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The Agony and Ecstasy of Creating…

Writing for me is a heptagon-sided lightsabre. When I’m writing it feels like I’m Jean-Luc Picard sat in his ready room, listening to Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz while sipping a cup of Earl Grey tea; hot. It’s all beautiful harmony. It feels like this is what I am supposed to be doing.

Getting me to that point, yeah, well that’s like a ludicrous force bouncing off a jellified object. I will come up with any excuse, waste any time on anything rather than write. Oh, I’ll just check my emails (the ones I checked 5 minutes ago) I’ll just run a virus check (Why? Why now?), send a tweet, make a coffee, go to the toilet, paint my nails (what?); ANYTHING BUT WRITE! Then I’ll finally settle down and...SQURREL! *runs off*

I need Kathy Bates to reprise her role in Misery for me.

“You write that cock-a-doodie story mister, or Annie will bring out the ankle hobblers!”

Yes Annie, thank-you Annie.

When I do actually get started it becomes so easy. Instantly I’m Jean-Luc, back in the command of the Enterprise and the ship is running so smoothly. Seven-of-Nine is there as well and she looks hot! But I digress.

I then ask myself, why? Why do I make everything so difficult?

The thing is I know the answer, I know why. It’s the voices and the fear. The voices tell me not to try, they say I’m deluding myself and I have no talent. They insist I’m just wasting time and everyone is laughing at my feeble efforts; while the fear just listens. I’m afraid of failing, afraid of succeeding and everything in-between. It seems easier to just not try.

They are the same voices telling me not to write this blog.

But do you know what? Every time I write, every time I enter a competition, every time I produce a film, the voices grow more distant and the fear lessens. This is one of the reasons the Create 50 initiative is such a fantastic concept; it encourages creativity. It encouraged me to write a few scripts for The Impact. Two pages isn’t going to take a huge amount of time, there’s 50 slots available; why not?

Then there’s the feedback. It’s all genuine. It’s all by people who are just trying to get involved in something they are passionate about. They want each entry to be in the best shape it can be, they want everyone to have the best chance they can. That’s truly remarkable.

Furthermore there’s the Twisted 50. I’d given up writing short stories years ago. Twisted encouraged me to dust off my prose skills and give it a go. I enjoyed writing NO TITLE so much I’ve dug out all my old notes and decided to give the novel I always wanted to write a genuine shot. This surprised me so much I imploded on the spot! Luckily I got better.

Whatever happens in this competition, I’ll be truly grateful. I’m grateful for the opportunity, grateful for the community support and I’m grateful for the encouragement. I’m grateful this initiative has helped me keep the voices at bay once more and the fears just under the surface.

If you are anything like I was, if all your work is hidden on your PC never to see the light of day (except to a few trusted family members and invisible giant rabbits) because you let the voices win, well, why not give this one a try? Write a short script, a short story, write some music, make a film, review other people’s work, offer good constructive feedback and keep an open mind about the feedback you receive. Really, what have you got to lose?

Go, create!

Mark Renshaw

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Your Thoughts

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Chris Jones, Posted: 17 Sep 21:00

Looking forward to reading more blogs from the Create50 community.

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Bradford Richardson, Posted: 17 Sep 22:04

Wonderful, Mark : )

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KT Parker, Posted: 18 Sep 07:00

Mark - how did you get inside my head?!! Perfect description of all the dithering I do before I sit down and tackle the BLANK PAGE... Good luck with all your projects. KT :)

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Rebecca Handley, Posted: 18 Sep 07:46

Lovely article! Really enjoyed that, thank you

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Kristopher Rickards, Posted: 18 Sep 10:58

Great points, excellently told. (& a nice little love letter to the scheme and community)
I suppose it is a dichotomy we all face; the love of the writing and creation battling against the little voice that insists that it is all for nought. But, alas, the more we do it, the better we get. The greater the confession the better for our souls.
My main goal with writing is to be read and Create50 pretty much means we have an audience, and furthermore, an interactive audience that, as you pointed out, "want each entry to be in the best shape it can be".
Write more.

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Merlin Ward, Posted: 19 Sep 04:38

Getting people to read anything is incredibly hard which is why Create50 has fed the souls of so many talented writers. It has been such a pleasure to upload a first draft, confident that my new online peers will make honest, heartfelt comments that are genuinely aimed to help me make my creation that bit better. .

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Chris Jones, Posted: 19 Sep 21:57

You are 100% right Merlin - peer review is so amazingly valuable and stars like Dee, KT and Milethia really remind me of just how awesome creative people can be.

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Sally Brockway, Posted: 18 Sep 16:56

You mean everyone fears they are delusional with no talent? Seems I am not unique after all.... Great blog. Love this initiative as it is helping me fall in love with writing again. Although am a little daunted by how much talent there is out there.

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Merlin Ward, Posted: 19 Sep 04:49

I had always thought of myself as a screenwriter until I discovered Twisted. It's the genuine feedback and the community feel that has made this project so special for writers all over the UK and the world. We are not alone! I look forward to reading your work, Mark.

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Milethia Thomas, Posted: 19 Sep 21:04

You're right, Mark. Nothing to lose and everything to gain: feedback, guidance, support - and more. All the best.

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