I’m going to quote Kanye here.
No, not one of his songs. Something he said in that Vogue issue where, for some reason, he and Kim K. were on the cover:
Creativity is hard. The creative process—it’s like a relationship. It can be grueling, it can be extremely fun, it can be extremely fulfilling, it can be extremely daunting.
After he created a video that was a manifestation of my greatest fears, I thought I was done with Kanye. But that quote struck a cord with me. So much so that I’m still thinking about it months later.
As you may have guessed, I had to take a little break from the noveling/blogging thing for a second. Not because of rejection by a million agents, thank goodness— I haven’t put myself out there enough for that yet (pitched about 12, got rejected by about 6 or 7).
Mostly I had to take a break because I changed jobs, moved, and went on vacation. But also because I’m trying to decide what my next step should be. I’m in this weird position where I have reached my goal: wrote, edited, and revised a readable novel in a reasonable amount of time but…in the process, I myself have changed.
I wanted to write a story about the growth you experience from a relationship (among other things). And like a relationship, I’ve grown just from engaging in this creative process. At some points it’s been amazing—getting so much joy and fulfillment from what was essentially work?! Definitely never felt that way at my former job. Working on this project sometimes I was literally like, in love, with my story. Not because it was so great, it was just so fulfilling, as Kanye said.
Other times the process has been rather unsettling. There are some themes of loss, and the aftermath of diving into those things was not easy. It was like something bad had actually happened to me. It was strange, but ultimately worth it.
But most importantly, from this process I evolved as a writer, I think. I learned a lot about creative writing and storytelling. I read a lot about the craft, I read more in general and of course I was practicing techniques all the time while writing. So now it’s like, I just think I can make the thing better. That’s daunting (as Kanye said) because if I go down that road, I have a sh*tload of work ahead of me.
My perspective on the story, the characters, relationships, life, etc. has also changed simply from being 2.5 years older than when I started. There is distance between me and the impetus for writing it. I’ve received some feedback from a number of people. I’ve read more, lived more, etc. And so my goal for it has changed, I think.
Anyway, so that’s where I’m at now. My last set of revisions consisted of me fixing the dialogue and taking out some unnecessary details. I may pitch a few more agents after inputting them (hey, the author of The Help pitched 60 agents, so clearly there is an endless supply lol) or I may make some bigger changes now that I’ve had time to take a step back. I will keep you posted!!
6 thoughts on “Kanye: “The Creative Process–It’s Like a Relationship””
Self Publishing out of the question?
No, not out of the question. I do want to attempt to go the traditional route first though. One thing I’ve learned from following this industry is how much you need to hustle if you’re going to self-publish.
No, not out of the question. Just trying to traditional route first. I definitely pay attention to everything that is going on w/ self publishing.
Really appreciated this post. It’s amazing how the creative process trains us to think. I can tell it’s touched you in this way. Your writing is thoughtful and really a pleasure to read.
Yeah, it’s an amazing outlet. Thanks so much for the compliment!! These types of messages motivate me to keep blogging. 🙂