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The Blog of Photographer Steven Gray

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Thinking about the creative process...

downtown,1960 / thinking about the creative process I've spent the bulk of this solar rotation working on my manuscript.  I've never finished a novel-length piece before, and I am determined to have this one finished before the end of the year.  It's placing demands on my creativity like I have never had before, and I'm enjoying the challenge.  Like all would-be writers, my dream is to see the book published and on store shelves, but I'm trying to avoid thinking that far ahead right now.  For the time being, I am contenting myself with letting the journey be journey is the destination.  In the meantime, the subjects of creativity and the creative process are on my mind as I take a short break from Pages.

Creativity, whether with words or the visual arts, is an interesting and fickle entity.  The best analogy I can think of from my own experience is that creativity is like an ember.  It's always smoldering, but you have to give it a little kindling and stoke it into something hot and lively.  My own stoking / creative process has become increasingly interesting as I have grow more disciplined and organized as a wrier.  Sometimes I write well when I write in a library or crowded coffee house, wearing my earbuds but not playing any music through them; it makes me feel strangely comfortable and insulated when I do that.  Other times I write better in an empty room with music up nice and loud.  And, as always, there is always a tumbler of hot, strong coffee close at hand.

Today has been a music day, and as the story I'm working on right now is set in 1960's Mississippi, replete with dusty roads and vanishing point cotton fields, there is only one option:

What is your creative process?  By what means do you stoke the ember of ideas into a roaring blaze of creativity?