Creative writing is defined as writing fiction or poetry with imagination and contrasts academic writing. As a creative writer, we imagine our character to gallop over the green pastures or drag his feet in the dry brown desert. To be able to take long firm strides over the mountainous terrains, or glide over the waters like a speed boat.
But that requires an uncluttered mind where we have neatly piled all our emotions just as we stack clean clothes versus the scattered dirty laundry.
That allows a single-pointed mind, and a writer can be in her character’s shoes and capture just the right kind of emotions.
Writing is like housework. For that, the mind should be tidied up just like our bed every morning before we sit down to write. It should be crystal clear for those cells in that organ to create something extraordinary for our character. If we cannot differentiate between fiction and our real-life, we will end up writing a memoir unknowingly, of course.
If our mind is hungover from yesterday’s dialog between a friend or a relative, our plot would unknowingly revolve around that scenario. We have limited ourselves to our environment and missed out on a classic scene, which our mind dared to explore. Due to the circumstances, it wandered around our troubled spots and penned those down instead.
Mind and Intellect can go hand in hand, but the mind ought to first spruce up to listen to the Intellect.
A mind without thoughts is no mind, but to tidy up our thoughts is the key.
But how do we unclutter that damn mind to begin exploring the unexplored?
Unclutter Mentally and Physically
The learned suggest we meditate. Continue to breathe with closed eyes while keeping your mind over your breath. This activity is like rinsing your mind with fresh Oxygen as you continue to breathe, which helps curb the erratic thoughts. Can you imagine how soothing it would be?
The scenario is like the ocean waves crashing on the shore, washing off any footprints left behind by humanity.
Attached is a guided meditation.
Writing down thoughts can help your mind stop churning and begin to release them. An individual can choose to write what pains her since most of the time, people are aware of their foul mood, but don’t know its reason. Journaling helps to work through current challenges, helping one get rid of mental blocks. As a doctor drains a wound, write out all those toxins on paper, and those words will glow in gold once your heart is lighter. So, find a comfortable spot, grab your pen and paper, and get going. Journaling is meant to be a stream of consciousness activity, so you can choose to set a timer or just free flow.
Some prompts that an individual can choose to write is:
“What makes you feel happy?”
“What is hurting, and why?”
“What do you believe in most?”
“Write a letter to your future self?”
“What is your past that still hurts you?”
“List the things you are grateful for?”
Walks amidst nature can help turn your mind outside and help calm the chaos in mind. It’s just like distracting a child who is throwing tantrums. This activity enables an individual to relax as she continues to take deep breaths while she is striding through the open space. Such walks not only help clear the mind but also help burn some calories. On a side note, it gives many ideas even if you choose to call yourself a plotter or a pantser.
Uncluttering is simple; the only thing needed is having the awareness to do so. Once that is in check, one can shape the character or the plot as your creative bugs allow you to do so without anybody’s interference. You are at liberty to either project your characters’ mental growth or take them to a dark place.
I’ve tried all the three methods above and can vouch for it.
As a writer, I write about issues that stalk the human’s mind via tales of fiction, making my readers tag my work as, “Books that make you ponder.”
My contemporary romance novels and short stories have allowed my readers to go to a beautiful place and take home a message. That has helped them ponder their true nature and enjoy my characters’ growth as they endure through the journey that I have created.
My work can be found at www.ruchirakhanna.com
This post comes from Rough Writer Ruchira Khanna
A Biochemist turned writer who gathers inspiration from the society where I write about issues that stalk the mind of the man via tales of fiction.
I blog at Abracabadra which has been featured as “Top Blog” for four years. Many of my write-ups have been published on LifeHack, HubPages to name a few.
I can be found at:
the biggest issue is not writing itself, but the fact that instead of doing something else, people consciously decide to write (fiction.) The same time could be put into, for example, planting seeds and growing trees, or filling out forms to help a local inmate to get justice. It’s all about prioritizing.
Is it more important to write about a fictional character called, for example, Sarah, who is doing her hair and thinking about banging her guy Jack, than to write a letter to President Trump and ask for the inmate X to be, for example, pardoned? (This means, to help someone truly wise and intelligent, not to promote some small-time criminal to get yourself some media attention during the chaos of BLM like Kim Kardashian and her fellows are doing.)
