Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Guest Blog On Creativity By Katie Alender

Today we have Katie Alender joining us.
She's the author of the fabulous new book Bad Girls Don't Die coming out April 21
and you know what she's pretty fabulous herself!
Read and Enjoy!
Yesterday, I was talking to one of my co-workers, and it came out that I had written a book. He asked what kind it was. When I described it, he said, “Ohhhh, fiction. So you’re creative.” He then went on to tell me about his own book idea, which is non-fiction. And I thought, you're writing a book, too... you don't think you're creative?

I know a lot of people who seem to think there’s a magical gene for “creativity”—some people have it and some don’t. Those who have it live as writers, artists, musicians; those who don’t are accountants, bankers, corporate executives.

The thing is, I don’t think this is true at all. I think every single person has the potential to be as creative as they want to be. The problem is, you have to take time to train that part of your brain. It’s not really training it how to be creative, but rather, that it’s okay to be creative.

A lot of the people who claim they aren’t creative follow it up by saying they’re more logical. This bit really confuses me—creativity means taking the energy to look at things from different angles. What could be more logical than solving a problem by considering all of the various angles?

I don’t mean to sound like a creativity snob. It’s actually kind of the other way. I don’t like to hear people say they don’t have the capacity to be creative. I don’t want to keep people out of the creativity club—I want to throw the doors open and invite everyone inside. It’s just that there are people who think they have no place inside.

As a writer, I think words have tremendous power. Especially when we tell ourselves things about the way we are or aren’t, or things we can and can’t do. “I’m bad at math” or “I’m too fat” or “I couldn’t write a whole book.” The thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that not only are most things well within my reach, but sometimes it’s a lot more fun to try the things I’m not sure I’ll be good at. Because then it’s an adventure, and you get to feel proud of yourself if you succeed.

Another one of my co-workers decided, when he was well into his grown-up years, that he wanted to learn how to play the violin. His teacher seemed really worried when he struggled with his lessons, until he finally asked her why.

“I’m afraid you’ll get frustrated and quit,” she said.

He replied, “Are you kidding? I’m having the time of my life!”

It took me two years and many drafts of writing my novel, BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE, to realize that I might actually be able to sell a book and be a published author. It was my husband who put the idea in my head. Before that, I honestly thought that it was a goal that was totally beyond my reach. I thought there was no way someone like me could achieve something like that. But then I decided to try, and now I’m just days away from the release of my book.

So, do you consider yourself creative? Do you want to be a writer, an artist, a musician? Or do you want to be a banker, a mathematician, an insurance broker? Whatever you want to be, you can use all of the tools you possess—whether you think they’re creative or logical or what—and give it your all. Don’t limit yourself to being one way or another, and don’t hold yourself back.

And always, always be open to new adventures. It took me too long to realize that that’s where most of the fun is!

Thanks so much for having me as a guest, Jill!
Thanks for being here!

1 comment:

Katie Alender said...

Jill, it has been a total pleasure meeting you. Thanks for letting me spout off my opinions!