Allowing Creativity to Return

Val MillsStarred Page By Val Mills, 26th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Being without a computer gave me time to reflect on my writing habits.

In the beginning

In my early days as a writer I chose to write with pen or pencil and paper. I liked the feel of the page beneath my hand while I watched ideas emerge onto the page. As I formed each word or phrase my thoughts flowed effortlessly ahead to what would come next. I enjoyed taking time to scratch out parts that seemed wrong, hopefully expressing them in better ways. I enjoyed my writing.

Becoming a slave to the computer

Somewhere along the way I lost direction of where I wanted to go with my writing. Time became an important commodity. I wanted to write more, faster, and began thinking in terms of quantity rather than quality.
I, who had in the past urged others to edit their work and let it sit awhile before publishing, now started ignoring my own advice. I became inclined to press the submit button after only minimal editing. Often, I'd later think of a better way of expressing something and regret being so hasty. I became satisfied with good enough, rather than thinking of improvng.

Computer glitches a blessing

When I found myself without a computer, surprising things started happening. After my initial shock and withdrawl, I didn't miss my computer at all. I found I had more time for reading and writing. Not only did my writing output increase, but so did my creativity. Ideas started flowing again.
The realisation dawned that the computer had taken over my life and had been holding me as its willing captive. I forgot about purpose when I sat in front of it, but allowed myself to be distracted. Spider Solitaire began to have more appeal than housework and as much appeal as writing.

Creativity Returns

During my short computer free life I made a decision. I enjoyed ideas leaping into my head unannounced. I enjoyed the feel of pen and paper again. I enjoyed having more time for reading real books while snuggled down in bed. I decided to return to writing initial drafts on paper rather than the computer.
Since making that decision my joy for writing has returned. Once again I'm writing daily, filling journal pages and exercise books with writing and ideas. My creativity has noticed the new space within me and has moved back in.

Remember the off switch

While I know computers are a necessary tool for writers, they're not the only tool. I'm learning to regain balance in my life. Like all technological equipment, computers have an off switch. There can be too much of a good thing.
I've now returned to more simple writing pleasures, writing when ever and wherever I can. Not all of it is destined for online publication.
A new contentment has crept in along with increased satisfaction. My computer is no longer my master and I've regained control of my writing.
More than often now, the computer is switched off and my creativity is switched on.


Computers, Creativity, Editing, Improving Writing, Reflection, Writing, Writing Habits

Meet the author

author avatar Val Mills
Self-published writer, coffee drinker, enjoying life. Also found at and

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author avatar johnnydod
26th Aug 2011 (#)

I think we are all slaves of a kind Val

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
26th Aug 2011 (#)

Yes, Val, I hear you. My laziness has me pushing the submit button and then regretting it later. Good advice here. Thanks much.

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author avatar Retired
27th Aug 2011 (#)

this is lovely to read, and true, you do get more ideas being away from teh computer!

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author avatar Buzz
27th Aug 2011 (#)

I wonder what it was like writing with a quill pen. Must have been messy but at any rate that did not deter the creative juices of men of letters from flowing. :) Thanks for the share, Val.

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author avatar Carol
27th Aug 2011 (#)

It's funny how fate makes us change our habits because the need to write is stil so strong. Glad to have you back Val.

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author avatar Retired
29th Aug 2011 (#)

Insightful. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
29th Aug 2011 (#)

Yes, Val...I need to remember that bloody off switch too! Well-written piece of MAGIC.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
29th Aug 2011 (#)

So very true, I have to step away... and go back outside and breath, where the creativity for me lives... nature itself, well done Val, a super article my friend!

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author avatar richardpeeej
31st Aug 2011 (#)

I am definitely a computer slave Val. It takes an article like yours for you to step back and take a look at your life. Well done in getting a very worthy star page my friend

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author avatar Songbird B
3rd Sep 2011 (#)

What a great page, Val, and so worthy of that Star status...This really has made me think too...Great stuff my friend..\0/x

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author avatar Carol Kinsman
4th Sep 2011 (#)

Great page, Val. Thank you for sharing your insights with us...

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