#creative space and expectations, redux

Looking at creative spaces. When the words are difficult to come by, allowing myself to explore in other ways. Thinking about creating without expectation. Trying to enter the creative space without defining the creative space. Focusing on the creative space in the moment, not in tomorrow or the next day. How many times have I attempted to create while managing the expectations of a creative life at the same time? Countless times. Always. How and where I will publish, who will read and like my work, how I’ll spend my advance money. Where did the expectations take me? Toward not creating. While writing ApocalypseNation, I have been nurturing expectations. I’ve spent much time wondering what it meant for me to be writing a zombie novel and what I should expect by the end result. It kept me from actually writing the darn thing! It was supposed to be fun book to write, but it became drudgery.

Slowly, I’ve been reigning in the expectations. As soon as I made the attempt to simply write AN each day, only in the moment, the story opened up. I was less constrained by my plot, less rigid in my “literary” leanings. Roads that had been blocked were suddenly clear. Writing without expecting anything of the creative space made the creative space larger. It made the creative space a more desirable place to spend time.

I wish this was a lesson I could teach myself once and retain. But each creative endeavor requires that I trudge the road of creative destiny again from the beginning. Today, I’m doodling in my moleskine while waiting for students to come talk to me about writing. Later, I’ll write.