The Enemy of Creativity

“Don’t think.  Thinking is the enemy of creativity.” – Ray Bradbury

I’ve been thinking a lot this past year.  Too much, in fact.  While last year and the year before that were filled with such bursts of creativity it was overwhelming, this year has been filled with nothing but overthinking.

“Is my story good enough?” “Do I have the hook in the first 10% of the book, the one that Kindle readers will read and help decide if they want to download my book or not?” “Is my hero alpha enough? Bad enough?  Sexy enough?” “Is my heroine sympathetic enough?” “Does my arc make sense?” “Do I have too many dialogue tags?” “Is deep POV really that bad?  Is it out of flavor for my genre?” “Should I add more sex here… and here… and here?” Should I add sex every other chapter?” “Is my cover just right?” “Should I just go with a shirtless man like most everyone in my genre does and sell a crapload of books?”

Yeah, that kind of over-thinking.

It’s so sickening I just want to hurl some days because I look at what I created – all 110K words of it – and see only what’s wrong with it and nothing that’s right based on the abovementioned questions.

So today, I decided to take one last look at my book before I set it aside for good and focus on stories that do sell – lots of sex, follow the trope, give the readers what they want – and decided to break down what I had.

If I’m always stuck on that first 10% of the book, why not keep going for once? Write it all down. What happens in Act I, Act II, Act III?  And from there, tease out the parts that don’t work and make it stronger from the inside out, the outline itself after the fact.

And you know what? It worked.  Or rather, it’s working.  I’m still at #39 which is Act 3 and just after the climax.  And from here, I go back into the story and fix what was broken from looking at the big picture first.  So something’s working; creativity is finally flowing.

I’ve finally stopped over-thinking.

Oh, and I just had these wonderful reviews for my latest book, Everything She Ever Wanted and I couldn’t be happier.

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4 thoughts on “The Enemy of Creativity

  1. I understand the over thinking and writing what appeals to the masses. I made a major decision in Clash of Tides for the main characters not to have sex yet. Needless to say, I could tell my readers weren’t happy about it. You get to the point where it’s your story, not the readers. =) And congrats on the reviews!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It only took me a year to finally see the forest for the trees but it’s definitely been a huge help and I’m hoping to move on smoothly from here.

      Romance is tricky when you want to write different from the tropes. I follow the hero’s journey loosely and what has worked in the past now needs to be pushed forward in a story – whether it’s the hook or the boy meets girl scenario – and one of the reasons is that 10% preview feature in most ebook retailers. I nailed it in my latest book but this one that I’m revising now doesn’t have it and doubt if it will because I can’t afford to be stuck like I was for the past year on the same thing.

      Like

  2. Had this problem yesterday. The day before I wrote 5000 words for something that was completely fun and no pressure. Yesterday, trying to work on the next short story, got to 1500 words and got stuck going “What’s next? I want to do this, but maybe I should do this…” And then Becca went, “you’re overthinking” and within 2 minutes I had the next scene planned. Hope I get more done today.

    Liked by 1 person

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