Inside Creative Writing

Creative writing is a mystical beast. For some it is whimsical and spirit driven: less a pursuit than a drifting, waiting for the muse to inspire and produce. For others, it is a pragmatic approach to process driven work where a certain number of chapters and pages must be produced to the dictation of a prepared outline. I waver between the two extremes when in creative writing mode.

Like most creative writers, my bookshelves are replete with a multitude of tomes on the art and science of writing in most of its forms. I confess. I haven’t read most of them. What I do do is refer to them and read sections of them as my interest or projects take me. But creative writing sometimes needs a more prosaic approach. What better way than to literally watch a successful writer at work?

Recently I came across this 2012 teaching session on Creative Writing from a Professor at Florida State University. Butler is a published author, a Pullitzer Prize winner and in this series he explains his writing process and explores his methods as you sit on his shoulder and watch him produce a short story from whoa to go. This is the first session and goes for a little over an hour. Grab a coffee, some popcorn and a notebook. Ready?


Whew. Now, what did you pick up from that?

Want to keep watching the rest of the series?

Find the complete Inside Creative Writing project here –

Further Reading

  • Elmore Leonard is acknowledged as one of the great writers of our time. Check out his 10 rules for writing.
  • Love writing but hate to write? Try talking it out – see this.
  • Less a creative writer and more into non-fiction? Then this is for you.

find your creative writing voice