blogging, Philosophy

Creative Writing Reflections according to Scott Dunn

Who cannot claim to have at least one minor addiction, a minor obsession or infraction they cannot give up? Whether it be alcohol, a game, a habit, a pleasure-seeking activity, sport or an illegal substance. Even gardening can be addictive, if your personality is so inclined. We do what we are interested in or are absorbed in doing. What engages us.

One writer thinks we should encourage that feeling.

He tried various things to alter his mood, but still came up empty. As, he says, when the high dissolves, you still have to face reality and that is often what is so hard for addicts. And that is where writing comes in.

“No matter how I try to alter my mood, I still have to contend with reality. When the buzz is gone, the reality is still there, waiting for me to do something about it. At the end of the day, when everything that I could possibly do in a day is done, I still have to decide to be happy. I’ll read an article that fires me up, and the next day …the urge to write has returned.”

Scott C Dunn

Can we choose to re-direct our addictions via directing our energies to creative activities vis a vis – our writing?

Writing is a good workout for my ever active mind chatter and, it also keeps me away from the fridge and pantry when I am at home. It envelopes me in an intellectual world of words, like a cosy blanket or a warm hug from my loved ones that banishes all other desires. Distracting me from any troublesome mind-niggling. Physical activity for that part of my brain.

Scott C Dunn writes:

Creation forces me to examine how I think. [When he writes, he is], adding to the world. And if I’m going to create, I create things to improve my life. If I could point to a single cause of why my life has improved, it is writing. I started with blogging. Then gratitude lists and morning pages. And when I was done with the morning page, I was fired up [to write].

I write because writing displaces my tendency towards addiction.

Maybe I’m addicted to writing. If so, there are no adverse effects that I have found. The barrier to entry is low. The cost is trivial. The benefits of writing are enormous.

Even if I just wrote one page every day, not writing anywhere else, I’d still find benefits to writing that I could not derive any other way. They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. The written word is the window to the mind. I use writing to peer into my mind, to see what is really so important to me.

To those who find themselves suffering, I encourage you to write every day, as I did. Writing can relieve suffering in ways that no pill, drink, or activity can do. Yes, there is always exercise and we can do that. But I find that writing offers a way to discern the cause of my suffering that no other mental exercise can ~Scott C Dunn

Scott talks about how many self-help manuals encourage delving behind one’s thoughts. He finds, however, that it is the act of creation itself, that his mind is opened further. He will write until he is spent and the words flow no more. Then and only then, does he edit his creation.

Summing up he says:

Writing is mental floss for the mind. I floss every day to remind myself why I am still here. To discover what truly makes me happy.Scott C Dunn

I am beginning to ask myself why I did not write more when younger. Why not make it a career as it seems it is becoming now?

Are you a writer who finds putting pen to paper therapeutic?

Did you long for a career in writing?

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61 thoughts on “Creative Writing Reflections according to Scott Dunn”

      1. I do tend not to add comments to allow the person viewing my photos to have their own imagination as in reading, make their mind up about what the are seeing either real or imagined 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Your comment, Peggy, makes me think that you’ve burnt out your writing skills? Or perhaps I should think I have been lucky to have had more time for them in later life. Having a job around using words may have spoiled it?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Creative writing with giving hope to people is success.

    On Saturday, April 9, 2022, Something to Ponder About wrote:

    > Forestwood posted: ” Who cannot claim to have at least one minor > addiction, a minor obsession or infraction they cannot give up? Whether it > be alcohol, a game, a habit, a pleasure-seeking activity, sport or an > illegal substance. Even gardening can be addictive, if your perso” >

