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Invite Creativity

Hello writers and friends. Let's look at a concept that is usually summarized in a word-- creativity. Some have established personal definitions such as the ability to create new or original ideas. For me, creativity is the ability to recognize possibilities in patterns, rules, or systems. It's the appreciation of what is, but the hope in what could be. This is why I love storytelling. Storytelling can recount facts, places, events, and people but it can also introduce new worlds, ideas, or possibilities. Creativity is a curious art. Creativity seeks to explore and discover instead of simply accepting what was given.

For writers, this curiosity can be valuable. In fact, some may say it's vital to the writing process. When you complete a first draft, you have placed all of your ideas on paper. Everything is established or is it? Through revisions, you may develop more questions or explore alternate possibilities, and that's okay. Sometimes, we've worked so hard getting the ideas out that we are afraid or simply do not want to start again. Our made up plot has now been inscribed in stone and cannot be changed, or we've developed an attachment to our sequence of events that we no longer wish to seek new patterns.

Your writing is a tapestry. You have threads (plots and subplots) that are woven together to create a larger canvas. You choose your colors (characters and setting). By the stroke of the pen, your picture begins to form for the reader. Creativity is not necessarily creating the impossible. Instead, it may be more about discovering the possible within the right circumstances. In the natural world, most people cannot fly, but in a fantasy world it is a vital mode of transportation. In the natural world, plants do not necessarily have wings, but in a science fiction novel it is a unique characteristic to specific characters in the story. In the natural world, the odds of you winning the lottery and finding true love on the same day may be slim, but in a romance plot it may be the exact formula to finding a happy ending.

I encourage you, invite creativity into your process. Recognize that much like the natural world, there are multiple paths you can take that may lead you to the same destination. However, as writers you have the unique ability to see alternate patterns and possibilities that may fit perfectly in the story you are telling. Reflect on your goals. What genre are you writing in? What possibilities are available in your genre?

Consider: Is creativity a skill, a talent, or both?

Conversation: What helps you foster creativity in your work?

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