Before and after those unnecessary literary tasks, it’s important to walk (like the writer Ruchira Khanna is stating.) You can even listen to James Taylor and the songs written to the “walking writers.” My favorite songs from Taylor are: Walking Man, Machine Gun Kelly, Rock’n’Roll Is Music Now, B.S.U.R., and Your Smiling Face. Also, you should check out the 1972 performance of Chantilly Lace and Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On by Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis in Old Grey Whistle Test (on YouTube.) His energy makes you feel like you could do so much more (especially if you’re an academic.)
Have a beautiful day.
That’s a lovely list of songs to listen to while walking, Paula. Thank you for your suggestions.
This is a literary community. Of course, we write fiction! We also write memoir and poetry. We write all kinds of genres, including the kinds that have characters contemplating romance — long-term or quickies. I will 100% stand behind fiction writers and say what we write is legitimate.
Let’s be good literary citizens. We all come from different places around the world and I think that is really cool. We also live during difficult times and what is called for at Carrot Ranch is COMPASSION and CREATIVITY for and from the literary community. Part of making literary art accessible is to give voice to the voiceless. That is a priority.
Yes, there are many worthy activities. Fiction writers raise families, grow gardens, and participate in their communities. Walking is good, definitely. You got a great walking playlist, and I was just thinking about how wonderful it is that I no longer have to use cassette tapes to make playlists. The joys of digital music! I also create playlists to write fiction.
To answer your question, yes, it is important to write about Sarah and Jack. Literary art transcends the political arena. I wouldn’t ask a fiction writer to step down from their work to use their pen differently. Even the most frivolous creative story has the capacity to move hearts and change minds in the way no other writing can.
And if it doesn’t, I’m pretty sure the story mattered to the writer who created it and that’s called self-care. As unhinged and judgemental as people seem to be these days, we need to teach creative writing as a way to heal.
A-ha — which is why we are here to read and discuss this column.
Let’s get back to Ruchira’s programming because she has an awesome column that is intended to help us unclutter from thoughts that take us away from our writing (fiction included).
Thanks! I’m having a beautiful albeit cold day in the Keweenaw, and hope you are finding beauty in your piece of the world, too.
A Buckaroo Riding for Fiction
Paula, you might not know that there’s some evidence that reading increases empathy, so writers can contribute to the public good. But we write for multiple reasons, just as we juggle all our other priorities, such as campaigning, walking and listening to music.
Ruchira, thank you for these reminders and tips for uncluttering the mind! I have yet to write seriously but when I seriously have had to do some writing, like when in grad school or for other deadlines, that’s when the house got cleaned! Always a sweeping and organizing between papers. Lately when I have been unable to come up with a response for the two or three prompts I attempt, a jaunt in the kayak usually brings something to the surface. Funny how in synch the mind and the body are to unclutter and clear the mind and also to order it and make it productive. When I taught I had to remind myself of what fidgeting and movement from students really meant, and realize it was not a negative behavior.
Synching the mind to the body is so important, and that could be done in ways that is appealing to each individual. My teen has a similar issue of fidgeting, and that helps him concentrate. Cleaning the mess around attracts my attention 🙂
Meditation is something I began to practice again when we moved in with our kids, and it is something I do regularly. Our Vet Center teaches various forms of meditation, too. It helps vets and their caregivers! Thanks for a great set of tools for us writers to use, Ruchira.
Thanks Charli. I’m glad that you too vouch for these methods. Your unicorn room is one classic example, and I absolutely love how you have set it up.
Having a space for that flow opens up creativity for me.
I started my journey in mindfulness recently having completed a course at work. It’s a wonderful tool to relax and the best way to live life being mindful in everything you do. Great post. 🙂
That’s lovely, Marje. I am thrilled to know that you too vouch for this way of living. xoxo
These are wonderful suggestions, Ruchira. Thank you for sharing them, and for linking to the meditation. I learned to meditate many years ago (last century, in fact 🤣).
When my grandchildren come over to stay, they now ask for a guided meditation at bedtime, rather than a story. I’m always happy to oblige. My daughter loved them too. It’s a good skill to have to calm the body and clear the mind.
Wow! Norah teaching your grandchildren to meditate instead of the usual story time. Such a brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing it.
It’s enjoyable for all of us. 🙂
I learned last century, too, Norah! I used to have a book of guided meditations that I read to my kids for bedtime. I couldn’t remember its name and I just went searching, delighted to jog my memory — Moonbeams! It was wonderful because it left off for the kids to imagine or continue on their own. It is a good skill to pass down.
I wonder was Moonbeams one of the books of meditations I read to Bec as well. I had two in the same series. I think the other may have had a similar title, like Starshine, perhaps. It was my experience reading them to her that allows me to create my own guided meditations for my grandchildren. A meditation technique I learned for myself was based on breathing and another on Ayurveda music. I had some beautiful soothing music I used to listen to as I drifted off to sleep. Haven’t done that for years though. Must try it again some time.
