All posts under Creativity

Process Journals are Invaluable, Just Ask Steinbeck

open notebook and fountain pen

“Here is the diary of a book and it will be interesting to see how it works out.” That’s the first sentence of a process journal that John Steinbeck kept when writing The Grapes of Wrath. As we know, The Grapes of Wrath worked out rather well–it’s a masterpiece. Because of that, it[…]

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What’s Your Answer to the Bead Journal Question?

necklace of unique green beads

Look up ‘bead journal’ online and you will find images of journals adorned with seed beads. Or references to a yearly bead journal project where, apparently, you keep track of what you make with seed beads. Neither of these interest me. Rather, I have benefitted, as I hope you might,[…]

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Insights from the Golden Ages of Creative Genius

3 clear light bulbs suspended in a cloud-filled sky

What do Athens, Hangzhou, Florence, Edinburgh, Calcutta, Vienna, and Silicon Valley have in common? Give up? They are all places that author Eric Weiner visited in his quest to understand the creative genius, defined as an individual “with the ability to come up with ideas that are new, surprising, and[…]

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Is Nothing But the Truth in Memoir Even Possible?

vintage scene - open suitcase, two empty frames, roses in vase, tie, camera, scarf

If you believe memoirists James Frey and Misha Defonseca, truth is subjective. James Frey invented some scenes in A Million Little Pieces and exaggerated others. Misha Defonseca fabricated her entire story, justifying the hoax nine years later with the mind-boggling claim that the book was “not actual reality, but was my reality….”[…]

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How to Write a Memoir: 7 Helpful Tips

black pencil on blank pages

So you are finally sitting down, pen or keyboard close at hand, and you are going to start writing your memoir. You are convinced that there are more benefits than liabilities to writing memoir, and you know how you are going to handle your fear of alienating everyone you have[…]

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Why Your Memoir Needs a Theme and How to Choose One

glass ball with upside down reflection of natural outdoor scene

Let’s be honest. No one, not even your children and grandchildren, care about the dusty, dry details of your life. What will captivate readers is if you are able to extract meaning from the stories you tell, meaning that resonates and elevates your story from the personal to the universal.[…]

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What is the Memoir Writer’s Greatest Fear?

wicker garbage can filled with crumpled white paper

If anyone has done a survey, I don’t know about it. I have no statistics to back me up and couldn’t begin to tell you what fears two through five might be. But thanks to readers’ comments after last week’s post, my own small experience, and some books I’ve read,[…]

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5 Creative Ways to Work with Your Dreams

dream interpretation-towers in the sky

Robert Johnson’s 4 Steps to Better Dream Interpretation is an excellent process for understanding a dream. In addition to his process, or in place of it if you prefer, this post is about creative ways to work with your dreams. The ideas come from The Art of Dreaming by Jungian[…]

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