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  2. Amanda, journal writing was my therapy for many years. I enjoyed the process of ’emptying the trash’ from my mind and landing in a place of resolve before beginning a new day. These days I use my blog to capture the daily life of two contented retirees, but even still there is room for creative expression there through words and photography. The later being a life-long passion. I like what Dunn says about ‘creating to examine how I think.’ That’s how I see photography. Beautiful post. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fantastic point that you make there Suzanne and it is lovey to hear that you are two contented retirees. I can recommend retirement too, even though I am only semi-retired now after a full retirement.
      In taking or creating a photograph you are reflecting your own thinking process and examining that when you look at the finished photo. Like writing, photography can be an introspective activity and therapeutic, but when shared publicly, it takes on another life and process. Giving pleasure, sometimes provoking thoughts, sometimes controversial, sometimes imparting restfulness, peace, beauty and more.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Interesting post Amanda.

    Thought provoking too!

    Love Scott Dunn thoughts
    .
    Creative writing is an art by it self and not many are fortunate to possess this talent.

    With reference to photography blogs, I feel the photograph must be accompanied by some comment from the photographer.

    After all photography is an art and highly subjective and unless the picture is accompanied with some observation by the photographer, many may miss interpreting the image.
    ( I am not into routine photographs but talking about creative ones).
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see what you are referring to, PtP. You like to read of the photographer’s intention – especially in abstract photographs, or processed ones.
      I sit on the fence there. I do agree with you that having a concrete explanation would be right, so you don’t altogether miss the point, but then again, it is your interpretation of the work that is meaningful for you. Does it matter if the photo give you joy in a different way than it gives to the creator?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you Amanda.

        The photograph taken by the photographer may or may not appreciated by others.

        At least photographer can tell the audience what his point of view is!
        Now the audience has the right to agree or disagree.

        That doesn’t’ mean photographer is imposing his/her view.

        Akin to an artist drawing a paint.

        Suppose the artist doesn’t tell his/her audience what exactly the meaning being conveyed from his/her point of view…none even attempt to have another look at the art and just move on…

        Your question-“Does it matter if the photo give you joy in a different way than it gives to the creator?” has one simple answer-
        Beauty in the eyes of the beholder.

        🙏🙏🙏

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I know why I didn’t write as a career … all the writers I knew were underpaid and underappreciated. It’s a tough craft to make a living. Even now, it takes me too long to get the words down into something that’s worthwhile reading. If I were to clock up the hours per word per possible wages … yikes.
    Having said that, once the words flow and piece is finished, there’s tremendous satisfaction in reading a completed essay. Good for you Amanda that you’re making a career out of this. Can you share a link to the publication?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Do you measure writing effort in terms of dollars or satisfaction, Sandy? When it is a hobby, does it even matter? As writing feels addictive (in a good way) to me, I wondered whether starting a career in writing would have been an easier slog than battling out in hospitals and shift work in laboratories, which has rewarded (?) me with a bad back, stress and possibly reduced life span. I gained much knowledge from my former professions, and that I don’t regret. Also, I don’t doubt writing may not have paid well.
      I could have ended up writing copy for a marketing firm, which I may have disliked…. Despite saying this and reading your words, I can see that you do understand the same satisfaction as I feel upon a piece’s completion, (after my thousand or so re-edits). I take much too long in writing up my articles, however, I am getting faster, and I blame a lack of tertiary journalistic education in writing skills for the slow speed. My writing skills are more intuitive and so it takes longer to get there. Having said that, it is never too late to pick up those writing tips and the internet is a great resource for hobbyists. (NB. I won’t be returning to Uni at this age!)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My comment had to do with writing as a profession. As a hobbyist, reward is measured in satisfaction … in finishing, in re-reading and being read.

