Sunday, February 27, 2011

Building Creativity

I've cocooned myself away for the last few months. No blogging, except for my posts on Five Star Expressions. No surfing the blogs to add comments. No participation in online discussion. And during my writing time, I actually make myself stay in my Word program instead of surfing the net.

I'm trying to jumpstart my creativity.

There's an article in the March/April issue of Poets and Writers, an interview with John B. Thompson. I know, I'd never heard of him either. But Thompson has written a book about a subject in which we're all interested: the world of trade publication, how it has changed since the 1960s and how it's changing today. The article is fascinating, and I'd recommend it for writers who are hoping to publish or to continue to be published. But one concept struck me particularly and that's Thompson's idea of what publishers want: the Big Book.
Oh yes, you say, don't we all want the Big Book.

But Thompson goes on to say that we would assume that by Big Book, he means a bestseller. That is wrong.

"A Big Book exists even before it's been published, sometimes before it's been finished. It's a hoped-for bestseller; it exists in the space of the possible. It's nourished by hope and expectation."

He calls this the "web of collective belief." According to Thompson, a huge amount of energy goes into the process of people in the industry persuading each other that they have a proposal, a draft or even an idea for a book that in the future is going to be a best-seller.

In other words, the Big Book is an Idea.

What's a poor writer to do?

Rebbie's solution: focus on developing your own creativity to find your Idea.

I like this article about creativity. I'm staying away from the fun stuff online to give myself plenty of time to be creative, to let myself be inspired.

How about you? Are you allowing time for slow, meandering thoughts and writing that may lead to inspiration? Are you nourishing your creativity?


Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Rebbie: Hmm, nourishing creativity. Sometimes, when I'm twirling that idea in my mind about some historical figure I want to build my story around, I run into all sorts of interesting people whose lives would make novels. I get on overload, and that's when I have to step back and say whoa, and start to write and quit investigating and researching. There's no shortage of nourishment out there, if we just listen. Enjoyed the post, as always.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

If I show your blog to my husband, he's going to nod his head in agreement. He tells me that I have lately been spending too much time on social
commenting, blogging, etc. It does detract from creativity. There's no question about it. Yet when there's a new book out there, we need to let readers know it exists. The argument is that this is what the publishers should be doing. However, less and less are publishers promoting books. This is where the distribution of the "big" publishers becomes more important. Will things be changing with the stronger presence of e-publishing? One can hope!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Joyce and Jacqueline for your posts. Joyce, I agree. Sometimes I feel like I'm on overload, too, when it comes to prioritizing all these ideas I get! And it's a difficult balance, Jacqueline, I also agree, to find the time to do it all. Like you, I was finding myself spending a lot of my writing time going from the blogs to social commenting, etc. That's why I've made the conscious effort to cocoon. Maybe we all have to go through that from time to time!