Friday, October 7, 2011

Reader Question: How do you foster creativity?

Hello Amy,

I'm a seventeen year old girl, who writes constantly on her Blackberry then transferring her stories to the computer. I can not remember when I started writing-- I believe I was in 8th grade or twelve. I began writing about a girl who was a ghost hunter, then about a normal teenage girl. Eventually I began writing a Science Fiction story about humans obtaining super powers, when scientists were trying to create the perfect human. ...Do you have any advice for a girl my age? As a writer, how do you try to bring out your creativity?

Thank you,

Dear Nicole,

Thanks for your email! First off, it sounds like you have lots of fun ideas for books, and they are just the kind of thing people like reading right now. I say keep writing as much as you can!

As far as how to foster your creativity, I think you're already doing it by writing a lot. The more I write, the more ideas I have, and the faster they come. Writing helps keep that creative, imaginative part of my brain going, and I'm sure that's true for all writers. You can't just foster creativity, though, you have to protect it, because it can be fragile. Perfectionism at the early stage is a creativity killer. You have to be non-judgmental, and just get your ideas down on paper. Also, be careful about sharing your writing with others at this early stage. I learned long ago NEVER to show ANYONE my first draft. There will be lots of clunky sentences and malformed ideas in the writing. It's best not to share your work until you've gotten those taken care of, because you are likely to get less than an encouraging response, and you'll end up feeling bad about your writing. Also, it's just not polite to ask someone to read your work if it's not as polished as you can make it. That's like giving them assigned reading that they are not likely to enjoy.

Any seasoned writer will tell you that the real writing begins at the revision stage. Your first draft is nothing more than your raw material, much like the stone a sculptor works with. After you've got a completed draft, you chisel away the scraps you don't need and polish it smooth. This process can be just as creative as the initial drafting stage, and just as fun!

Thanks for the great question Nicole!

If anyone else out there has a question for me about my work, or life in general, email me!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fresh Fiction!

Thanks to the fabulous posse at Fresh Fiction for making GLOW a Fresh Pick on October 3, 2011!

October 3, 2011