People are always asking me, Jen, how do I make my writing shine? Jen, what will make my manuscript pop? Jen, what’s the one, single, best, top of the charts, CRACKERJACK thing that will make my stories sparkle?
Maybe it’s voice.
Maybe it’s character.
Maybe it’s originality, verve, heart.
The list is like a spin wheel.
But the one thing I keep coming back to, the one thing that sets accomplished writers apart from everyone else, is intuition.
The best writers have an intuitive sense of what makes a good story. They also have an intuitive sense of how to make their writing fresh and energetic.
They’re also brave and playful (which are the same thing for adults. Most adults baulk when you ask them to play, as if you’re trying to trick or humiliate them).
Thankfully, our intuition, just like our imagination, can be developed and strenghtened. That’s such great news! Just open the door and away you go.
A lovely woman PM’d me on Facebook. She’s a published author. But she was looking for ways to ‘unlock her imagination’. She was interested in my online course, Scribbles. But she wanted to know if it was only for beginners.
Here’s what I said (in part):
‘One of the biggest hurdles I see for writers, particularly of kids books, but really, across the board, is this desperation to get everything ‘right’ and ‘correct’. This can be true whether they’re published or not.’
Nothing will stifle your imagination (and therefore stuff up your stories) more quickly, than an obsession with getting things right.
When you’re focused on technicalities you’re operating from your left brain. You’re not in flow. You’re stuck in ego. Remember, ego is scared of creativity. Creativity leads into the unknown. That’s dangerous. Ego is hell-bent on keeping us safe. It craves rules and guarantees.
Stories come from a deeper place than the intellect, a richer, more effusive, more generous place than ego. As writers, it’s crucial we acknowledge this and work with it. Constantly. Not just once in a while.
We must develop our intuition. We must learn to be at ease with the creative process.
There are few (if any) courses like Scribbles.
Some creative writing courses include a sprinkling of ‘play’. But basically they’re focused on the technicalities of writing. Few are interested in stimulating and developing your intuition, on taking you on a more holistic and imaginative journey.
Ernest Hemingway said, ‘Write drunk, edit sober’. I think this means, create with your right brain, tidy up with your left brain.
Scribbles is not about tidying up. It’s focused on right brain learning. It’s a resource rather than a ‘course’. It’s a place to visit at the start of your writing journey. Or at any time you feel hemmed in, limited or in need of replenishment.
I’m super proud of Scribbles. Is that bragging? Whatever. I am, I am!
Not only but also, the new look Scribbles goes live this Monday September 4 at 8am! And man oh man it’s funky.
If you jump in during the next week, you’ll go in the draw to win one of three gorgeous girl and duck packs.
Yeah. A canvas bag.
No, no, no. A canvas, BOOK bag, stuffed with writing goodies. Pens. Notebooks. Postcards. Stationery! OMG! Gimme, gimme, gimme.
It’s writer’s heaven.
I really hope you’ll join us in Scribbles. I hope you’ll take this next step in your writing journey. I hope you’ll be brave, playful and commit to making your stories (and your imagination) sparkle.
In the meantime, see you in the alphabet soup!
To go into the draw to win a girl and duck pack, you must join Scribbles by 5pm AEST Friday September 8, 2017.
All winners will be notified by email and announced (along with a drum roll and streamers) in our private Scribbles Facebook group.
This competition is open to Scribblers worldwide.