When I teach a class for artists and other creatives who want to make a living doing their art, I always suggest they view this TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert. Her theme: we HAVE a genius, rather than we Are geniuses.
You probably don't wake up in the morning and call yourself a genius, but even if you don't, it's easy to get wrapped up in the idea that you're 100% responsible for the quality of your output as a creative person. I certainly feel that way about writing.
I am partly responsible for the quality of my writing--my first drafts, like every other writer's drafts, are what I like to think of as 'fertilizer' for subsequent drafts. I have to edit. That's part of my job.
But I can't force something that isn't there. I can't scream at myself or sit at my computer for 18 hours straight and expect to turn myself into Leo Tolstoy.
I can only be Christy Strauch the writer.
So I have to go easy on my 'genius.' Elizabeth Gilbert thinks we all HAVE a genius, and I agree. I have to take my genius on artist dates (click here to find out what an artist date is). I have to give her regular writing time almost every day of the week, even if only for fifteen minutes. I have to give her a pretty (AND UNCLUTTERED!!!) place to write. She likes to edit writing on the printed page instead of on a screen, so I print the writing to be edited on 24lb paper (fancier and heavier). If she wants to write longhand, I have an assortment of fancy pens (including some old fountain pens) that she loves to use.
I let her know I take her seriously. It took me years to learn to do this.
My question to you: What do you do to invite in your genius? Comment below.