Tag Archives: children’s books

Is Reading a Creative Effort?

5 May

Is reading a creative effort?  I’ve been pondering this question lately.  Actually, since I read the post Would You Rather Be Productive or Creative? on broadsideblog.wordpress.com.   It’s a thought provoking post, examining how one may come at the expense of the other.   I do often feel like these two things are in conflict, if by ‘productive’ we mean revenue producing.  

In a way, reading seems to be neither.   When I read, I am neither producing nor creating.  Interestingly, when juxtaposed with reading, the two seem more alike than different.  But I digress. 

The issue at hand is – am I being creative when I read?  Or is it another form of diversion?   Something else to do (albeit enjoyable) which keeps me from writing, or working, or paying bills?   Perhaps a form of self-soothing, enlisted in place of dealing with stressful, real-life issues?   It may be all these things, but I still feel it is a creative effort.   Why?   I suppose because it engages my imagination.  I picture the characters.  I picture the scenes.  And then, often I start picturing my own scenes, creating scenarios in my head for my own characters. 

I am delighted to find I’m not alone.  Charly Lester has again written a post on her blog, The Elementary Circle, that totally resonated with me: Give Yourself An Inspirational Day.  In it, she also mentions that when she is looking for inspiration, reading is on the top of her list.  

Although creative works do not happen without the ‘work’ part, it is also true that they do not happen without the inspiration.   Like the seed growing underground before finally sprouting and showing itself to the world, these thoughts, emotions, visions must germinate and begin drawing nourishment from the soil around them.  Reading is my soil.

Spending time in solitude with your artist child is essential to self-nurturing. ~Julia Cameron, the Artist’s Way

Inspiration from My Young Author

24 Feb

While sorting through my 10-year old son’s papers from school, I found a writing prompt that he wrote a few days ago. Topic: Write about the most ideal job for you when you grow up.

He wrote about becoming a writer.

Now of course he mentioned that people “make a lot of money by just writing books” (I neglected to tell him that it’s the minority that don’t need a full-time job on the side), but most of it focused on his passion for writing. He wrote that he gets inspired by reading awesome books and is going to “work hard in college and get a writing degree so I can be a writer, and then write away.”

While I could barely contain my pride at his choice of careers, it was what he told me when I approached him that really made me smile: “Hey, mom, I want to be a writer like you, because that’s really cool.” Ah…my darling son, if you only knew how much you inspire me.

He is now writing a story called “The Silly Way a Giraffe Got 2 Horns.” And I am now going to pick up my virtual pen and continue on my own writing project…

”Write away.”

Another Baby Step

22 Feb

Paper, scissors, tape--voila! This miniature comp was part of today's baby step towards becoming a published author.

I spoke to The Muse on the phone again this morning.  Well actually, I spoke with Bob Ostrom, the very talented and personable man who is illustrating my first children’s book.  Now that Bob’s completed all thirteen sketches, he and I discussed our respective feelings on colors.

First children’s book?  Feelings on colors?!  Yes, I’ve died and gone to heaven.  Evidently heaven feels a lot like Kindergarten.  Even so, I wouldn’t have stepped foot into this classroom if not for my fellow Chick, Eva.  She literally pushed me into it.  After enduring years of my incoherent ramblings about IT (the would-be novel), it was Eva who made me enter the Nature Made Sleep Bedtime Stories Contest and became my biggest e-promoter as well.  Then came the thousands of votes for “Addie and Ollie” from my amazing friends and friendly supporters, for whom I remain most grateful and without whom I would not have won.

Winning has been a much-needed boost to my long-lost sense of worth.  The $7,500 prize money was my first “paycheck” since becoming a stay-at-home mom, a fact not unnoticed by my hard-working, left-brained husband.  Yet having my story brought to life by Lulu.com has been the greatest prize by far.  Collaborating with a professional illustrator is creatively exhilarating.  I feel validated as a (dare I type the word?) writer.

“It’s only a little poem,” the anti-muse inside my head would have me believe.  Maybe so.  But The Muse reminds me that every creative journey, whatever the scale, is made of baby steps.  We set one wobbly but hopeful foot in front of the other.  And eventually, we learn to walk.

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