Category Archives: Creativity

Short Saturday: Creative Storytelling Lessons

I haven’t seen Hamilton, but I know a lot of you are fans—and in this article about the making-of documentary Hamilton’s America, author Charles Wendig offers up storytelling lessons, noting, “there’s nothing more fascinating than watching an interesting creator in the process of creation, and Lin-Manuel Miranda is nothing if not a very interesting creator, […]

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Short Saturday: Grab Those Passing Thoughts

Regular readers here know I pay attention to what’s going on over at Jane Friedman’s blog, and a month or so ago she featured a guest post from writer Nell Boeschenstein called “Why Writers Should Consider the Habits of the Flâneur.” First I had to look up flâneur, so let’s do. From Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged, then, […]

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Just Get a Job!

I never wanted to burden my writing with the responsibility of paying for my life. I knew better than to ask this of my writing, because over the years, I have watched so many other people murder their creativity by demanding that their art pay the bills. … I’ve always felt like this is so […]

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Where Do You Get Your Story Ideas (Part 10)

Almost three years ago, we were discussing a national poll that asked, “When thinking creatively, do you think in pictures, words, or sounds?” Fifty percent of the respondents said they think in pictures. My answer at the time (need you ask?) was I “think [creatively] in words; I always have a running commentary in my […]

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Mozart and the Nature of Creativity

When I was in my early thirties, I had a love affair with Mozart. (It continues to this day, actually. How could it not?) I was the daughter of a classically trained pianist, had taken twelve years of classical piano lessons myself, and already had a very serious thing for Beethoven rockin’ on. You may wonder […]

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The Internal Dialogue

Reflect for a moment on the quality of mind that is least creative—when the mind buzzes like the white noise on a TV screen. This is “monkey mind,” a cacophony of voices and sensations. Everything seems possible and nothing gets done. Contrast that to the clarity of a moment of insight, when suddenly an organic […]

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Listening for Inspiration

The ability to listen is a skill we are honing. … Art is not about thinking something up. It is about the opposite—getting something down. The directions are important here. If we are trying to think something up, we are straining to reach for something that’s just beyond our grasp, “up there, in the stratosphere, […]

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Struggling Through the Creative Process

The conversation focused on the unavoidable uncertainty, vulnerability, and discomfort of the creative process. … Absolutely no amount of experience or success gives you a free pass from the daunting level of doubt that is an unyielding part of the process. … [I call this Day Two.] Day two, or whatever that middle space is […]

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Where Do You Get Your Story Ideas?
(Part 9)

The photo you see below stopped me in my tracks when I saw it on Facebook about a year ago. It spoke to me.   Some of you may know these friends of mine—twins, their mother, and their aunt—but if you don’t, and if you’re willing to let your imagination roam, you might see a […]

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Art and Fellowship

Every work of art is one half of a secret handshake, a challenge that seeks the password, a heliograph flashed from a tower window, an act of hopeless optimism in the service of bottomless longing. Every great record or novel or comic book convenes the first meeting of a fan club whose membership stands forever […]

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