This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.
This month’s insecurity – Am I creative enough?
When I was younger, I avoided anything creative. Because I’m not–creative. I couldn’t make those cutesie classroom creations other moms wowed kids with. I could help my children with math and science, but not writing a story. I was great at grammar, spelling, sentence construction, and following rules, but cringed at breaking rules.
Arguably, that’s the core to creativity: Know when to break the rules.
My first novel (which I’m still working on, fifteen years later) is heavily based on research and history. I could map out how it would start and end and what could be included, but ran into trouble when it came to putting life into my characters. Many critiquers said it sounded like a textbook (I even had footnotes in early versions). When no one was interested in publishing it, I put it aside and tried to do what one well-intentioned agent suggested: Bring it into the modern era.
Where I ran into more trouble. Without the inspiration of fact, my characters stood there like Mario in Donkey Kong, waiting for instructions. I had no idea what to tell them.
Kurt Vonnegut said:
This month–I can feel it–my wings will grow.
More IWSG articles:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.