Methods For The Radness

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2017-10-22 12:00:00 No comments

A Writer's Life: Method To Your Radness - Steven Savage

You have to actively look to understand what methods of writing work for you. I don’t care if it’s exactly like mine or something I think is ridiculous; if it works, for you and good works get made, fine. As long as it’s not unethical, go for it. Being a writer means actively understanding what helps you write better. Take the time to review methods, study theories, and try stuff out. In time, you’ll get better – possibly in ways you never expected.

All this reminded me of something. I dug back into some old notes and found a few pointers that seem relevant here.

"Whatever works" is not the same as "anything goes"

"Whatever works" is about being willing to try anything and glean from it the things that pay off. "Anything goes" is about not caring whether or not there's any payoff in the first place, and not bothering to learn from one's successes or failures.


Being systematic and attentive to the "how" is a skill

Steve's word is actively. Many people are not at first in the habit of noticing why or how something worked when they put it to work. They just know that it does, and so they blithely repeat it without a thought as to how to analyze any of that. I've wondered if this is another example of people married to the idea that creativity is this sacred, untouchable, mystical thing that is to delicate to be analyzed. (It's not.)

Do not relax into formulas; look to continuously refine your own assessment skills instead

This is a process, and the more you pay attention to the process the better. If you use a formula and it seems to work, never stop asking yourself why. Maybe it only works because you're married to an earlier idea of how it "works", and you haven't widened the scope of your attention to notice all the ways it might not be working any more.

I may expand on each of these more in the future, but for now this'll be worth chewing on.

Tags: creativity discipline writers writing