Creative Monotony

This past week was kind of a downer after the thrill of editing my short story and seeing such progress and encouraging feedback. My task this week is to go through the chapter summaries of my novel and create a document listing all the edits I need to make. I justified procrastinating on this last week in order to get some fresh words written in my new WIP, Campus Zombies, but I felt guilty that I didn’t get more done in these notes. Part of my problem was lacking motivation for what seemed like a less significant and creative process than writing new fiction.

Today, (Monday), I settled down and pushed myself to make major progress. To my surprise, I found that there were still ways to be creative when compiling the list of edits. I was exhilarated to see how this process put my story’s complications in simple points. The technology in my story and how each character added dimension to the technology has been a whirlwind of confusion as I wrote. This intimidation led to more procrastination.

But, this monotonous process of jotting down facts has clarified these relationships and I am now more confident about finding resolution to the murky parts. So, not only did a seemingly monotonous task turn into a creative exercise in problem solving, but it also produced clarity on something that has been wringing my brain for a year. If that doesn’t motivate you to push through the monotony of your work, I don’t know what will.

Tomorrow, I have six more chapters to note, and then I can begin editing. The lack of enthusiasm I had last week is gone because I put my nose to the grindstone and ground out some work. Funny, writing feels the same way most days. Why did I get down on note taking because it wasn’t as productive or fun as writing? It was as if I were some high-falutin artist that couldn’t be bothered cleaning up my mess from the last project despite not having a pencil handy to start another. I do not clean, I create! Well, this time, cleaning allowed me to see what I created in a new way. In the process, my ever creative mind was finding the real story within my convoluted mess.

Here’s the thing, if being creative is your thing, don’t worry about being bored in monotonous tasks. Your creativity may need those tasks to let your subconscious solve that ever-bothersome riddle. I don’t know how I am going to wrap up all the threads in my novel. But, today’s production gave me confidence that I have a gift meant for solving these kinds of problems. Sometimes, that gift comes out when I’m doing the boring stuff that needs done anyway. It’s a win-win. Hopefully, it will be for you too.

Do you have any monotonous tasks that have helped you solve that ever-bothersome riddle?

About Timothy C. Ward

Timothy C. Ward is a Hugo nominated producer for Adventures in SciFi Publishing, who has been lost, broke and surfed with sharks on the other side of the world. He now dreams of greater adventures from his keyboard in Des Moines, Iowa. This summer he released two novels: his second Sand Divers book, Scavenger: A.I., where two parents use an ancient technology to fight a reproducing A.I. while trying to resurrect their deceased infant; and Godsknife: Revolt, an apocalyptic battle for godhood in the rift between Iowa and the Abyss.

3 comments on “Creative Monotony

  1. Funny, I just got done doing that myself. Now my story has grown wings and taken off, and I’m just along for the ride. I write at night until I can’t stay awake anymore. Writing all those notes really does solve problems!

  2. Very encouraging. I need to do that. Sometimes after a day of teaching and then evening lesson planning, the last thing I want to do is clean up and organize my writing. This is a good kick in the rear to get start.

  3. Ack! I totally know what you mean! I always procrastinate editing because it seems so boring and I have all these other ideas to create and push out. When I actually start though, I find I’m generally still creating as I link things together and expound upon things and take away things that detract from it and after I’m done, it’s like taking a layer off the glittery rock you found in the gravel and discovering it is really an unpolished diamond. But even knowing this, I still find it hard to sit down and actually edit. -.- lol, I’ve thought on many occasions how nice it would be if I could just hire a guy to edit it all for me, but then I wouldn’t have control over it. oh, btw, I like to leave huge messes in the kitchen as well. And yes, you do get the feeling of accomplishment after actually cleaning after making something good. It just doesn’t come til afterwards. xD

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