Tag Archives: creativity

#WW How To Be The Perfect Writer

7 Oct

The other day, I went to pick up my father at the airport. Knowing it might be a long wait, I decided to listen to NPR, a favorite station of mine. The theme of the day was creativity, and considering how suiting it was, I knew I would love it no matter what, but much to my writer’s delight, the main speaker, Sir Ken Robinson, blew me away.

Sir Ken Robinson actually is a “sir,” knighted by the queen herself due to his contributions in the arts in general and in regards to education. To this day, he’s even the most popular TED talk out there. Naturally, I felt compelled by him, but one quote said during the discussion has not left me, nor do I believe it ever will.

“Practice doesn’t make us perfect, but it helps you realize you don’t have to be.”

The phrase stuck me when he said it, and the phrase strikes me now as I type it out, really feeling the words for what they are. Let them sit with you for a moment if you will.

We, for most of our lives, are pounded with the phrase “practice makes perfect.” We are told failure is more or less the worst thing that can happen to you, and if you fail, it is 100% your fault and something to feel shame from. The concept “practice makes perfect” is disheartening, and at its core, it prevents us from taking risks, from reattempting, and mainly, from growing. Now, I’m not saying that practice isn’t great. Of course it is great. But weighing “practice” against “perfect” is where we go wrong.

No one is perfect. I would have to bet J.K. Rowling even finds spelling errors in her work, especially after sending it off to her editor, but I doubt she tells herself she’ll never try to write again because she forgot the “t” in “the” and Microsoft didn’t catch it because “he” is also a word.

See? Even programs aren’t perfect—and they’re literally designed to be.

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A part of art is failure, because a part of the soul is failure.

We seek out imperfections in heroes and heroines because they are flawed just like we are. It is what makes them human, and it also why we find ourselves able to love them.

Practice is vital, continuing to hone your art is necessary, and striving for better is always the ultimate goal. But do not allow yourself to be discouraged by imperfections. Find the beauty in them. Overcome the ones you can. Strive forward knowing you’ve grown from them. And realize, none of us our perfect. I mean…none of us are perfect. 😉

The “perfect” writer is not perfect at all.

And now…a video from Sir Ken Robinson. (It’s his original TED talk that became very popular, and it’s about the education system, so it’s not necessarily about the topic I discussed above, but I thought you all might like to listen to it, since I just talked about him.)

~SAT

Help me out and vote for Minutes Before Sunset on Dalitopia Media for a chance to win a free book trailer. All you have to do is click this Facebook link and “like” the photo on Facebook. Any and all “likes” are appreciated. 🙂

I still have 1 Halloween-themed box set of The Timely Death Trilogy available. Each box set includes 3 signed books, a signed bookmark, a bat or spider ring, and a personalized note from me. They cost $40.00 with free shipping in the U.S. Email me at shannonathompson@aol.com if you’re interested.

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Also this October, the paperback of Death Before Daylight releases on October 19! Two days later, on October 21, you can come see me at Headrush Coffee and Tea Roasters in Kansas City, Missouri for a paranormal talk and book signing.  It will be tons of fun!

bixserMinutes Before Sunset: book 1

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

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Death Before Daylight: book 3

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Guest Post: The Passion – she is contagious

12 Mar

Shannon, here, for an introduction:

As many of you know, I don’t normally accept volunteers for guest posts. Instead, I go out and find writers that I ask to post on my blog. I also sometimes ask those who participate on my author Facebook page or on here to contribute to a guest post as a way to thank those readers and writers for contributing to my websites. That’s what today is: a big thank you to author Sorin Suciu for writing the lovely post you are about to read below. (Fun fact: I asked him to be a guest blogger after he solved a riddle I posted.)

Passion can be a journey that develops and grows overtime, often blurring the edges in between interests. This is a story of a writer who fell for music.

I grew up with a black and white TV set that only received two channels. On the one hand, there was the Romanian television – a government controlled enterprise that broadcasted for a few hours a day, and which was largely a communist propaganda machine. On the other hand, there was the Bulgarian television – which had better movies and cartoons, and a more forgiving schedule. By the time I was eight years old, I could get by in Bulgarian, mostly thanks to said cartoons.

But I digress. For all their faults, every once in a while, the Romanian television would allow a true gem to get past the merciless eyes of censorship. Amongst them, some of Sergiu Celibidache’s performances.

As a child, I remember regarding this brilliant conductor (whose last name is a tongue twister even by Romanian standards) as a sort of clown who monkeyed around while the orchestra played beautiful music. It might sound frivolous, but to my young self an adult acting like a child was the best thing that the world had to offer. I was absolutely enthralled by his performances, and I would often try to mimic them, much to the delight of my parents.

It would put me in a good light to claim that I was responding to the beautiful mathematics of classical music. In hindsight, however, I guess what I was really reacting to was the passion. A passion so pure and intense that it caused transcendence. The music was there, of course, but passion was without a doubt the main vehicle. Without this vehicle, I doubt my love affair with music would have been anything more than superficial.

Let’s watch together Celibidache’s rendition of Ravel’s Bolero. This is a rare video, where the entire footage is dedicated to the conductor, and with very good cause too, as you will see. Watch him as he undergoes the transformation from stolid Professor Severus Snape, to exuberant Liberace.

Join him in this journey and, once we meet on the other side, tell me how you like classical music now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy5Ve3338-E

In the end, here is a tip for readers and writers alike.

Next time you read a book by your favourite author, try to change your focus from the action to the one who is doing the writing. Imagine the author conducting the performance, going through mood swings, getting a glint in the eye as something unexpected is about to happen, smiling as a subtle joke is being crafted, and lying back on the chair as another great chapter is finished.

Writing, I learn more and more every day, is about delivery just as much as it is about creativity. And what better delivery mechanism than passion? Nurture your passion as much as you nurture your creativity.

And don’t forget, passion is contagious. It’s the reason you became an artist in the first place, is it not?

Sorin Suciu is the author of The Scriptlings. Click the image below for more information. After that, share your passions below. Do you have more than one? Do they often grow from one another? Cover_+_Label~SAT

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