Sarah Wilson recently wrote an insightful column for the Sun-Herald’s Sunday Life magazine about the creative process that mirrors many of our ideas about writing at the Writers’ Studio.

She has a great anecdote about how it took Leonard Cohen five years to write ‘ his famous song ‘Hallelujah’ and how he learned to trust the power of the process.

These are some of her key points:

1. Writing is often a struggle as we strive to get our stories out.

But as Sarah points out, the consensus from most writers is “just start, it doesn’t matter if you produce crap. From the crap, something always emerges.”

This is something we focus on in Unlocking Creativity and people are amazed at what comes out of their pens when they learn tools and techniques to unlock their imagination.

2. Stephen King famously advised in his book ‘On Writing’ to churn out a first draft in three months. Then go back and polish. Start. Be wild and messy.

This is very similar to what we suggest in our 10-month Novel and Script First Draft course.

The reason our course takes ten months is that it is designed for people who work full time.

Trust The Process by Shaun McNiff3. In Shaun McNiff’s book Trust the Process: An Artist’s Guide to Letting Go, he explains that it’s in the process of moving the pen across the paper that ideas emanate. The process allows the forum for things to form.

A key to writing fiction is to recognise that creativity is strangled by caution and you don’t have to write a perfect first draft.

Writing is a four-part process: planning, writing, re-writing and editing.

4. It took Leonard Cohen five years to write ‘Hallelujah’. It took Paul Kelly seven years to write ‘To Her Door’ and it took Bruce Springsteen a solid six months to get ‘Born to Run’ just right.

Henry David Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to their graves with their song unsung in their hearts.”

If your dream is to write, the only failure is stopping.

Click HERE to read Sarah’s column…

Trusting the Creative Process -

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