Tag Archives: creativity

#WordUse Series:
Step Away From the Thesaurus and No One Gets Hurt

You know I love my thesaurus, right? I do. I have at least four of them, from various decades dating back to the ’40s (you’d be surprised how useful that is), as well as a rhyming dictionary, a slang dictionary, and something called the Flip Dictionary, which is more fun than any dictionary has a right […]

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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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#WordUse Series:
You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.

I admit I’m sometimes out of the loop. (Or behind the curve. Or whatever.) I don’t watch television and it’s only me up here in the swanky second-floor office in the pink house with the blue door, so whole fads pass me by. Whole memes pass me by. But I am up on my word usage, kids. And Your […]

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#WordUse Series:
A Puke of Politicians, or Collective Nouns

A book I’ve been working on has an interesting and lovely mention of terms of venery—which are a very special form of collective nouns—and it occured to me that it would be fun to take a look at them. You know what a collective noun is—team, committee, crowd are all collective nouns. They are words […]

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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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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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Following Your Own Path

In the eyes of others you have something called a Career. Certain people, should you be lucky enough to have them, like your agent or your editor, will hasten to tell you that what you need now for that career is another novel or another book of the same kind of poems that everyone loved […]

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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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Short Saturday: Beautiful Sentences

This has happened to you, I’m sure: you’re reading along and an exquisite sentence stops you in your tracks. Sometimes it’s in a novel full of perfection; sometimes it’s in a novel where it shines like a diamond in a pile of coal. This list came across Facebook this week, and I couldn’t resist taking […]

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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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