        I actually did go back to university to take courses in Creative Writing and enjoyed it immensely. The advantages over internet tips & even one time workshops are professional guidance on what makes good writing; appreciation of different writing styles and forms; meaningful critiques by published authors/teachers; learning to take & process critical feedback; learning to critical think & give feedback on other student writers; deep appreciation for the diverse talent of fellow students. I completed all but the final steps of the curriculum … the final step being polishing a book for submission to a publisher. IMO I didn’t have enough of a portfolio & I also wasn’t very interested in getting published. I’d highly recommend going back to university at our age. It’s great to learn just for the joy of it, on topics that really interest you. I only wish they had more affordable pricing for retirees.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can see that creative writing at a tertiary level is of great value, Sandy. Especially meaningful critiques by published authors/teachers is mostly lacking in hobby circles. A lot of writers want to encourage others. I just mentioned in a previous comment that the odd writer is discouraging to other writers, but after reading your comment, I think we should also value this negative comment as a great learning tool. Even if the comment is misguided or misdirected. It might allow us to examine a part of our writing in a way we haven’t tried before.
          Like you, I have no burning desire to publish a (fictional) book, other than family history or examining the modern history of Rosemaling. (but that is so niche!) I certainly don’t have a story in my head and the prospect of writing for so long on the one topic would become a chore. I did start the beginnings of a book with Mabel Kwong (blogger), this was a collection of proverbs and sayings and discussion of same, but we haven’t done any work on that for years.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. You are correct, Phil. Writing can be effortless when all the little ducks line up in a row. It is joyful to express yourself. If the words don’t flow, for whatever reason, it can be a hard slog. I think Scott’s words made me practice more regularly!

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  5. Writing is therapeutic, it helps to clean out your brain cupboard. It is important to write, if possible, every day. I’ve been writing since I started living on my own at 26. Still have many diaries waiting to be re read and written.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you Amanda for your kind words. I’m starting another nonfiction story writing 6 weeks this week. Writing your story by using your own experiences could be fun. It’s the same person who did the memoir writing last year. She helps a lot, explains and edit my pieces too so that I can see where to leave out or put extra in.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Inspiring words Amanda. I am in a trough at the moment and need to have a subject to write about. I feel I cannot just put a random post our there, what would it be about? I also need to get out and take a few more photos, my archive has been delved into too often!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sometimes nothing comes to mind when we go to write. I often have this problem! I then read the writing of others and this will usually spark something in my head.
      I delve into my photo archives as often as I need to, Alison. And there is always Pexels to explore. However, it is surprising how I can usually find something to fit a brief, especially for a Friendly Friday Photo challenge even in my local area. You could always join in with that challenge or others, anytime.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I just started to write and had enough guts to publish my writing tonight. To answer your question, yes, writing is therapeutic to me. I am just tasting how it will be a great therapy for me. I am glad to find common ground with many here, after being discouraged by a friend, who is a writer herself. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some writers are not so altruistic and perhaps do not know the difference between negative and constructive criticism. I met one myself the other day who was only interested in talking about her writing – not writing in general. Contrastingly, I found bloggers to be very encouraging and the pure act of posting regularly and reading other blogs will inspire you and give you many opportunities to develop your craft! Keep it up and ignore the naysayers! You will prove them wrong.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Beautifully written words. So true. It’s as if you described me. I am addicted to dopamine. I watch tv shows and read novels to get that rush, but they leave me spent. Except for writing. When I get the urge to write, it feels like an addiction, but instead of feeling empty after watching novels, I do feel full. Writing helps me process my thoughts and calm my fears. It brings out the best and the worst in me and they battle with each other on the page, then I look at my creation and I feel pride in my work, like a mother, who looks at her newborn and says “I made that”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love to hear that you have a surge of pride when you finish a piece of writing. It is a special feeling and one that spurns a writer on to put pen to paper again. What genre do you prefer?

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      1. I write poetry and blogs (I don’t know how to specify the genre of my blogs). Most of my books are poetry, but I have a self help book too, and im almost finished with my 1st drama novella about a couple who went through a miscarriage and will their marriage survive or no. It’s on kindlevella on Amazon. You can read the 1st 3 chapters for free, and you can read chapters 4 through 9 for a few tokens each. I’m yet to write chapter 10, but working on filling the holes in my story 1st.

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