Wednesday, November 7, 2018

IWSG: The Creative Writers’ Evolution

Our Insecure Writers Support Group theme for November is “How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?” So glad you asked!!


I was born thinking outside (and around) the box of “what was” to the “what could be”. Perhaps because I’m a Gemini, creativity is the balance between my worlds of learning and imagination. As a child, I loved to embellish, to expand, to ask “What if?” I drew, I told stories, and eventually as a young teen, I began to write them down, a process that has never stopped evolving.

When I signed my first contracts in the ‘80s and ‘90s, my active role stopped at the acceptance of my manuscript. The publisher did the rest of the packaging and selling, and I was stuck with their interpretation of my work. There weren’t a lot of things an author could do at that point except spend time at signings and money on advertising. Then bookmarks became the big thing. When I designed my first bookmark and won a Romantic Times promotion award for it, a whole new layer of writing involvement opened, expanding hugely when I sold the first three books of my “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series to Pocket Books. When my editor solicited my involvement in the marketing of those books, an unexpectedly exciting level of ‘creative’ writing was born. I got to write the backblurb and teaser copy, plan and approve cover concepts and venture out of my techno-phobic world into posting a New Orleans-set research travelogue on Pocket’s debuting blog (This was big stuff for someone who wrote their first six books long hand and typed them on a Smith Corolla manual!).

My next big step was designing (with the help of my intrepid artist/critique partner pal Patricia Lazarus) my web site. Choosing graphics, making the logo, picking colors and fonts and backdrops and pictures . . . I fell in love with that deeper layer of expression. In college, I backed my English major with Communications and History minors never guessing the role they’d play in my future career. As much as I disliked public appearances, I adored helming behind the scenes promotional efforts (now with the aid of my intrepid virtual assistant, Florence Price!). Venturing into self-pubbing, there were covers to design, blogs to write complete with graphics and video support. I jumped enthusiastically into piecing together book trailers and playlists, banners and newsletters (finally!), each new texture adding an extra creative thrill of enjoyment to the actual butt-in-chair-hands-on-keys effort of writing. I’ve even learned to enjoy giving speeches . . . with lots of visual aids! If I hadn’t become a writer, these fulfilling avenues of expression would probably have remained dormant. But now they’re enough to keep both my creative Twin sides busy and fulfilled!

How about you? I can’t wait to discover your creative secrets, my fellow IWSG pals!


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the November 2nd posting of the IWSG will be Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

19 comments:

  1. There's a real creative side to marketing (like designing bookmarks and websites) that I hadn't really appreciated before. I loved that you typed your earlier manuscripts.

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    1. My poor fingers and wrists aren't as thrilled. Banging away on the non-ergonomic keys was murder! An don't get me started on editing . . .

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  2. I agree with our Cynical Sailor (above). I can't believe how much creativity goes into marketing. You've have some great help from Pat & Florence, such talented artists.

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    1. I am truly blessed with the great talent around me.

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  3. Hello, fellow romance author! (I think we're thin on the ground here among the sci-fi/fantasy folk.) My debut releases next week, so I'm in the thick of learning about marketing and all the opportunities for same within social media. In just six months I've learned so much about tech issues it makes my head buzz. Sounds like you're very creative in your marketing. I wish you happy writing in November.

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    1. Thank you, Sadira. Don't be afraid to explore. You don't know where it'll lead you.

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  4. I think the idea of creativity has shifted positively in recent years. There used to be so much focus on technical skills that the world was becoming bland. Nowadays creative degrees go a lot further. There are so many ways creativity can enhance a life and career. I have a technical degree but have been living off creativity for more than a decade and am loving it.

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    1. I am sooooo not techie (hey, rotary dial phone as a child and probably the last adult on earth to get a cell phone!). Thankfully, I have friends who push and encourage me.

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  5. I enjoy doing designing things with my website and writing, too. :)

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    1. Controlling my old web site was my greatest joy but when it moved over to Word Press . . . ewwwww! I'll gladly pay my VA to do the updating.

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  6. You are an inspiration, Nancy! I smiled at your mention of a Smith Corona manual. I did a lot of typing of all kinds of manuscripts on one of those. All the best to you!

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    1. And don't forget that first word processor that displayed three lines of text and could store up to 15 pages. Wow! We thought we were in heaven!

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing the point that marketing can be a creative process too. I'm not very good at that kind of creativity (don't quite have it for the visual arts), but it may help me motivate myself if I can at least think of it that way!

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    1. There are other ways you can express it - through excerpts and quote teasers. Baby steps . . .

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  8. The right picture, the right words--great point about Marketing being creative. Just starting to really dip my toes in and learn. Happy IWSG Day.

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  9. It sounds like you really relish the world of marketing, which is great. I think it's all too easy to regard it as a chore, but if we approach it creatively, we have more fun and create more engaging content too. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Nothing's worse than having to do a drudge job,so why not have fun!!

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  10. I've recently discovered just how much I enjoy baking. I don't mess with the recipes too much - not enough experience or willingness to waste ingredients - but it's still creating something delicious from a bunch of little things. And that's pretty exciting!

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