Kill Your Darlings

One of the best things about writing has been discovering a whole new community of other writers to connect with. One of these new writer friends, Steve Wiens, is generously sharing his corner of the Internet with me today.

Steve is a kindred spirit who writes to inspire and encourage, but also has a sense of humor, so when he graciously asked me to write a guest post for him I was thrilled and said yes without hesitation. I’m over on his blog today and we’re discussing creativity, the art of writing, and why it’s so important to “kill your darlings”.

Below is a small bit of that post. You can head over to Steve’s website to read the whole piece. And while you’re over there take a look around and show Steve some love! He is a great writer and you won’t be disappointed.

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“For most of my life I did not consider myself a creative person.

Like…at all.

I’m never the one to come up with a big idea. I’m not good at crafty things; not to mention I don’t even care for craft suppliesI cannot paint or draw. I cannot make music. I’m not even a good dancer. Unless you count car-dancing, which, I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I’m actually very good at because it only requires me to focus on half of my body at one time.

For the better part of my adult life, I’d completely accepted this lie about myself as truth. The lie that I’m not a creative person.

But the truth is, I am a creative person.

There, I said it.

I’m creative with blank pages and words.

And while we’re on the subject, can we just go ahead and agree that all people everywhere are creative in one way or another? I mean, seriously. The God of the universe who wildly, romantically created things like sunsets and galaxies and springtime is the same God who chose, as his grand finale, to create us. In his image.

I’m pretty sure that means we are all creative too, whether or not we choose to acknowledge it or actually do anything with it.

YOU, by your very nature, are creative a creative person!

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The moment I believed this to be true about myself was the moment everything began to change. Suddenly I was allowed in this club. Incidentally, the only way I knew I was ‘allowed’ in was because I decided to be. No one sent me a formal letter of acceptance into the Creatives Club. One day I just chose to take a seat at the table.

I was making my own art and I was putting it out there in the world! And it felt so freaking good.

The only problem was, as soon as I started identifying my words as my art I became rather attached to them. I was suddenly protective over every sentence. Every word felt in some way precious to me because I’d labored over it. I basically fell so in love with the whole process of writing that I completely forgot that editing is a vital part of that process.

I left nothing on the cutting room floor.

Slowly but surely I became less and less satisfied with my work. I would hit ‘publish’ on an essay and walk away with an unidentifiable chip on my shoulder. I couldn’t pinpoint what was bothering me, and as a result I started to struggle more and more with writing. I even stopped altogether for brief periods of time.

The temptation was to ignore the fact that I still had a lot to learn and to whine and complain about how hard writing is, how it takes so much from me, and to wonder why it’s obviously so much easier for everyone else.

The temptation was to resent the fact that making art and having a dream can often look a lot like doing the work…”

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Click here to read the full article.

 

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