Writing: The Agony and Ecstasy

I have written this before about the creative process in painting and photography. There is a common thread between each discipline.

Just because you want to create doesn’t mean the inspiration is available when time and the desire allows. In the past, I would have just described the inability to write as a period of fermentation of a thought but recently I’ve learned there are tools we can use to keep producing.


It is an inability that has severely crippled me through my life. Organization allows the wild electricity of inspiration to become a form. It’s much like stepping down high-voltage to a low-voltage, usable form of electricity.

The initial inspiration is often full of holes and inconsistencies. Organization pulls the pieces together and attempts to create a conducive whole.


Another tool that tends to be illusive to the right brain. The idea of discipline should stifle creativity and innovation but it can be a great strength for the creative person.

I have learned in two separate ways why discipline is so important. When I was very young, well-meaning teachers chose my creativity over penmanship. The problem is now I am barely able to write legibly-it is a muscle that atrophies as we get older. Thank God for computers.

Discipline is very much the same, it is a muscle that we can improve. The best vehicle I have found to use discipline in creation is the process of teaching art.

What normally would be a pause in painting becomes a teaching point for the teacher. You have to discipline yourself to continue even if the attention span is lacking.


I’m not saying being determined will keep you on the creative path but it will allow the creative mind to stay on task. It is so much easier to allow the diversion of other activities.

I heard about an author who had the discipline and determination to write five pages a day. After you’ve written and forced through the lack of ability I believe it becomes easier to push through the stages of block.

Not only do you adapt to the feeling of working through, you learn to wrestle with doubt and get beyond being vulnerable to procrastination.


All the tools I’ve mentioned lend themselves to the final. Focus on the feeling, the story, the idea. If you can keep writing, the gaps and interruptions should work themselves out.

After using all of these tools I believe the next post should be the rewards we reap from using these tools in our writing. Stay tuned.


This post is contributed as Guest post by Steven Linebaugh.

An artist and writer who writes about the art of painting, blogs about life and the creative mind and is in the process of writing several short stories and a novel.
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  1. Excellent Advice thank you for sharing

    I have a question where does one normally sell the Books that they receive with their Publishing Package?? I am about to Publish my first Book, please elaborate?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Jacqueline,

      Thanks for commenting. I just noticed this comment, sorry for my delayed response. There are several different ways-you can publish your book online and it will be made available at different venues like Amazon, Good Reads, etc. Books can be sold at book signings or made available to key reading groups, I’m not sure of all the dynamics but I know someone who is in the process of publishing his 7th book- I’ve done all his covers for him.
      I hope this was helpful.

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