Letting the Book Take Me Where It Wants to Go
I love how ideas are born.
I love it even though I don't really have any idea how it actually happens.
I know some of the principles behind creativity. I know the ways people *think* it works. But none of us really know how it *actually* works.
This morning I was having my reading time when I had a sudden influx of inspiration. I hadn't even read one complete page before I had a great idea pop into my head. I grabbed my notebook, jotted the thought down in my sloppy handwriting, and returned to reading.
I only got one paragraph further before another idea hit me. I grabbed my notebook, jotted it down, and returned to reading.
Then it happened again.
If it weren't for the fact that the thoughts and ideas that were coming to me were actually useful and interesting, I would've been annoyed by this persistent distraction that was keeping me from making progress on reading.
One the of the underlying principles of creativity is the need to consume content in order to produce content. Ideas come from other ideas. Thoughts come from other thoughts.
So, as I was reading David Dark's *Life's too short to pretend you're not religious* this morning, his thoughts and statements were the sparks that ignited my own thoughts and statements.
Creativity is like a cold. It's catchy. If you're around someone who gives a good cough, chances are you might catch something too.
But that's not always how it works. I've read plenty of books that didn't lead to any inspiration whatsoever. Why did it happen this time?
I wasn't reading this book because I thought it might connect with the book I'm trying to write myself, but it did. What a happy coincidence.
Wouldn't it be great if we could harness this power and reproduce it whenever we wanted? Yeah, I don't think so either. Even if we could, it would probably ruin it.
The moment we figure out how to control creativity is the moment it dies.
I say this knowing full well that the first book I wrote was all about how to be more creative. I'm glad I didn't spend too much time trying to systematize the whole thing. I'm glad I put sections into that book that specifically talk about the mysterious nature of inspiration.
As in life, I think the only way to truly be creative is to give up some of our control. When we're trying to force an agenda or put it into a box of what we think it should be like, that's when we have trouble.
As I work on writing and planning a new book this year, I'm trying to intentionally let it take me where it wants to go rather than the other way around.
In my last post I didn't say specifically what the book's message was going to be. I gave a list of some thoughts, statements, and questions that have been rattling around in my head.
How am I going to write this book? I'm going to look deeply into those questions and let them take me somewhere.
By the end of it I'll have some conclusions and then I'll be able to work backwards.