On Not Avoiding Your Creative Work in Progress

On her seventh day in the United States last week, a 37-year-old woman realized she was on the wrong subway platform at the Shady Grove Metro Station just north of Washington, D.C., and chose to rectify the situation by climbing down onto the tracks to walk to the other side. This is an ill-advised solution to the problem. Beyond the obvious risk of being struck by an oncoming train, there is the infamous “third rail,” which carries the electricity that powers the trains. Fortunately, Metro police officers reached her and escorted her back to the platform.

I assume this international visitor was new to big-city subways. I am not. I am also not new to the surge of electricity that can come when my creativity is given a life-affirming jolt. That was what I received last Tuesday, when I wrote here on The Artist’s Road that I was struggling to return to my creative work-in-progress after a long absence from it.

The advice, encouragement, and empathy I received was overwhelming. And it seems to have had an effect. Since writing that post, I have been rolling on my WIP. I blew off writing a blog post last Friday. I’ve neglected my Twitter feed. In fact, I was just working on a revision to my WIP now when I stopped to write this post. I will return to the revision as soon as I click “Publish.”

More blog posts will be coming, I assure you. But the WIP has my full attention right now. For the next few days, the blog named “The Artist’s Road” will take a back seat to the WIP tentatively titled “The Artist’s Road.”

See you on the other side.

About Patrick Ross

I'm the author of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road.

16 Responses to “On Not Avoiding Your Creative Work in Progress”

  1. Good for you, Patrick!

  2. Good for you – prioritize, prioritize! Hope the creative juices keep flowing.

  3. Thrilled to hear this, Patrick. Best of luck!

  4. That’s what I call an effective post.😉

  5. That surge of electricity you spoke of went through my body as I read the news about you rolling with your WIP. I had tears in my eyes by the time I got to the end of your “brief cuz I gotta get back to my WIP” post.

    I’m so happy for you, Patrick. And I just gotta say – that last line of your post is so cool it’s worth tweeting.

  6. Awesome! Congrats and good luck!

  7. Good for you! Stay focused. Do the most important thing first.

  8. Hello, friends! Your encouragement has been fantastic. I’m coming up for air now and wanted to take a moment to respond.

    FYI, I just submitted 30 pages of the WIP to my MFA instructor, having completed this semester’s first packet!

  9. Good for you, Patrick! Sometims the blog and social-media thing can be a distraction when the WIP needs to be the first priority. Sounds like you’re moving along with 30 pages!

  10. You’re correct to take a break. You sounded like you were burnt out. Everyone has a time when they flounder. Remember, don’t throw anything out. Today’s junk may become tomorrow’s treasure. Re-writing and revision is painful but it is the key to great writing. The best writing comes from your own experiences, yearnings and emotions. Readers will see through anything less that you try to pawn off on them. There are ways to open up and pour everything into your art while still keeping one’s dignity. Sometimes we’re ashamed to share our story or scarred how we’ll be perceived after we bare our souls through our work. New and established writers may know deep down that they will be taking a risk every time they press their pens to paper so they try to figure out ways to hold back the blood sweat and tears. We’re all private people after all, yet something about writing involves us displaying our hearts on our sleeve. Creating from our heart leaves us vulnerable and it’s sometimes psychologically exhausting. We jump to using clichés when we’re stuck or worse we resort to reading our favorite icon of literature’s classic novel to get ideas and for inspiration asking how would Hemmingway write himself out of this spot? Trying to emulate a master can discourage us more. Sometimes we need to take a break and distance ourselves for a few days, from a project. Yes, it’s okay to suck but my advice is always, don’t throw anything out. Re-writing is place where magic happens. Save your junky works. Plenty of times, I’ve beat a case of writer’s block by picking up a cluster of scribbling that had been previously dismissed as Drivel, simply by reading through the pile for ideas. We’ll miss you while your gone but don’t rush. Revise, revise, revise…This time I have a feeling you’re not going to stop until you have it perfect. Keep the subtle education going. This world needs all the creative writers and poets it can get. Thanks, Edward Itor
    http://www.anewtale.com

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. On Not Avoiding Your Creative Work in Progress | creative process or what inspires creativity? | Scoop.it - July 24, 2012

    […] On her seventh day in the United States last week, a 37-year-old woman realized she was on the wrong subway platform at the Shady Grove Metro Station just north of Washington, D.C., and chose to re…  […]

  2. On Not Avoiding Your Creative Work in Progress | Stan Stewart's Blog - July 24, 2012

    […] on artistsroad.wordpress.com Like this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  3. Is Your Creative Muse Getting Regular Exercise? « The Artist's Road - August 17, 2012

    […] routine, and ended up neglecting my work-in-progress for weeks. Then I found my way back, and things just flowed. Well, it seems I am a slow learner, because I just went another week without honoring my morning […]

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