Is there a strategy missing from this list? Consider this advice from Ray Bradbury:
I want your loves to be multiple. I don’t want you to be a snob about anything. Anything you love, you do it. It’s got to be with a great sense of fun. Writing is not a serious business. It’s a joy and a celebration. You should be having fun with it. Ignore the authors who say “Oh, my God, what word? Oh, Jesus Christ…”, you know. Now, to hell with that. It’s not work. If it’s work, stop and do something else.
Now, what I’m thinking of is, people always saying “Well, what do we do about a sudden blockage in your writing? What if you have a blockage and you don’t know what to do about it?” Well, it’s obvious you’re doing the wrong thing, don’t you? In the middle of writing something you go blank and your mind says: “No, that’s it.” Ok. You’re being warned, aren’t you? Your subconscious is saying “I don’t like you anymore. You’re writing about things I don’t give a damn for.” You’re being political, or you’re being socially aware. You’re writing things that will benefit the world. To hell with that! I don’t write things to benefit the world. If it happens that they do, swell. I didn’t set out to do that. I set out to have a hell of a lot of fun.
I’ve never worked a day in my life. I’ve never worked a day in my life. The joy of writing has propelled me from day to day and year to year. I want you to envy me, my joy. Get out of here tonight and say: “Am I being joyful?” And if you’ve got a writer’s block, you can cure it this evening by stopping whatever you’re writing and doing something else. You picked the wrong subject.
Can it possibly be that simple? I have, at times, found it to be just that straightforward, just that simple. It is not unusual for me to get caught up in the zeal of wanting to influence people, to convince them (you) to see things my way, to be an advocate rather than a writer. When it happens I invariably find the words hard to come by, they sound forced, foreign, and disingenuous. So I stop advancing an opinion and get back to writing poetry. Sometimes I am successful and find the unbridled joy Bradbury expresses. That happy place is becoming easier to find, requiring less conscious effort and thought…more like a normal state of affairs when I sit down to write.
Should I count myself lucky to escape the pain that many feel in the creative process? To have the good fortune of finding this list and Bradbury’s formula? To be able to mostly avoid the angst of creative blockage.? But what if it signals a lack of real talent, shallowness of thought and feeling? Clearly it doesn’t work that way for Ray Bradbury, but then he IS Ray Bradbury. And there’s the rub. Would I trade the sheer joy of writing, creating poetry that may or may not be profound, for pain and poems that touch people in their deepest recesses?…I would write with a red hot branding iron if I could create even one great poem.
But, I can only continue to write in the way, style and voice that is genuine for me. So I won’t worry about joy, pain or strategies to avoid creative blockage…after all the most important quality in writing of any kind is honesty.
That’s all I have for now