February 26, 2014 by Kiersi
This post was originally published on the group blog, Publishing Hub.com.
A couple of years ago, a writing instructor at a conference advised us on how to segment a day’s work for maximum effectiveness. He told us, “revise in the morning when you’re fresh, and write in the afternoon and evening, when you’re creative.”
Ever since, I’ve wondered a couple things. Is he right? Is the morning really the best time to do methodical work—editing, revising, rewriting? And is the evening really the bright center of our creative minds?
I came across the notion of segmented sleep a couple of years ago in an article by BBC News Magazine called “The Myth of the Eight Hour Sleep.” It cites a 90s study on natural human sleep patterns that may shed some light on when human minds are at their ripest for creative work. (more…)
Category How-to, The Writing Life | Tags: creative while tired,creativity,evening writing,morning writing,writing time | 2 Comments
October 23, 2013 by Kiersi
This post originally appeared on the networked YA blog, YA Stands, to which I am a semi-monthly contributor.
The Greeks were the first to label what it means to be creative. The muse, they called it, because the sensation of creativity–the experience of creating–seems to originate outside our own corporeal forms.
We feel passive in the process of creating, like vessels, or mediums, for the work of some external force. I hear myself saying this kind of thing all the time: “The story just wrote itself!” Our fingers touch the keyboard and they create of their own volition. (more…)
Category How-to | Tags: creativity,finding creativity,the muse | 1 Comment
April 12, 2012 by Kiersi
You know that one workout where you just can’t finish another bicycle crunch? Gasping and sweating and fighting back the cramping in your muscles, you do another push-up, another minute on the treadmill–you do it because you know it’s worth it. You’ll have an excuse to eat that slice of German chocolate cake, you’ll feel that rush of endorphins all day, and maybe after a few months you’ll see that muffin-top vanish like a bad dream. Right? It’s hard work, but it’ll pay off in the end. You can feel it in your bones, even when you can’t fully extend your hamstrings for the next two days.
I’ve been talking with quite a few fellow authors lately who are in some sort of creative vacuum–unable to finish a story, unable to bridge the gap between Act Two and Act Three (okay maybe that’s me), unable to even start writing that First Great Novel but knowing it’s in there–and it feels a lot like that extra thigh I picked up last winter that’s starting to make me question my lifestyle. “Where am I going wrong? Why can’t I defeat this?” (more…)
Category Commentary, How-to | Tags: creativity,writer's block,writing exercises | No Comments
December 8, 2011 by Kiersi
So I’m open to help you move, Mike.
I’ll watch an episode of LOST while cooking hash browns and maple-pineapple sausage.
Why not butcher hundreds of digital deer at the arcade?
While I’m at it, I’ll send out query letters to two potential literary agents–the talented Elisabeth Weed of Weed Literary, and the fabulously-wonderful sounding Alyssa Henkin of Trident Media Group (and sweat and moan and pull my hair out, hoping I will impress them).
I’ve been beating myself up over and over again the last couple days because I simply don’t feel brilliant. Thank you, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, for telling me:
It’s OKAY not to be brilliant every day. It’s OKAY to not have every word be a masterpiece.
It’s not your fault.
And thanks to Austen Woods for showing me this wonderful TED talk.
A new way to think about creativity
Category Uncategorized | Tags: creativity,literary agents | 2 Comments
September 29, 2011 by Kiersi
It’s just my luck that my best ideas hit hardest right when I’m about to doze off. Bam! Like lightning right through my skull, blazing hot in the darkness.
I reach blindly for the iPad on the nightstand. I knock over a book. I forgot the cord was still plugged in, charging from the day’s note-taking (and playing Dragonvale or Butterfly Farm or whatever), so it makes an awful sound. Ryan is asleep, and mutters something.
Finally I have it in my hands. When I press the home button, the screen glows like a sunspot. I double-click and drag the brightness down as far as it’ll go. Then I write down a few sentences:
“Like a creaky old wheel or the rusty hinge on a doorframe.” (more…)
Category In Progress | Tags: beginnings,boy pirate,creativity,the art of writing,works in progress | 2 Comments
September 21, 2011 by Kiersi
I’ve had a hard time getting back into the swing of writing since my back injury. I can write for hours—even days—on end when I’m in the thick of a story. The side-effect of this full immersion technique is that without immersion, I tend to forget. How does Leila from Kor narrate, again? What are her motives? How does she respond to situations?
I don’t want the work to show my disconnect, so I decided the best strategy was to ease myself back into the writer’s chair (literally and figuratively). Start with a few short stories to work my way back to “able,” and then use the creative momentum to work on Kor, or How I Met Paula Wolfe, or any of those other as-yet-unfinished tales I’ve promised to myself.
To start on the right foot today, I wrote this short piece, titled Angel First. (more…)
Category Writing/Free Reads | Tags: characterization,creativity,short-shorts,the art of writing | 1 Comment
September 12, 2011 by Kiersi
I wrote the original “outline” for Kor some time ago, maybe two years ago, after a breathtaking dream. In the dream, we discovered a galaxy that was no more than a column of purple gas in space, and a barren planet with hidden beauty—underground oases that feel like something from “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” There was epic love: the kind that has no physical manifestation in the traditional sense, but forms through a genuine kinship of spirit.
I’ve reached the 20,000 word mark. (more…)
Category In Progress | Tags: creativity,Kor,science fiction,storytelling,works in progress | 2 Comments