Just stop thinking

I read this article about writer and writing teacher Kathryn Harrison, who offers the advice to her students “just stop thinking.”

I find this to be terrific advice. Thinking is the bane of most creative activities, and I say this as a proponent of science and learning and understanding on all fronts. Think before you create, think after you create, but while you are in the process all it does is make you second guess yourself, make you stop and wonder if you should be doing something else, or make you think what you’re doing isn’t good enough.

When being creative–making music, painting, writing, whatever–do what feels right, without thinking about why it’s right. Of course it is useful to analyse these feelings and figure out the meaning behind them–but do that afterward, when your creation is complete and your meddling brain can’t interfere with the process any longer.

I’m sure this won’t apply to everyone. There are many ways to write. But it resonated with me and I think it is a great way to look at the creative process.

Just do it. Think about it later.


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