This month, I’m sharing some wisdom from Conscious Creativity: look, connect, create by British visual artist and actor Philippa Stanton (Leaping Hare Press, 2018).
“‘Getting it wrong’ is so often tied up with personal fears, judgements and disappointments that we often wilfully use to justify not moving forwards. The fear of getting it wrong, getting rejected and feeling like a failure, multiple times over, is not something anyone wishes to bring on and embrace, but it is one of the realities of creative progression that we have to accept.”
I’ve been reading Conscious Creativity: look, connect, create by Philippa Stanton (Leaping Hare Press, 2018), a British visual artist whose goal in this book is to spark creativity — whether in visual art, writing, music, or another form — by giving readers ways to experience and capture the everyday differently. So for September, a few quotes from Conscious Creativity.
“There is no definitive way to create your personal working structure as everyone is so different; I work in quite a chaotic, childlike way, for example, even though my fantasy version of me works in a calm, minimalist way. You might be someone who works best with neat and tidy order, but with a fantasy about the excitement of allowing some chaos into your life. Whichever way you lean, allow yourself to lean that way, but always keep your fantasy or idea on your shoulder. Your structure or plan should contain by aspiration and achievability.”
A quote I find particularly apt at the present stage of the WIP (work in progress):
“I think the hard work of writing is just how long a book is terrible before it’s good.”
— Leigh Bardugo, American fantasy and science fiction novelist, b. 1975, quoted by Louise Penny
“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”
– Enid Bagnold, (1889-1981), British novelist and author of National Velvet
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.”
— Abraham Maslow, psychologist known for his theory of the hierarchy of needs (1908-1970)
I’m continuing my month of sharing quotes I found in Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant (2016).
“Originality is what everybody wants, but there’s a sweet spot. If it’s not original enough, it’s boring or trite. If it’s too original, it may be hard for the audience to understand. The goal is to push the envelope, not tear the envelope.”
– Rob Minkoff, b. 1962, American filmmaker whose films include The Lion King and Stuart Little
As I mentioned last week, this month I’m sharing a few quotes I came across in Originals: How Non-conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant (2016), a look at how individuals bring new ideas to fruition — or fail to do so — particularly in organizations.
“No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader. When I begin a poem I don’t know—I don’t want a poem that I can tell was written toward a good ending. … You’ve got to be the happy discoverer of your ends.”
– Robert Frost, American poet, 1874-1963
Last month, during my trip to Seattle to celebrate the launch of CHAI ANOTHER DAY, the 4th Spice Shop mystery, I stayed with an old friend from college who had just celebrated a birthday. Her husband arranged a surprise party during my visit, a lovely Sunday morning brunch in their back garden. One of the men at the gathering recommended Originals: How Non-conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant (2016), a look at how individuals bring new ideas to fruition — or fail to do so — particularly in organizations. But though it isn’t focused on artistic creativity, it did include some quotes I want to share with you this month.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
– Scott Adams, cartoonist and author, creator of Dilbert and other works
“Lean back and ask: ‘What would it be like to live my character’s life hour by hour, day by day?’ While memory views whole chunks of life, imagination takes fragments, slivers of dream and chips of experience that seem unrelated, then finds hidden connections and merges them into a whole.”
— Robert McKee, screenwriting teacher and author of Story
(photo: The Bovine Bibiliophile, at The Bookstore, Dillon, MT)
“Fiction is to the grown man what play is to the child; it is there that he changes the atmosphere and tenor of his life.”
Robert Louis Stevenson, Learning to Write 60 (1888; repr. 1920).