In a bigthink.com interview, author Porochista Khakpour offers advice to young writers. The best part about her advice is to not take the advice of other writers, and “throw away the script”. In other words, everything we think we “should do” is not always the best way to go. Follow intuitive sense and common sense. “The world is just run by other humans, who make lots of mistakes, and who are trying their best, and sometimes doing their worst”, she says. It may seem like the thing to do to look to a mentor, an author you most admire, and try to glean exactly what their secret might be.
But that isn’t the way the creative process works. Sometimes, there’s nothing to say and there’s no need to force anything. I think another really interesting approach is the idea that you may not always want to try to articulate your thoughts onto paper. Instead, use the writing as insight into what you’re thinking. I sometimes do this with meditation, but I suppose writing (also certain sports, other forms of art, teaching) can be a form of meditation. I never thought to view it that way. Don’t always sit and ruminate and analyze your thoughts. Let the thoughts spill out in a medium of your choice (in my case, writing) and then you’ll be able to observe what it was you were thinking all along.
There is so much noise in this world. So many opinions and ideas. Not all methods work the same for everyone. Like I mentioned in “My Story”, everyone’s path in life is unique, so that means their thoughts are unique, so that means their abilities are also unique. Next time you want to ask another person for advice, experiment with not asking for advice. Use your own special form of meditation. It might be woodworking. It might be gardening. It might be graphic design. It might be cooking without a recipe. Whatever it is, before you begin, ask that same question you were going to ask while seeking another’s advice. Just put it out into the universe. Say it aloud, or in your head, or just sense the presence of the question. In being present, eventually the answer will come.