ICYMI: Inspiration is not the first step

We tend to approach things in reverse when it comes to creativity. We think we have to be inspired first before we start working on something. We can’t sit down and start writing, for example, if we don’t know what our story or novel or essay is going to be about. So we try to figure out how to tap into inspiration, or we read articles about the habits of the most successful writers and listicles of the must-have tools that will make our efforts that much easier and that much more likely to succeed.

Meanwhile, we’re not writing, and we think we’re not very creative, either.

In case you missed it, this is something I wrote over on Medium in response to a prompt (yes, I still do prompts every so often [I enjoy them almost as much as I enjoy parentheticals]) about creativity and inspiration. The original prompt was: “What is your unique way of finding inspiration in everything around you? How do you see the world differently and how does this impact the way you are creative?” You can go read it over there, (and if you do, please click the little heart-shaped Recommend button if you found it at all worthwhile for you).

Hump Day Happy

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been having a productive week. Actually, my recent productivity surge started last Friday, when I fired off a bunch of submissions and got a lot of work done. It’s been fairly steady since then, and when that happens, I just try to ride the wave until it breaks (by which point I probably need a breather anyway).

Meanwhile, here’s the stuff that’s been making my week when I haven’t been working:

Stephen King (“America’s teddy bear with little daggers”) teaches us that the key to success is to outlive your critics:

Continue reading

Nano-no-Nanette?* No. By which I mean yes.

Hello, it’s me.

(What do you mean you haven't seen the new Adele video yet? Click the picture already!)

(What do you mean you haven’t seen the new Adele video yet? Click the picture already!)

(Is anyone else basically playing this song endlessly over and over? [And does it make you want to drink like, a lot? Or is that just me? Oh, it is? Never mind.] Has it really been four years since her last album? Anyway, in short, I love Adele, and one of these days I’ll drink enough to try this at karaoke.)

Where was I? Oh, right. Write. Nanowrimo. Continue reading

Getting the Best of Fear

Fear

Fear: You’re soaking in it! (photo by Viktor Jakovlev)

I’ve been thinking a lot about fear lately. (“Ooh,” you think. “Timely, what with Halloween just behind us.” [OMG, IT’S BEHIND YOU. RUN!] To which I say, ha! As if I could even try to be timely or topical. If I were really timely and topical, this would have been written before Halloween, so there’s that.) No, it’s more like fear is one of those things that’s frequently top of mind for me most days. Am I a big old scaredy-cat? Maybe. Who knows? (Don’t mind me while I finish my saucer of milk.)

Anyway! I was listening to a podcast this morning called The Invisible Office Hours, which is hosted by two entrepreneurs/creatives named Jason Zook and Paul Jarvis. (I have no idea how on earth I came across them and their podcast, which seems to happen a lot with me on the Internet.) I’m catching up on their previous episodes (I highly recommend “Vampires and Zombies”—no, I’m not trying to be topical again; it’s just really funny), and the one I was listening to this morning at the gym was on Fear.

Continue reading