Help! Week 4 – My Creative Process

September 2, 2013 — Leave a comment


As the writer of a book that’s sold 80 copies (and who’s been writing intentionally only 4 years), it feels pretentious to share my creative process.

It’s not like masses of people (or anyone, actually) are waiting for me to reveal hidden secrets. My mom’s never even asked.

But we’re in this together.

You create. I create. We share.

So, I’m sharing.

As I’ve said earlier, I’ve been gathering notes for this book for a couple years.

I finished reading back over them and my first reaction is that they improved as time went by. The later thoughts and phrases are more refined and well thought out. Some say things similar to earlier notes, but said more better :)

It’s like I almost need a rough draft to get my thoughts out, then think through how I actually want to say them.

I borrowed this from songwriting.

Once I have a song idea, I write my thoughts down to clarify the content. I usually don’t care about music or clever wording at this point. Once the content is clear, I look to express it in a way that may actually be interesting, instead of the boring stuff I currently have. I then continue to whittle these ideas and wording until it says what I’m thinking or feeling, or at least comes as close as my skill level allows.

The same is true with writing.

The creative process for me seems to go something like this:

  • Have a thought (occasionally)
  • Write it down sloppily
  • Write it out clearly
  • Refine it to be compelling
  • Continue tweaking it
  • Complete it
  • Wish I was better

I see creating as sculpting.

Start with a big slab of something and then chip away until it looks like what you see in your head. Yes, I stole that from Michelangelo.

He said it better:

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo

Have you noticed any patterns in your work that may be considered a creative process? Share it in the comments below.


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I'm a graphic designer, songwriter and author of "Creative You - Making Life A Creative Project." I write about creativity and making life a creative project.

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