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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Reading about writing, writing about reading, and writing about writing.

I like reading.  I like writing.  Right now, I'm writing about writing.  That last sentence, I was writing about writing about writing.  Whoa, now that sentence was writing about writing about writing about writing.  It's so much writing within writing- it's Ink-ception!

For any writers out there, I must recommend this book I'm currently reading: It's called Story; written by Robert McKee.  It talks about the elements of a story, not only from a technical aspect, but also from a creative standpoint.  I'm a couple chapters in, but it's already made me think about my writing on a much deeper level.

One of the things it talks about is having two "talents": Literary and creative.  The two must go hand-in-hand.  The author talks about how literary can be taught, but either you have creativity or you don't; it can't be taught.

I'm a little on the fence about this idea.  Yes, I do believe that creativity cannot be taught, but I do believe it can be nourished and developed.  The brain, like any other muscle, gets stronger with exercise, and that includes the creative portion of our minds.  I believe that everyone is born with creativity of varying degrees.  It comes out much easier for some than it does for others, but everyone has creativity inside of them.  Some people exercise their creativity on a daily basis, and it becomes more prominent and much mightier.

If a person never exercises their creativity, it will eventually weaken to a point where it can no longer be revived.  There may still be a chance, but it'll take a lot of work.

The more you practice your creativity, the better you'll be at it.  I read an article recently on the mental health benefits of being bored- when we're bored, our minds wander, allowing them to explore areas of our intellect that may have not been visited in a while.  Albert Einstein was notorious for his ability to just sit and think for long periods of time, solving problems and coming up with new ideas.  J.K. Rowling said that she came up with the idea for Harry Potter while staring out the window on a trainride.  (Not that I'm comparing myself to them, but I came up with the idea for Shadows in the Window while daydreaming.  The Secret Room was based on a dream I had.  Most of my stories come from sleep-dreaming or daydreaming.)

We are always so quick to pull out our phones when we're bored, play a game or pop around on FaceBook just to kill a few idle moments.  (Uuuhhh, I never do that.  Yea, right.)  But the truth is, daydreaming is a gift.  I challenge you- next time you've got time to kill, try taking a stroll through your imagination.  It may seem a little bit uncomfortable at first, but keep walking.  You may just discover the next big sensational literary series hiding away in the untouched depths of your mind!

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