Inspiration propels our endeavors. For many, there’s no greater feeling than that moment when unexpected words arrive in a great deluge. Much as we love it when the cup runneth over, it becomes necessary to switch mental gears and approach the creative process in a disciplined and methodical manner.
The fertile mind is a constant battleground. The transient and unpredictable nature of the creative drive can be as much of a hindrance as a boon to our craft. Striking a comfortable balance between inspiration and productivity a common dilemma. The challenge therein, lies with determining when and how to effectively silence that wayward muse.
Lately, I’ve been wondering how others writers walk this particular tightrope. How often do you find yourself tempted to set a work-in-progress aside to entertain a new and exciting story idea? Do you go with the flow or firmly tighten the reins on your enthusiasm? To what degree does your current approach to writing affect the evolution of your craft?
I tend to waver between compartmentalizing and multitasking. Being methodical only works for me between spurts of inspired writing. Approaching writing intuitively means recognizing that it’s okay to set on-going projects aside when I get stuck or when some persistent notion becomes a distraction. Alternatively, there are times when I feel a need to choose practicality over self-indulgence. At those times, I make an effort to ignore or delay the flood of ideas.
I have a desire to be more productive, perhaps even to the point of becoming a prolific sort of writer. Still, I wouldn’t ever want to sacrifice my personal authenticity for the sake of being more productive. While there’s something of a haphazard method to my madness, I’m still searching for that middle ground.
Have you managed to strike that comfortable balance yet?