Putting creativity at the centre of our lives

Stephanella Walsh shook off the corporate shackles and discovered her creative identity

Today I’m honoured to be interviewed on Stephanella Walsh’s blog The Creative Identity. Steph has a deep understanding of creativity and asked some pretty searching questions, which I greatly enjoyed getting my teeth into.

And even if that doesn’t tempt you, I urge you to check her blog out because Steph is an inspirational lady. Two years ago, she was reading her latest pension statement and decided she had spent enough of her life in a deadening corporate career. She handed in her notice and struck out on a whole new journey – to rediscover her love of writing and to put it at the centre of her life. Now, she helps others to do the same with her thriving blog community, courses and competitions. Her first book, Slaughter is the Best Medicine, is out later this year.

I’m honoured she wanted to feature me on her blog. Thank you, Steph.

And as always, I’m insanely curious to know – have you taken steps to make more room for creativity in your life?

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  1. #1 by Jemi Fraser on June 3, 2010 - 12:18 am

    I find I use a lot of creativity in my job. Teaching is great for that! I’m always looking for new and fun ways to help them learn 🙂

  2. #2 by Jonathan Moore on June 3, 2010 - 5:29 pm

    I’m interested that you cited a sentence that is invisble to the reader as a measure of success. I know the whole murder your darlings thing leads you away from purple prose, but there’s a place for a poetic sentence isn’t there? I sentence that balances expression with economy of words.

    • #3 by Roz Morris on June 3, 2010 - 9:07 pm

      @Jonathan – perhaps I didn’t explain myself that clearly. What I’m talking about is the kind of writing that is so vivid, and speaks so internally to the reader, that the words and the page become invisible and the reader has a mainline to the experience. Which in fact requires a high degree of poetic athleticism….
      @ Jemi – the best teachers are highly creative. I guess it’s all about communicating a message and making it slip down easily.
      @Cat – thank you! I love the way you describe your hectic life.

  3. #4 by Cat Woods on June 3, 2010 - 6:07 pm

    Roz, loved your interview. Congrats.

    I am still trying to eke out more time for my writing. I have so many irons in the fire, I’m putting out the flames.

    Maybe life will settle down with summer and I’ll get in a little more time to put my ideas to paper.

  4. #5 by Katia Raina on June 3, 2010 - 9:10 pm

    Hi Roz,
    Great interview — lots of great points. I too wish I had started ten years earlier. I too constantly battle with my tendency to use the word “suddenly!” As for room for creativity in my life — yes, I remember when I was first starting out and the challenge was finding time to write. Now finding time to write is like saying, “finding time to breathe.” Writing has become my life, creativity — my air.

    Thanks for your very helpful blog. Will return again! 🙂

  5. #6 by Roz Morris on June 3, 2010 - 10:03 pm

    @Katia – thank you! ‘Finding time to breathe’ – what a lovely description.

  6. #7 by Verdonk on June 4, 2010 - 5:42 pm

    I always liked this line from The Old Curiosity Shop:

    “She bent over the calm river, and saw [the stars] shining in the same majestic order as when the dove beheld them gleaming through the swollen waters, upon the mountain tops down far below, and dead mankind, a million fathoms deep.”

    It’s that last bit that’s great. Apparently Dickens thought so too, as he wrote to John Forster to say so, adding, “I have a notion of the dreadful silence down there, and of the stars shining through upon their drowned eyes – the fruit, let me tell you, of a solitary walk by starlight on the cliffs.”

  7. #8 by Celise on June 5, 2010 - 7:06 am

    I’m a regular reader/lurker here and had to step out of the shadows to say that I visited Stephanella’s site….and signed up to be notified of her future eCourses. Her site intrigued me and I plan to add her to my blogroll. In response to your question…oddly enough, yes. LOL. I’m back in school after being out of the Education Loop for 17 yrs and the college where I’m enrolled, Prescott College, provides a little “out-of-the-box” learning experience: while some of the courses they offer are online, students are required to create their own degree plan and solicit the assistance of mentors (aka “teachers) within their community. It’s a very hands-on, learning by doing form of education. Although my degree will be in Nonprofit Mgmt, one of my breadths (aka General Core) is Writing and Literature. I created a creative writing course–Revising Your Novel–and found a professional to mentor it. I’m currently using this course to revise the first 100 pages of Book 2 in my YA series.

    Ever since I started school last fall, I’ve found it’s been a difficult adjustment. I’ve had to put the writing aside until I could manage the whole job/school/life thing. I just started my third semester and I think I’ve started to find a little bit of balance. I’ve been trying to write a 6-book YA series and had to stop writing Book 3 (Book 1 and 2 are done) because trying to fit in the writing aspect with everything else was stressing me out and that stress was affecting my job relationships. I figured that the only way I could fit in the writing–for the time being–was if I made it a part of my school work. LOL. I’m taking that creative writing course this summer and I’m excited about it. I found a great mentor (Georgia McBride, founder of YAChatLit) and am looking forward to working on the book.

    • #9 by Roz Morris on June 5, 2010 - 4:01 pm

      @Celise – wow, a 6-book series AND a degree course! I’m not surprised you found you were pressed for time! Bravo for going back to college. I think that if I redid my degree now (I studied English literature) I would tailor it so that I got a lot more out of it. Self-directed study is very rewarding – and it’s excellent that you can combine it with honing your novels too. The very best of luck to you.

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