Technical writers or non fiction writers scribble to pay the bills and for the love of the analytical or the exercise of truth or deception.

Fiction authors write to illuminate their world or escape it.

Whichever kind of writer, it's all about staying alive and helping or entertaining others.

The Writing Life

Like most writers, I have a love of reading and the power of words. When I was younger, I read everything I could get my hands on, but I don’t consider myself well read. I consumed books like a starved person, so quickly I hardly knew what I had read. By some strange process of osmosis, I learned from everything I read, but I cannot give you an erudite discussion of characters, plots, or authors. I can only tell you it’s lodged some where in the core of my being and informs my writing.

In addition to reading, I’ve spent a life time writing---from that first elementary school composition to my college days when I studied French literature and wrote explications de texte. Along the way, I fell into technical writing--to put food on the table and pay bills. In the 90s, I had the good fortune to take a dialog class with Sol Stein, former owner of Stein & Day publishers in New York and a prolific author. That led to his California-based writers’ group, Chapter One. It was a rigorous, ego-bruising experience, but I was intent on learning everything I could about fiction writing. A few years ago, I also had the good fortune to study with another writer, Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. She provided a different perspective and balance to my writing.

My novel, DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK, a mainstream, Sixties era novel, is available on Amazon in print and ebook (also available in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil). Download a free sample. If you like it, I hope you'll download the book and post a review on Amazon.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Creativity: Staying Alive


I retired in June 2012 from my position as a supervisor of technical writing. I had grown tired of living in a cubicle eight hours a day. All those years spent in various companies felt like a replay of the movie Office Space. Boredom with the same hum-drum tasks and the stupidities of office politics left me yearning for freedom. I plotted my escape: paying off the mortgage and working out all the details of finances and medical insurance.

The first thing I did upon retirement was to finish my novel, Dreaming of Laughing Hawk, which had been sitting on the back burner for so many years. I enrolled in a class to learn how to self publish my book and managed to get through the process without too many mistakes. Marketing the book is another issue. I hate standing in a crowd of millions and trying to get anyone to take notice of my book.  Look at me! I wrote a book. Please buy it! My email inbox is filled with marketing offers from other authors trying to sell their books--sign up for this contest, click this link. There are all kinds of advice from different self-appointed gurus trying to sell a class, author services, or their how-to book. It makes my head spin trying to separate the good advice from the not-so-good advice. I admit to being resentful about this marketing game. I drag my feet and wince every time my husband tries to promote my book to neighbors and friends. I know--I'm whining and wandering off the subject of creativity.

Being creative is my obsession, especially since I retired. It's what keeps me alive. Let's face it, you never know how many days you will be given on this earth or when disease or disaster might strike and take away your abilities to do all the things you enjoy. My list of creative endeavors is long and there are not enough hours in the day--writing, painting, gardening, cooking, sewing, remodeling and on and on.

I see the world through this prism of creation. Creativity is a way to communicate with others by giving them something special. It can be as simple as cooking a good meal for someone or as complex as discovering a cure for cancer or raising a child. My obsession has made me more driven than ever. It seems that everything I touch is imbued with some kind of impatient magic. I am watching the clock, aware that time will run out on me sooner or later. A year ago this month my stepmother died. A month later my father died. These were big losses for me but especially for my stepsister. To compound her grief, she also lost her mother-in-law in that same period of time. Now a year later she has lost her husband to cancer. Four deaths in a year is a heavy burden for anyone to bear. It reminds me how precious the time is and how you must make the most of it for yourself and others.

So how do you make your time on earth count for something? What makes you feel alive? How do you separate yourself from the day-to-day drudgery and find that sweet spot?

5 comments:

  1. Hey, found you on WLC and got your comment on my website :D Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see more from you!

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  2. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

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  3. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect! Follow me on my blog at http://mmreynolds.blogspot.com/

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  4. Creativity keeps us active and, I believe, grateful for what is as well as what we can become. When I find myself too caught up in the rat race to indulge creative outlets for long, I get real antsy. So I have to schedule time to make sure I don't shove creativity aside for long.

    I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

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  5. Yes, creativity is what keeps us going and gives meaning to our lives. Creativity is also about communicating with others as well as touching base with ourselves.

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