Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What's Your Creative Process?

Every creative person has his or her own process for developing and finishing projects, whether it is a job or a hobby. Call them quirks. Call them idiosyncrasies. Whatever you want to call them, creative individuals need this routine in order to complete the task at hand. For my own creative work – the writing part of my job – I have a series of steps I must go through for each article before the final step of sitting down at my computer to compose the first draft.

Of course, my work starts with research and interviews, but the quirk of my writing process is the composition. You see, once I have all of my notes together and I know generally what I want to say with a certain article, I will "write" it in my mind before a single word is typed at my keyboard. I will think about the article for days, working it out in my head exactly what I want to write. So, when I finally sit down to compose an article, I will know how it begins, what I want to say in the middle of the article, how the article will be structured, and how it should end. Most people probably do this with notes or an outline, but I've just always worked it out in my mind. It's just the way I work.

This might not be the most efficient or practical way to work, but the process works for me. It is just my way of doing things, of getting the job done. In thinking about my own process recently, I started to wonder what your creative processes must be like. Surely, you each have specific, or perhaps peculiar, ways of getting the job done. How could you not? You work in a creative field and often are tasked with finding new ways to do your job. So do you have a unique creative process that others find quirky and idiosyncratic? Tell me what this process is, how it works for you, and why your coworkers raise their eyebrows. I'll understand, and perhaps other readers will too. Who knows, you may inspire someone to adjust his or her own creative process.