writers / writing

#IWSG Creativity, Life, and Writing

writers groupThis post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s insecurity – How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

I don’t think of myself as a creative person, not like artists and musicians or poets. But life is filled with roadblocks so when I decided I wanted to write, ‘lack of creativity’ became simply something to work around. I started with nonfiction–books to help teachers blend technology in education. That required a lot of how-to solutions mixed with creative lesson plans and ideas. But because I am a teacher, that came easy.

If becoming a writer was like putting a jigsaw puzzle together without a picture, I felt like I’d completed a big chunk of sky.

Fiction was a whole ‘nuther animal. I researched for years–decades–inspired by real-life events to create plots and characters. I used my Navy daughter’s experiences in Building a Midshipman, To Hunt a Sub, and Twenty-four Days and am moving on to my Army son’s world of satellites for the next in the Rowe-Delamagente series. My current WIP is Man vs. Nature, the saga of man’s development. The first in the saga is Born in a Treacherous Time. That too started as research–to help me understand–but the bare facts fell far short of explaining events. To truly understand what our genus (Homo) went through to get where we are today, I needed the characteristics of fiction–plot, people, storyline, crises, and more.

So, while me being creative is still akin to drinking water from a fire hose, I accept the importance of creativity in understanding the world.

How about you?

More IWSG articles:

How Writing Cures What Ails Me

What publishing path and why

Pitfalls to Publishing


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, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and Born in a Treacherous Timefirst in the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Survival of the Fittest, Spring 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

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92 thoughts on “#IWSG Creativity, Life, and Writing

  1. While growing up and at school I use to draw and work with clay. It wasn’t until much later did I get into creative writing, didn’t think I was good or had the ability to put my ideas down in an imaginative way. I love to take photos and when time permits, I take my camera and see what happens!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I expect you’re fairly creative. That collection of creativity–so many writers have them. Me, it’s mostly writing. I played violin–and well but not passionately. Formulaically. It was the best I could do.

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  2. Huh – when thinking about you, “creative” is one of the first adjectives I would apply.

    I’ve always been creative – singing, dancing, painting, writing, acting, and writing – which I’d intended to pursue as a career from fourth grade – imagination is at the core of my being. Even when I taught, my curricula were infused with creativity, from my approach to planning my classes to currying creative responses from my students, no matter the topic.

    Now, it we’re going to talk about math – big blank space.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Teachers are filled with creativity. Great teachers come up with lesson plans that intrigue their students to learn, but the kids don’t even realize they’re learning! I’d say you ARE creative. This post is magnificent and thought-provoking.
    JQ Rose

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jacqui,

    In my opinion, I think you’re a very creative person. I have writing ideas but I can’t seem to get them going and to keep them moving. This is something I’m trying to change through writing prompts. I really need the challenge to get over the hurdle preventing me from doing more. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve always considered it a balance but I’m not sure how much of each is preferable. The most creative writer won’t succeed with organization and a way to get the word out but the most organized writer will fail without a clever way of saying things.

      Really, I’m not sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so surprised to learn that you don’t consider yourself a creative person, or at least not to the same extent as painters and musicians. For me writers are just as creative it’s just a different outlet. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Isn’t it wonderful when our children start to teach us! Interesting insights to your writing, Jacqui and how their experiences and lives became part of your books – you just had to add the hard part – pure creativity!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m amused that you seemed not to consider teaching and explanations of it as creativity – it came easy to you. I have always said that that is one of the things I loved about teaching, that it allowed me to be creative. I think finding new and interesting ways of inspiring children to learn is extreme creativity. Isn’t there a saying that teaching is the profession that creates all others? I think it all depends on how we view creativity. I don’t think it’s not necessarily creative just because it comes easy. I see much creativity in your work.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I guess it’s all in the definition. I remember struggling, miserably, to create cutesy awards for my daughters 1st grade classroom. Glitter and baubles and that sort of stuff. I was so glad when my term as room mom ended.

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  8. I would say that confidence in my own creativity — my skills, my sensibilities, my finished material — has liberated me from the need for external validation, be it agents, editors, what have you. This isn’t to say I don’t value outside opinions (feedback), only that I hold my own opinion — my capacity for self-evaluation — in the highest esteem.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi Jacqui – your drinking water from a fire hose idea … way too much and overflow occurs. You’ve been lucky with the kids to be able to tap into their lives, yet bring a story to life – or rather a series – and one that’s relatable.

    Having written about man’s escape from Africa and now having lived here and read about the peoples in the north and the crossing of the Bering Strait – life takes on a different form … there’s so much to early homo … and I’m sure Lucy is true to her roots … you have taken on a mammoth task there …

    The blogging fraternity – where stories are aired, as well as life tales – allows us to be creative – I’d have never have known this if I hadn’t started blogging – and your fire hose overflow here too! cheers Hilary

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I think we all work around our creative gaps. I’m a huge admirer of artists because I can’t create anything image-wise, and singers are at the top of my “wish I could do that” list. Guess I’m a Johnny One Note when it comes to the creative department.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I figure singers have a God-given talent so no biggie. Like great football players. Artists–that’s all fighting to put on a canvas what’s in their head. Like writers. That really impresses me.

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  11. To me the act of creation is the fundamental part of who I am. I value that part of me that can take a pile of things, ideas, words, and create something new. It is one of the core things that connects me to the divine, the world, the universe.

    You’re more creative than you give yourself credit for.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi Jacqui. I completely relate to this. I rarely feel creative, and never crafty. Once in a while, I might get a glimmer of creativity in my writing, but it has never come naturally. Thankfully, there are tools out there that can help spark creativity. Some of us need to keep our feet on the ground, too. Have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. You don’t even realize how creative you are, Jacqui! I’m glad you’ve found tools to unleash that side of yourself. Lucy is one of the most “real” characters I’ve ever read and while she was born from meticulous research, she is a fully formed product of your imagination. She’s one of those characters that reside in a place in my memory populated by other strong women like Elizabeth Bennett and Hermione Granger. Oh what interesting conversations they must have when I’m not listening in.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am awed, Karen. She does that to me, too–and I have her as that character in my next heroine’s dreams–but I am so excited it came across. Thank you for that wonderful start to my Wednesday.

      I miss you at the writer’s meetings (because I’m not there–not you!). I always enjoyed your feedback. Thanks for staying in touch via my blog!

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  14. Inspiring. You are right. Painters and musicians do seem more overtly creative. I would say writing is differently creative. I always believed that I don’t have a single creative bone in my body. But writing has taught me otherwise. And the satisfaction that any creative output provides is deep.

    Liked by 4 people

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