Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers & Readers


What is the creative process?

I’m thinking today of timing—how important it is to success as a writer/artist. Timing and perseverance: the two go together. I’m also noticing the seasonal aspect of creativity, how cyclic it is. That, too, is hard to grasp. I want it all the time. I’m afraid if it isn’t there, it won’t return.

But I need to remember that if I pursue my creative impulses, and if they’re in accordance with my abilities, then there will be success. Maybe not financially, though that would be nice. But I’ll experience the satisfaction of achieving what I’m capable of.

I must keep in mind that the cup will empty, fullness will recede, as happens each night with the waxing and waning energies of the moon. I can’t help but hear “moo” when I write moon, those old nursery rhymes of the cow jumping over the moon still playing in my imagination. Of course, cows are very much moon creatures, with their emptying and filling as well as the various stomachs they have for digesting food that turns into nourishing milk. They’re a wonderful symbol for the creative person.

Perseverance is the key word. I need to keep this in mind to combat the bombardment of negative things I’m reading currently about being a writer. Not only can publishing be like finding a needle in a haystack—especially publishing fiction—but also only five percent of writers support themselves on their writing. It’s important to remember that my writing won’t necessarily be how I earn a living. Yet it isn’t a hobby since it’s so essential to my wellbeing. But being realistic about the money part is important so as not to have unrealistic expectations.

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