Many years ago, I began coaching aspiring authors who (mostly) wanted to write nonfiction books. I began asking these clients to jot down their creative history, something I’d done for myself. For example, maybe I hadn’t written stories in kindergarten, but I’d designed elaborate wardrobes for my adventurous families of paper dolls. I dabbled in music (rather badly) and took violin lessons from an old man with thick glasses and tufts of white hair. He lived on Mozart Street—no kidding!
I also studied dance with a Russian-trained teacher—no nonsense, please! That experience taught me about flow, and when I was “in the zone” no inner critic could spoil the joy of creativity. One of the best gifts I ever got. I eventually discovered that discipline is transferable, that mental skills learned in dance training would benefit my writing life.
Although no one ever told me I wrote well, an inner urge led me to start writing articles in my mid-twenties when I was at home raising kids. Later, I moved on to nonfiction books and ghostwriting, still believing I wasn’t particularly creative. Don’t we make these distinctions in writing? We have nonfiction, and then there’s creative writing. What a myth that turned out to be.
In the spirit of nothing is wasted, when my coaching clients pieced together a creative history, their confidence went up a notch or two. I heard it in their voices and saw it in their work. They had connected the creative dots.
Isn’t it fun to know the creativity expressed in one pursuit doesn’t wander off and die when we’re done with a project, but just pops up somewhere new? Makes me kinda glad to be alive!
Virginia McCullough's debut Harlequin Heartwarming novel, Girl in the Spotlight, is scheduled for a June 2017 release. For more information, visit her website at www.VirginiaMcCullough.com.