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  • Writer's pictureJerri Ryder

Creativity requires practice

Let me tell you a little story.

My copywriting idea did not appear from thin air. Although it appears to be a diversion from all that came before, it really wasn't. Here's the story:

I had a dream, and it began over ten years ago. I discovered, quite unexpectedly, that I love to write. I had enrolled in a couple of writing courses as part of my Batchelor's degree, and found this little spark, this thrill from this creative outlet I had found.

My final assignment was a piece of writing that could be either a) a short story or b) the first chapter of a novel.

Mine was the first chapter of a novel.

For many years, I tapped away at my keyboard, not realising that my intermittent dedication to the craft was doing me no favours whatsoever. Life got busy, we moved (we moved a lot) jobs changed, careers changed and somewhere along the line, I couldn’t hold the thread of my stories together.

I have a lot written. Reams. No one has ever read them, because as I got lost in what I was trying to say, and disappeared down rabbit holes, I gave up. I just…walked away.

And those characters? They never came out. They are still lost in the rabbit holes. I forgot where they were going, I forgot my original ideas about the plot and I simply abandoned them.

I have dozens of characters, lost inside my words, they’ve been held captive there for over a decade. Now and again I would go and visit them, but inspiration never struck and I would wave goodbye to them as they begged me to let them out of their literary prison.

My copywriting has recently reignited that fire, and I’ve once again uncovered my stories. It took some digging, and not unlike an archaeological dig, it’s difficult at times to piece together how it all fit together.

They are a complete mess. No, really, they are. Some of the plot lines I followed were absurd, which I realised when I reread my work, and instead of reworking them, editing, writing a second or third draft, I dumped them. I don’t know how I’m going to rescue my protagonist, or find a solution to the problem of the villains, but I have to try. Because the stories want to be told, no they have to be told.

I know, I have always known that to succeed you have to write every day (thank you, Stephen King). You have to write badly to get to the good stuff. You have to let the rusty, cruddy words flow before you get to the fresh, clean, pure stuff. And you have to hope that you have some fresh, clean pure stuff in you. I'm letting my creative juices flow, which will only help the copywriting too.

So, Nickie Scott (if that is in fact your real name) – I’m back. Let’s see where your story leads.

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