Writing and the Creative Life: Routine or Ritual?

How do you get your creative groove on? Is it simply something you kind of do? Or is it a profound, almost religious necessity in order to free yourself to write?

Scott Myers interviewed one Acme Ton’o’Writers on the subject and here’s what he learned:

Dalton-Trumbo-on-tvwriter-com

by Scott Myers

I am fascinated by creativity, in particular how creativity manifests itself in the wide variety of people I meet or learn about. That has been one of the more intriguing aspects of the many interviews with writers I’ve been fortunate enough to do this year.

Those of you who follow those interviews likely will have noticed I ask each writer a few of the same questions about their process, including this one: How do you write? Because that really is where the rubber hits the road, where creativity becomes productivity.

The responses in the interviews, of course, have been varied. Some writers are like Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part 2, Identity Thief, The Hangover Part III) and don’t seem to want or need a defined pattern:

I have goals, and I just feel like it doesn’t matter how I get there. If I get there I get there. I have an office. Sometimes I write at home. Sometimes I go to the office. Sometimes if I’m feeling antsy I’ll go write in a public space. Sometimes I write at night, sometimes during the day. Sometimes I write hours at a time. Sometimes it’s 20 minutes.

The one thing about me that’s been consistent in the 17 years I’ve been doing this is in eight weeks I’ll have a screenplay. I’m very good that way. I don’t dick around. Knowing that, I can say to myself, “Well, not happening today. Not writing,” Because I know that doesn’t mean the script is not going to get written. The script always gets written.

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