“I’m not creative…”

A woman I met in Escondido – a smart, clued-in, driven business woman – told me this, with conviction. Made me want to cry, seeing her belief, and the sadness behind it.

She’s not alone – I’ve heard variations on this theme everywhere from Manchester to Malibu – and it’s absolutely not true. And, you’ll understand, a serious loss to individuals, to business, to the economy and the world in general. Creativity is a given – a gift we all have – but often the gift we never unwrap.

Are you aware that creativity is hard-wired into humans? It’s the gift of our evolved brains to compensate for the loss of physical and subtle mental capacities of other mammals. What we call talent, or flair, or special gift is just the blatant, early demonstration of one particular ability. Mozart, Byron, Mendelssohn, Boris Becker, Leonardo (da Vinci, and possibly de Caprio), Shirley Temple, Usain Bolt, Pavarotti, John Lennon…

Do you realize, though, that each of us can find the talent lurking inside us, even if it’s not of world-stunning levels. I’m no Matisse, but I discovered that I had the potential to draw well… when I was almost forty. If I’d studied and practised, maybe I’d have reached some kind of standard: a very long way short of the French master, but competent and pleasing. I had a passable singing voice when I was a child, but became too afraid of singing after a decade of being told to shut up, and that was that. More fool me for listening, of course, but perhaps you recognize the scenario? My sister had great promise as a writer (I discovered school notebooks full of stories), but her dyslexia wasn’t diagnosed till she was nearly 50 and she grew up believing she was thick.

How many people do you know have lost or abandoned an early promise because their teachers or parents or circumstances demanded a focus on “a proper job”?

Do you want to unwrap your gift now? Better late than never – and it’s never too late. Mary Wesley wasn’t published till she was 70, and she had a long string of best-selling novels through her last two decades. I was 40 when I wrote my first bit of fiction (since I was 12, anyway), and I won a best-business-journalist award with it. You will know of other examples, I have no doubt.

Make 2013 the year you discover your talent for creativity. Make 2013 the year you start your novel, your screenplay, your opera, your art. Make the time to unwrap your gift, at long last, and understand how rich a gift you have.

There are workshops coming up in Brasov (Romania) and various venues in the UK in March, too. Details here.

Whre do you get your ideas, Oceanside, fiction writing course, fiction, talent, creative writing course, creativity
Usain Bolt’s talent is undeniable. But do you realise what a gift you may have locked up inside you?
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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The place to get inspiration for your writing

English: Collage of photos of authors
Collage of authors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Where do you get your ideas?”

This is the question most asked of writers, at conferences, book launches, festivals – wherever authors meet would-be authors.

For those who spit out ideas without really trying, it’s a tough question to answer – the ideas just come, usually too many of them to use.

If you’re itching to have a go at a novel or a screenplay, but can’t find an idea to fire you up, it’s frustrating to be told that ideas are everywhere. But don’t be fooled by writers who tell you the ideas are flocking like ants around honey. Long-established, successful, famous authors hit blocks too. Think of the agonising pressure on a best-selling writer whose Muse has shoved off; facing the blank page when the publisher is thumping a desk shouting ‘deadline!’ and the advance has been spent already…

Blocks happen at any stage. The central idea for the new book before a word is written; part-way through the book when the story runs out of steam; a hero who won’t co-operate; no hint of an ending; a good main plot but no subplots; wooden characters; horrible dialogue… the bear pits lurk on every page.

This site is devoted to showing you how to release your imagination from its cage, unblock the flow of ideas, and touch a spark to the blue paper of your creativity.

Now the metaphors are nicely mixed, my work here is done.

Tell me what you need, what you don’t want to be told, where you’re stuck and I’ll try to address your particular problems as best I can.