Monday Thoughts on Creativity: Risk and Failure

Monday keeps coming around again, but I didn’t send it an invitation…

creativity-risk

This is so extremely true. Creativity isn’t about waiting for inspiration to strike, it’s about living in an inspired state. That’s how I see it. Some times are more creative than others, but if I don’t allow myself to live in my creativity, I start to lose my place in my writing. I literally can’t remember what I’m doing with a current work in progress.

That being said, taking risks and failing can be SO HARD! When you’re very attached to your work, it’s a part of you, so a risk is actually scary and a failure is devastating. This is what it’s like:

Risk: Let me try going in this direction with my story, I think that will work well. Yes, this is great, now I’ve spent a month on it and it’s really exciting. Oh wait, I hate it. Oh my goodness, it’s total garbage and doesn’t work at all. Oh no, now I have to start over!

Failure: I hate myself. I hate my writing. I hate everything I touch. I’m not worthy of a pen.

Yes, it’s that dramatic. But when we take these risks and we fail and we cry (and cry again), we also learn what went wrong and whether it could or couldn’t be avoided. We unveil another layer of our creativity, another secret to our inspiration. And finally, we learn that it’s worth it, through all that pain and torment, to do it again and again. And again.

My Holiday Read Recommendations

This year I wanted to read a multitude of holiday books, but my plans got derailed when my dog went in for major surgery. I haven’t had enough time to read more than one book at a time, and I can’t read it very fast either. I’d already started developing a list of holiday books back in October that I wanted to read this December, so I’m going to have to save them for next year. I’ve found Christmas-centric, Hannukah-centric, but no Kwanza-centric yet. If you have a Kwanza-centric book to recommend that isn’t for children, let me know!

I’ve got two very different (read: opposite) books to recommend to you for this holiday season:

1. The Yuletide Angel by Sandra Ardoin ($0.99)

The Yuletide Angel

This is the most warm, comforting, enjoyable book ever. It’s a novella that I can read year after year in winter and fall in love with all over again. Ardoin deserves every bit of praise she’s gotten for this book. Taking place in Victorian times, the Yuletide Angel “itself” takes a back seat to the main characters in the book, Hugh Barnes and Violet Madison, who seem destined to be together regardless of his painful shyness and her strong will. For a novella, a whole lot is packed in, and I had to force myself not to read it all at once so I could enjoy it for a little while. Find my full review on Goodreads here.

2. Fall From Grace by J. Edward Ritchie ($0.99)

This novel is the opposite of the previous one, and I haven’t finished it yet, but I can already recommend it. I can’t say I know the story of the fall of Satan from heaven, except for the very basics. I can say that this book has inspired me to read the original text. Fall From Grace reads as if it were the real text. Well, maybe a little more pumped up, but it just sounds so…real. I never expected to say that about something classified as fantasy, but I feel as if I’m reading the true story of what happened, like I’m watching it from a hidden corner. I can’t wait to read the actual text and see how close – or not close – they are.

Leave your own holiday read recommendations in the comments so I can read them next year. I’m looking to continue building my list!