I’m always on the lookout for a good book, especially when it’s something that I think will enhance my practice as a writer. I just stumbled on this book about creativity and although I’m in the early stages of the book, there is so much that I can apply to being a teacher-writer. This book addresses the idea that creativity isn’t the result of a lightning bolt experience where inspiration is assigned an almost magic-like quality. In fact, Garnett recognizes that a lot of assumptions that we make about creativity are actually myths and that in fact, a lot of work goes into developing creative ideas.
This resonated with me because it’s easy to see other writers and assume that there is some kind of special trait or experience or genius that they possess and that can be disheartening when you’re sitting at your computer staring at a blinking cursor or a blank notebook page. It’s easy to assume that our inspiration is lacking. I know that I’ve questioned my own creativity on many projects when I should have instead been focused on my effort. Putting in the work is necessary and that’s a message that I need to remind myself of on a daily basis.
Last year, I participated in a book group that discussed The War of Art by Steven Pressman and a similar message was shared in that text. You basically have to show up and do the work. If I’m going to be a writer, I can’t sit around waiting for something to happen, but I have to make things happen.