(Just checked with Amazon – definitely had Moonbeam. The other one was Starbright.)
I have a long way to go until I have my grandchildren, so shall gift it for now.
I love what you say about tidying your mind, Ruchira. Do you recall the quote from Peter Pan, saying that’s what mothers do for their children when they’re asleep? (I got it from a psychoanalytic paper, however!) Walking works best for me.
You could connect the dots well, Anne. I agree that’s just what mothers do when their toddlers nap 🙂 Glad that walking works best for you. Love n Light xoxo
I enjoyed this post. Thank you.
Just want to pass along that WP is mucking about again so I’m not sure who is seeing anything that is left here as a comment or a reply to one:
WP is doing something strange (yet again). Notifications in the Dashboard are not coming through (just getting that ‘working arc circles’ symbols). So leaving LIKES will not be seen. Nor will any comments you leave on someone else’s post at a prompt site. The only thing that is coming through is comments on the main post site (which also shows up in the owners’ email in email). For example if someone left a comment in the Carrot Ranch post prompt for me at my comment entry there – I will not get it unless I go to the Carrot Ranch post and hunt it down. So one might consider, if able to visit site posts via ping backs or links. If you only post something in the comments section at a prompt site you might not get notified that it is there.
I’m not sure how Ruchira will get your feed back unless she returns here to look at the comments in the post. I’m not skilled enough to deal with WP forums, and I’ve been told that working with WP chat is fairly useless as well.
Maybe someone can help figure this mess out. I just wish WP would stop braking what works.
Cheers all, Jules
Try refreshing, Jules! Don’t we all need that? 🙂
Refreshing on my PC doesn’t do it… This issue is at 100% their end. D. Wallace Peach even did un and re installs of her own programs and it did nothing. WP makes on change and it snowballs into a blizzard. And they don’t seem to learn from their mistakes… or just aren’t very careful to catch everything.
While maybe not quite the same… I’ve gone to the two browser system. What a pain. Refreshing doesn’t help. WP needs to fix it. 🙁
I didn’t get a chance to listen to all your music yet. I’m not good with artists and titles. I’ve been going quiet since hubby is working from home. Though I like to just listen to ‘The Oldies’ station. I like jazz too. And show tunes 🙂
An additional note = thanks to D. Wallace Peach. It seems the notifications issue is with PC laptops. If you have an alternative machine/ computer – the notifications system appears to not be mucked up…yet.
WP has been alerted but says the fix could be up to 72 hours. I suppose this too shall pass…
Thanks Jules for the heads up. Appreciate you sharing the above. Regards.
Thanks for letting us know!
Thank you for sharing this with us. Decluttering and downsizing are needed in creative minds.
Thank you Ann. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
I appreciate the concept of clearing ones mind before writing. I imagine this is a useful exercise even if you aren’t a writer but just want to relax and enjoy life more.
True Robbiesinspiration. Decluttering the mind can make our physical body walk miles if it’s rested well.
You are so right! When I go back and read by “desk drawer” novel I can reiterate what was going on in my personal life that day according to what my characters were arguing about. My cluttered mind became theirs but I didn’t realize that until you explained it. Thank you. If I ever go back to work on that piece I will need to clear my mind first. Thanks for the tips.
You are very welcome, Suespitulnik.
All great advice, especially at these times.
Interesting thoughts. I never thought too much about how or when I’m optimal at creative writing. Having a fresh start is key sometimes where the mind is clear and organized.. So, cheers, I relate! (:
Try writing with these tips, and am sure your productivity will be higher than usual. Thanks for stopping by, Efrona.
99 Words a Thanks From Fictional Friends
“Kid, what’re we doin’ here? This is Ruchira’s column; thinkin’ we should jist stay over at the Saddle Up. Mind our own business, like.”
“Pal, let’s jist say hello, let Ruchira know we ‘preciate her thoughts an’ that we don’t mind her wantin’ ta hep writers unclutter their minds.”
“Well, jeez, Kid, why would we mind?”
“Because, Pal, we are the clutter in our writer’s mind.”
“Yep, we been in thet sieve a hers, an’ seems ta me we ain’t the clutter, we’s the tidy-uppers. But sure, let’s say thanks, ‘cause as we’ve said afore, fictional lives matter too.”
I absolutely loved the tone of this story, Avery. Thank you for your time in creating it 🙂