Justine: Sparking Creativity

This week I’m on vacation in the wonderful Outer Banks, NC (where yes, there have been numerous shark attacks…we’re trying not to think about that) and my desire for writing, critiquing, reading…pretty much anything…is about nil.

I’m also a bit apprehensive about RWA next week. This is my third conference pitching the SAME manuscript and that fact has me down in the dumps. I have two pitch appointments lined up and am excited about who I’ll be meeting with, but it’s overshadowed by the fact that I’m still pitching the same book.

To overcome my sense of failure that I’m not on my second, third, or even fourth book, I took a spin through some TED talks and I came across one by radio host Julie Burstein. She spoke in February 2012 about four areas we should embrace in order to spark our creativity:

  1. Be open to experiences
  2. Be open to challenges
  3. Push against the limits of what you can or cannot do, and
  4. Embrace loss

I encourage you to view her TED talk.

It was her discussion about embracing loss (which includes rejection, heartbreak, and failure) that resonated with me the most.

So I’m not on my second book. I’m also not on the same path as every other writer. Nor do I have the same circumstances as they do (both in writing as well as in everyday life). It’s something I have to keep reminding myself.

What of Burstein’s four areas resonates with you the most?

3 thoughts on “Justine: Sparking Creativity

  1. Pushing against the limits resonates with me. If I didn’t push, I’d never get anything done. If you’re getting frustrated and disheartened about the manuscript you are still working on, keep trying to sell it, but move on to the next. A couple of advantages to that – your creativity can kick back in, you’ll be less frustrated with lack of progress, and when one of your manuscripts sells, you’ll have another one in the works that can follow on the heels of the first published. I’ve read that in this digital age, readers don’t want to wait a year for the next book (unless your SEP).

    • I’d like to be SEP. 🙂 Still, that probably won’t happen (at least for a little while, haha). I have started doing research for some of my other book ideas (mostly reading about different historical events), but I haven’t actually put down my current book to actively work on something else. I’m in this odd place where I’m so close I can see the finish line, but far enough away that it seems like I’ll never make it.

      • Ah, the “home stretch!” You’ll make it!

        It’s really true that everyone works in his or her own way. Some people write three books a year. Others take decades to write that one book.

        This is changing the subject slightly from what Michille said, but I think the push to get books out quickly is so that the writer can “catch the wave” of favorable reaction from readers. Taking your time doesn’t mean the book can’t find an audience — it just means that the book is starting from the beginning in looking for new readers, rather than riding the wave. I think this is the mentality for series, too.

        But on the other hand, if book two is really good, it causes people to look at your backlist, right? Nobody seems to talk about the reverse wave that happens. Ideally, both books would be great. But . . . which would you rather, a great book first, then a lousy book because the publisher put a time lock on book two? Or a practice book first that’s OK, then a great book second? From my armchair, I’m liking option two better.

        (-: But considering that I have about a half dozen finished first drafts, and zero finished finished ready-to-submit manuscripts, it’s definitely an armchair view. Not an ergonomic-for-writing, swivel-chair view.

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