Are you crippling your creativity?

laptop/coffee cup helping your creativitySomething I noticed this year as I met with writers across the country at conferences were their frustrations with the writing process.

Over and over they expressed frustrations in different ways. They couldn’t quite put their fingers on the problem. And it took me a few minutes of listening to figure it out: They were trying to fit their creativity into the wrong method.

We all work in different ways, but somehow many writers have gotten the mistaken idea that their creative moments are supposed to happen in front of the computer and should start with chapter one and finish with “the end.”

The creative process isn’t one-size-fits-all. (Tweet this)

One writer I spoke with had an amazing voice to her story. She told me that voice emerges when she’s in the car. When she sits down in front of the computer, it seems absent.

I encouraged her to keep a digital recorder with her and record her story and then transcribe it. She’d done that before. Now her face brightened at the realization that it was truly okay to write this way.

When I write, I start with chapter 1, scene 1 because I know how I want my story to start. But from that point on I deviate. I write one scene at a time no matter where that scene occurs. After explaining that to a writer, that same light of hope crossed her face. She only needed to know it was okay to write that way.

Sitting in front of the computer to revise will be required, but don’t cripple your creative writing stage by forcing it into a method that doesn’t work for you.

Let the draft of your manuscript happen in a way that promotes your creativity!

Want to get published but don’t know where to start?

Maybe you have a finished manuscript or just an idea stuck in your head. Email me today at Deb [at] DebraLButterfield [dot] com, and let's discuss how I can help you reach your dream of publication.


  1. I have found when I am writing fiction I need to write in cursive on paper. Nonfiction I can write on computer, but not fiction.

    • How interesting, Donna. I’m not positive, but I think there are studies that have been conducted on how the brain functions using pen/pencil vs a computer. I’m glad you discovered that about yourself so you can use the right methods when needed.

  2. I so appreciate this permission to forge my own process! I too am frustrated with ideas that seem to appear and disappear like fireflies before I can capture them at the computer. I suppose we are prone to a kind of legalism in writing as in religious practice: A belief that there’s one “right” way to carry on our relationship with our work-in-progress.

    • I carry a notepad in my purse for those ideas away from home, but I’ve also started using the Memo app on my phone to capture them by voice. Isn’t it strange how we seem to pick up those “right ways” without ever knowing where they came from?

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