Month: August 2014

Creativity and Relativity

“Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.” –Albert Einstein

This makes it sound as if anyone can be creative. Isn’t it funny how it took a genius like Einstein to tell us that you don’t have to be a genius to be creative? Instead, creative genius depends on the ability to combine random, unrelated ideas in new and useful ways.

Einstein believed the air was full of ideas. It’s up to the writer to yank those floating ideas out of the stratosphere and into a manuscript. Sometimes we expect good ideas to parachute down to our page. These are the days when pigs will fly faster than ideas will fly. The more we chase creativity, the more it eludes us.

There are some surprise ways to “find” creativity though. Studies show that ideas come after you stop straining for them. Keep in mind this is AFTER your hard work of research, not instead of. Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity, so he knew a little something about creativity. Just look at his hair-do. You’ll see that he studied so hard that he wanted to pull his hair out. But that’s not when his theories were developed. His theories came to him whenever he played the piano. In the middle of a song, he would run upstairs and lock himself in a room…for two weeks.

After you’ve studied your limit, which will most likely be less than two weeks, it’s time for a nap or something mindless to occupy your time. This is when the good ideas become buoyant and begin to float around. Your job is to be ready-ready to record these brain flashes. And that’s what they are, just flashes. Grab them while you can and expand on them later. Don’t judge them, just accept them.

When plucking an idea from the sky, you might be able to relate it to another one that at first appeared to be miscellaneous. It’s this capacity to transform old ideas into new insights which makes you feel like a genius. The connectivity of existing ideas makes a person creative. The ideas were there all along. And so was your creativity, by the way.

Check out some more encouragement and writing tips in my latest book WRITE, BABY, WRITE: You Can Do It! Available at Amazon ($2.99)

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Mr. Write

25th Anniversary! A quarter of a century. When you put it that way, it sounds like a long time. Today, my husband and I celebrate twenty-five years of marriage, our silver anniversary. We might not want to mention the silver too much though. Because of my paint fetish, entire rooms in our home change colors with the seasons. The downstairs looks as if the Jolly Green Giant scattered Skittles on the walls. My husband handles my painting sprees well. The only time I saw him visibly flinch was when I sponge-painted our master bedroom metallic silver. We’ve been celebrating this silver anniversary for some time now, and I get the feeling he’s looking forward to another year soon.

I certainly married my Mr. Right. Not only that, I married my Mr. Write. Randy is my agent, my beta reader, webmaster, social media manager, and everything that I’m not when it comes to writing. I still haven’t figured out exactly who “they” is, but “they” say writers should choose one person to whom they are writing and write for that person only. Randy is that person that I write to and for. He’s the one. He is the second set of eyes for all my written material. Sometimes those words are for our eyes only and the rest of the world never gets to see them.

Every writer needs someone she can trust, no matter what pops out of her fingers onto the paper. That can be a tall order. Randy readily volunteered to lead Team Shelly, even when our team only had two people. Besides my writing confidante, Randy is the gatekeeper who protects my writing psyche. He is a real life Billy Goat’s Gruff for anyone trying to cross the bridge to me. The trolls don’t get to pass. I receive only the glowing book reviews from him. Imagine my surprise when Amazon’s marketing referred me to my own book, thinking I would like to read it and buy it. I was very surprised that Tornado Valley: Huntsville’s Havoc, received four out of five stars. However, what’s most important to me is that my husband still thinks I am five out of five stars.

Happy Anniversary, Randy! Thank you for twenty-five adventurous years. I eagerly await our Golden Anniversary. I wonder if Behr Satin paint comes in gold?

Check out some more encouragement and writing tips in my latest book WRITE, BABY, WRITE: You Can Do It! Available at Amazon ($2.99)