writing anything. I absolutely have to make myself write to finish things.

    But it works out, because I've realized that my writing flows better after I just sit down and start. The moment comes out of the discipline. I guess I use both styles, in a way, but they flow together. Nice how things work out that way.
    (Hopefully, there hasn't been a big conversation on this already and it turns out I just suck at searching :p)
     
  2. starrynight89
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    starrynight89 Senior Member

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    In my opinion, inspiration is important but what's more important is what you decide to do with the idea. Everyone has bursts of inspiration and come up with great ideas which stay as ideas unless they decide to put it down. From there, I believe discipline is imperative. I had the same problem you were facing, I used to stop writing for months and just spent waiting for that idea. So this time I decided to write something everyday on the idea I got a few days ago. It didn't really matter what I wrote and they are usually no more than a page but it's still better than not writing. I switch POV's, write random scenes and so by the end of this week, I'll have a small collection of random scenes and maybe I can look through them and flesh out the main plot.

    But yes, I think inspiration and getting the idea is important but what's more important is how your going to transform that idea into reality or a novel. My advice would be to write everyday, anything relating to the plot or characters but make sure you write everyday.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    The way I see it, is like a nuclear reaction. Yes, it can be incredibly useful, and is incredibly powerful, but if left to its own devices, it just makes an incredibly big mess. It's only constructive when it's propperly channeled.

    So yeah, artisic flow is important, but you have to actually channel it towards something, or it doesn't get anywhere. So a bit of both, I guess :p
     
  4. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    I find I'm much more likely to get inspired with my backside in a chair, pen and paper in front of me, and a determination to write in the forefront of my mind. Funny how that works out.
     
  5. Mercury
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    Mercury Active Member

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    Yeah, I find that once I start writing, even if I had to force yourself to do it, I soon get into the 'zone' anyway. The more disciplined you are about writing, the more productive you may well be. I'm nowhere near as disciplined as I'd like to be, though.
     
  6. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have to make myself write...every morning. If I don't, then I lose focus and I wont write anything. Some of my most artistic work found it's way through those moments when I made myself write.

    I think Banzai said it best, when he mentioned channeling our artistic flow...I absolutely agree.
     
  7. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    Alright. I tried three posts but they're all basically saying this. Way to go Banzai.
     
  8. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    You'll never get much accomplished if you only write when you feel like it, goes the cliche. I'm afraid that's true. Sometimes you just need to sit down and force yourself to write. It helps, though, if you don't force yourself to write anything specific. I tend to sit down and say, 'Okay, give me a page--on whatever'. I generally get a page of whatever.

    A way I found to keep myself encouraged is to make a note on my callendar of what I do that day. When I have a blank day on my writing log, I feel guilty. And I feel especially bad if there's a whole month of them...
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's no 'should' on this... only what 'works' for each individual writer... that said, if you're writing for a living, and not just as a hobby, then some discipline is needed, to keep the bills paid...
     
  10. mikeinseattle
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    mikeinseattle Member

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    Good thread. I'm diggin it.
     
  11. LeighAnn
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    LeighAnn Member

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    If I waited for inspiration, my children would starve. I need to sit down and get on with it. If inspiration wants to show up and help, that's great. If it doesn't... well, that book isn't writing itself and my editor gets cranky when deadlines are approaching.
     

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