Forget the Rules and Create!

September 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Career Space, Guest Space, Writing Space

It is my pleasure to introduce Louise Watson to our pages today. Please do make Louise welcome – more about her below.

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‘Everyone will laugh at me.’

‘I haven’t got the talent.’

‘I won’t be any good.’

Just some of the excuses I’ve heard for not taking up a creative activity. Fears over whether other people will like our work too often holds us back from doing something that we truly love.

I should know; I’ve made enough of these excuses myself. That is, until I finally decided to go for it and start writing. To ensure I’d produce work of top quality, I signed up for a course that promised to show me the way to success.

Their advice was as follows; don’t write too much; get to the point, never swear, don’t write about yourself and above all, research your target reader. Don’t just write what you want or you will fail.

Gulp. I tried my best to do what they said but I struggled to produce any work, and all the time I felt I was being pulled in another direction, a direction that felt right, even though I was being told that it was wrong.

To add to my confusion, I knew that I enjoyed work by other writers who had completely broken all the rules. Yet they were successful.

Given this contradiction, how can we be sure that we’re producing something that other people will like?

My answer; don’t even try. To create from your heart, you’ve got to let go of what people want and allow the work to come through you.

As pretentious as this may sound, I don’t feel that I choose the topics I write about; they choose me. I sometimes catch myself wondering if it’s what people want to read, but then the answer always comes; too bad, it’s what’s coming out of me and that’s that.

And since I’ve let go of trying to follow the rules, I’ve found the pleasure I’ve got out of creating has changed my life in more ways than I imagined. Writing has given me a voice; it’s given me a way to express myself, to process the thoughts going on in my busy mind and my new-found happiness has led to improved relationships with other people in my life.

I still want people to like my work, but it’s not the be all and end all. What’s important is the pleasure I get out of the process.

Creating is supposed to fun, it’s supposed to be expressive, it’s supposed to be, well, creative! Trying to tick boxes and worrying about what others will like robs the process of its flow and robs you of any enjoyment you may get out of producing your work.

Create for the love of it and joy the process brings to you, and those who love what you do will be a bonus to an already rewarding experience.

About Our Guest Contributor

Louise Watson 9.14 smLouise Watson lives in Bournemouth, England. Her first book, “Stop Making Your Life a Misery” is aimed at people who feel stuck in a cycle of negativity and offers advice on finding a way out.

You can find out more about her work here or by following Louise on Facebook and Twitter.

Comments

2 Responses to “Forget the Rules and Create!”
  1. I couldn’t have put it better myself, Louise! I used to write in a very formal way, and I felt like I was pontificating and coming across as arrogant. Now I write as I speak and, like you, I write about things that interest me – things that get me thinking. I find it flows much better, and it’s more enjoyable. I’ve also recently started painting, and I’m experiencing that same feeling of pleasure that you talk about – not because I’m a good painter (only time will tell…!), but rather because I’m focusing on the process rather than the outcome. I’m convinced it’s making me more creative in other areas too. And, most of all, I’m loving simply being involved in the creative process.

  2. Louise says:

    Hi Julia! You’re so right, it’s much easier when we just write like we speak and I find readers respond to that too. I love the point about your painting making you more creative in other ways. I’ve certainly found that since I began writing. It’s like the process slows down any other thoughts that may come in and that makes room for more ideas to come through. Happy painting!

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