As you will learn about me in the coming months, I am obsessed with superheroes. I’ve loved them all of my life, and one of the most interesting things about a new superhero (or villain) is their origin story. A good origin story is not only memorable, but also gives you an inside peek at what makes that hero tick. Whether it is Bruce Wayne’s obsessive, never-ending war on crime as a result of seeing his parents gunned down in Crime Alley, or the infinite regret that Peter Parker has when he realizes that he could have stopped his Uncle Ben’s killer with his radioactive spider-powers, a good origin story sets the tone for the character.
I don’t want to regurgitate what is already said on the “About the Site” page here, but I do want to talk about what I why I’ve put this site together and what I hope to achieve with this site.
I’ve been a writer almost as long as I’ve been able to read. I’ve been doing it professionally for over 25 years. I also have been teaching creative writing on-and-off as a side hustle for about 20 years. And out of all of the topics I’ve taught during these classes, My favorite is a class I call “Creative Thinking for Creative Writers.” Because creativity is my groove.
I have always been fascinated with the creative process and finding the answer to the question: “Where do you get your ideas?” This is a trite question that many authors get bored with answering, but I never get tired of hearing what they have to say about it.
This led me to reading volumes of Paris Review interviews (back in the days where they weren’t online and you had to request them at the local library) so I could get a peek at the creative processes of these authors. These interviews also provided snapshots into the writing life that just fascinated me. I obsessively seek out more information about the lives of successful authors and have become a collector of author trivia.
Weird Facts About Writing
I know facts about writers that few other mortals know. For example, and this is not a particularly interesting example, Charles Dickens needed the smell of rotting apples present in order to write, so he always had a rotting apple sitting in a drawer of his writing desk.
In short, what I discovered was that ideas come from everywhere, and no one’s process is the same. Learning about the habits of writers led me to learning more about the habits of other creative people such as musicians, painters, inventors, and even scientists. I began seeing similarities between the writing process and bringing a creative endeavor in any field to life.
I love learning how writers come up with ideas, how they get into trouble with those ideas, and how these ideas evolve and change in order for them to resolve the these troubles. I like knowing all of the tips and tricks they use to force these rambunctious ideas to do their bidding.
The similarities are just as fascinating as the differences in the writing process. All writers are intimidated by the blank page. And all writing is hard work. To write, and write well, is one of the most difficult jobs out there, but also is one of the most satisfying. There is love and hate all scrambled up inside any writer’s brain, and it is a comfort to know that everyone feels like I do from time-to-time. And when I run into a writing-related challenge that just stumps me, that there are limitless ways to work around it.
The Focus of This Website
This content on this site will tend to focus my favorite parts of writing: the idea generation and first draft phases of the process. But the site will also explore the work habits of writers, making time to write in the middle of a busy life, and removing barriers and blockages from the writing process. Most importantly, Creative Thinking for Writers shares what I have learned (and still am learning) and to express my love for the most difficult job in the universe.
So join me on this journey through the creative writing process, where I will provide you with writing tips and tricks, interesting facts about authors and other creative individuals, as well as contribute some creative thinking tools and resources to make the voyage just a little bit easier.