Creativity and the Writer

Nice review...

Introducing myself

Not open for further replies.

Robinne Weiss

Full Member
May 19, 2015
New Zealand
I've been reading a number of books by N.K. Jemisin lately, and have been impressed by her creativity. It spirals in great big colourful loops through her stories. By contrast, my creativity runs in little black lines.

I'm always intrigued by creativity, because I have always felt I have little inherent in myself. I'm very good at taking a brilliant creative idea and making it happen, but I'm not that good at coming up with those brilliant ideas. I compensate for this by surrounding myself with wildly creative people (and then I steal their ideas, of course...with their permission). I used to do creativity exercises with my university students, and I find them quite useful for myself (because I CAN manage a certain level of creativity, with effort and a crutch).

What is your creativity like? How do you unleash your creativity (or do you have to rein it in)? Do you have strategies you use?
Creativity, for me, is the ignition source that needs to be applied to the fuel of ideas I have, combined with my own experience of life and knowledge of a peculiar range of esoteric subjects.

Creativity needs to be harnessed and focused, but not too much. Gail Sheehy, author and journalist, said:

Creativity could be described as letting go of certainties.

A writer should push the boundaries of what is possible, providing a few surprises that the reader doesn't see coming. Think how boring a novel would be if everything panned out as you expected. My current WIP Sin Killers is a crime story set in Cornwall, featuring a married couple who've been let go by their secret service employer for running vendettas against people they consider immoral. They've continued to use their training to target sinners, and the plot includes booby traps, sophisticated hacking, torture, decapitation, venomous frogs, black magic and cannibalism. I wondered if this was all too much, but my villains have done nothing that doesn't fit with their belief in Druidry and Animism.

In this way, I've followed John Buchan's advice:

A good story should have incidents, which defy the probabilities and march just inside the borders of the possible.
It took me a while to connect into a more creative thought process since I believe that the schooling I had ensured that my thoughts were more skewed to linear, methodical thinking and only seeing opportunities in the mainstream. e.g graduate careers vs networking independently/volunteering.

Once I quit my graduate job in the 'city' I became a volunteer - just to keep doing something useful. That's when I learned about initiating projects using one's own intention as an ignition. That realisation opened up so many possibilities, I could go rogue. I no longer had to abide by society's norms of 'job', career etc (even now - entering the traditional publishing route). I could make one up. So I designed proposals and started selling 'ideas'. Some were successful some were not but those that weren't successful didn't necessarily have my undivided attention as those that made it through the idea stage.

But I found that whilst the creative gates started to open up, spilling out so many ideas, the discipline and basically linear skills I was brought up on had their benefits to ensure the projects went according to a methodical plan at least. But I still had to have the creativity mindset to reassess if one step didn't work and not to give up.

In my case, I've found that creativity skills have opened up many more doors than the linear mindset I was indoctrinated with. But both hand in hand allowed all my project ideas to come to fruition and succeed.

Am in the middle of two write now. :D
In terms of writing - I find that the more I enjoy a writing project the more creative I become. So I focus on that, believing that if I'm enjoying it so much it will show in my writing anyway. Then I'll add layers that I think kids might like e.g. parkour, puzzles, humour.
Not open for further replies.

Nice review...

Introducing myself