Finding the flow with writing and polishing a raw piece of meat into a powerful monster

Finding the flow with writing and polishing a raw piece of meat into a powerful monster

I recently began a course with one of the most famed writers in the world teaching creative writing. I already know things, having studied creative writing years ago, however at the time I had zero confidence in my abilities. So I languished for a while in a corpo doing finance admin after my degree – silly. Then in the ensuing years, I worked for over a decade as an editor and writer. This has given me some idea about what I am doing.

Two terrific infographics for grounding yourself in reality, right now

Writing commercially for money requires no guts at all, in fact it’s a fakers job, a completely insulated and protected way to exist and to pretend you’re doing something creative, when really you are just feeding yourself and writing about things you couldn’t really give a shit about. Fuck that, I’m tired of it.

Still, creative writing takes flow and also guts to put yourself out there. I thought for a while I would simply have to pillage and plunder my (at times) very intense and unusual life for that epic story. However, it seems that under the tutelage of this famous writer’s training, I can now find more ideas for weird stories that I could shake a stick at.

So it turns out, the ideas for a novel are all out there in the far reaches of space, or rather in here, somewhere in the shadows of your and my subconscious waiting to emerge.

Finding the flow with writing
Pagan Date: Lammas

Although stories (or even novel-length) ideas emerge like a raw, bloody and pulpy kangaroo baby crawling and clinging on for dear life to its mother in the pouch. It’s hoped that through polishing, feeding and plenty of TLC, what emerges out of that pouch in a few months will be a fully formed baby kangaroo. A rather appropriate metaphor given that I’m writing this from Australia.

Finding the flow with writing

In my case it may be a monstrous and horrifying monster, but even if that is the case…it’s hopefully going to be an interesting monster. And if you don’t polish, grow and nurture it, at best it will be a tiny weak and unformed thing that will most certainly die without your loving attention. I can only write and continue to feed the weird little tamagotchi. Also sometimes the most merciful thing to do is to kill the monster if it’s too awful and you can’t stand listening to it or nurturing it any longer. Sometimes that’s even more important to remember than keeping it on life support. Of course, an impartial and brutal advisor with a red pen should be able to tell you when a monster just isn’t worth keeping around. Kill your darlings. Or chop them up and put them in the freezer for further adventures.

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

9 thoughts on “Finding the flow with writing and polishing a raw piece of meat into a powerful monster

      1. Oh fantastic. Just ordered Handmaids Tale from book depo. Seems to be a problem getting some of her books in HK. Never read her books so this will be the first. Is it the masterclass you’re doing?


      2. You are in for a treat! No spoilers from me on that book, although if you have seen the TV series you would know. Yes it’s the masterclass and it’s very good. Although so far nothing I don’t already know after week 5, the exercises that go along with it have yielded amazing story ideas that are quite explosive, unusual and darkly funny…I hope they turn out as good on the page as they are in my head. Good luck with Handmaid’s Tale after that you should try The Blind Assassin…a masterpiece! Interested to hear your thoughts on the Handmaid’s Tale…it’s anti-men and sees all men as oppressors. Something I quite frankly from a more worldly point of view find silly. Although as an undergrad I really believed it.


      3. Nope I haven’t seen the TV series. So I have no idea what’s it’s about – except that it’s anti-men! Anyway, looking forward to it. Blind assassin is on the kindle store so I will pick that up too. I have a membership to so will go through that course at some point as well. so much to do!


      4. The book is way better than the TV series anyway 😁 which courses on Masterclass have you enjoyed so far?


      5. I am yet to fully engage! I’ve watched 3-4 videos of herbie Hancock, hans zimmer n r. L. Stine. The production values are superb aren’t they. Need to commit to a proper course and do the work! Really looking to Neil gaimans class coming soon.


      6. The RL Stine one is for Young Adult Fiction is that right? Hans Zimmer would be good for musicians too I would imagine. Neil Gaiman will be good I agree, he is a mastermind of imagination. It’s like a smorgasbord of personal interests I just wish I could drop doing actual work right now to just focus on Masterclass and learning it’s so very exciting 🙂


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