What advice would you give other creators?
If we’ve learned nothing else in this “interview” series, it’s that I really shouldn’t be giving much advice to anyone. I feel like all I can do is spout the platitudes we’ve all heard a thousand times: schedule time to practice your craft, do it consistently, do it every day, establish a routine, don’t give up, blah blah blah.
I think I read The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay in…high school? Maybe? It’s one of those that sits on my bookshelf and I always see it and think “Hmm, I should re-read that one” but I always pass it up for something else. I don’t remember much of the plot anymore, but I do remember “What is the why?”
It’s what one of the characters says about plot and character. (Geez, my bookshelf is literally three steps away right now. I really should go get the book and see which one said it and in which context.) The idea is you have to understand a character’s true motivations and drives in order to write him or her properly. She’s packing up her car and leaving in the middle of the night? Why? He’s getting in a bar fight? Why?
If you’re a writer, you need to ask that about your characters, obviously. But you also need to ask that about yourself.
Why do you write, or paint, or make jewelry, or take photographs, or design t-shirts, or knit, or dance, or whatever?
Is it because you enjoy the act of creating? Because you like solving design problems? Because you just feel this urge to share something creative? To make money? Because all your life, people have told you you’re good at it, so you figure you might as well do it?
There’s no wrong answer. You just have to be honest with yourself. Once you understand your core motivations, you might find it easier to create, because you’ll be creating honestly.
What’s your why?
photo via SplitShire // cc // modified in photoshop