Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Creative Genius-- following in someone else's footsteps

Last night was my "out" night-- the night when I leave my small kids at home with my husband and spend sometime being a regular person. Not "Mom," not "Honey," just me. Usually I go to my favorite yoga class for some relaxing torture! (the teacher is tough!) If I were really, really good, I'd hole up in the local library and spill all my thoughts and ideas onto paper and be a writer.

But I'm not that good.... (yet).

So last night since I wasn't feeling up for being relaxed by means of strenuous stretching, I paid a visit to my favorite thrift store. While browsing the book section, I came across the book "How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci" by Michael J. Gelb.

It's an amazing book! And I'm only a few chapters into it. While reading the first chapter I came across a couple of paragraphs I wanted to share today for my post!

"Although it is hard to overstate Leonardo da Vinci's brilliance, recent scientific research reveals that you probably underestimate your own capabilities. You are gifted with virtually unlimited potential for learning and creativity."

"Baby ducks learn to survive by imitating their mothers. Learning through imitation is fundamental to many species, including humans. As we become adults, we have a unique advantage: we can choose whom and what to imitate. We can also consciously choose new models to replace the old ones we outgrow. It makes sense, therefore, to choose the best 'role models' to guide and inspire us toward the realization of our potential."

Isn't refreshing to hear that we underestimate our own creative capabilities? Too often we get down on ourselves and think we are "not enough"-- not creative enough, not talented enough, not persuasive enough....The truth is that whereever you are in your current life (published multiple times or not at all), the greatest resources of your creativity are still untapped. You are only beginning. But you won't discover more than the proverbial "tip of the iceberg" unless you keep working at.

The second quote was an eye-opener for me because I had never considered have writers as role models. Not that we need to be a carbon copy of their writing style and form, but that we follow their writing habits and perserverance. For instance, last year at BYU's Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference, I attended a session by Claudia Mills. She shared her writing ritual-- Swiss Miss cocoa, a one-hour sand timer, a pen, and a notebook while sitting on her bed in her bathROBE. What a great ritual. What's my ritual? Uh,....I'll get back to you on that. Great writers have great habits, make great choices, collect mountains of rejections, and keep on going. Pick one and follow their example. By doing that you make your own writing life better.

Happy Writing!


Kiirsi said...

Ooh, thrift store books...I can't even walk in the door. I walk out absolutely weighed down with books. Thanks for the inspirational thoughts! Oh, and I'm really curious...Claudia has a bed in her bathroom???

Sarah said...

Ha! Ha! What a goof! That's a classic. Thanks for pointing it out to me so I could fix it.

NO, Claudia doesn't not have a bed in her bathroom. But she does have a bathROBE.

hee, hee. I'll be giggling all day!

Anji Sandage said...

Who would I pick as a role modle!? Gosh there are so many!