Daniel Darling, author, pastor, speaker / Posts tagged "creative tensions"

How to get (and capture) ideas

Ideas are the lifeblood of the creative life. Whether you're a poet, a pastor, or a professional contractor, ideas fuel your work. But even the most creative folks run out of ideas. So how do we stimulate more? Here are some things I do that seem to get the juices flowing again: 1) Move away from the computer. Sometimes you just got to get away from your laptop. This is hard for me to do, because there is always something to be done. But I find that when I'm in the middle of a all-consuming project, I get ideas on the commute home or on a walk with my wife and kids. 2) Listen to music. I find that music stirs my soul. I can be the world's biggest crank with nothing in my creative tank. But if I turn on my iTunes playlist or use Pandora, the creative flow begins again. 3)...

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Creative Tensions: Between the Editor and Your Voice

This is the third post in a series of posts on writing and the creative life. The other two posts are: "Between Annoyance and Passivity"; "Between Authenticity and Plastic." Today I want to discuss another tension, the one that exists between your unique voice and the hot red pen of the editor. One of the things that is difficult for new writers to understand is that the editor is not your enemy but your friend. I had a good book editor tell me one time, "Dan, you are not Hemingway." Tough, but great advice. What she was saying is that yes I had talent, but it needed to be polished, just like any other gift. Consider the basketball player who is uncoachable. Can he achieve maximum performance? Or the raw musician who refuses instruction from the maestro. Can he ever get all he wants out of his talent? The answer is...

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Creative Tensions: Between Plastic and Authentic

This is the second post in a series on writing I'm calling "Creative Tensions." The first was entitled, "Between Annoyance and Passivity." It is some advice on nurturing relationships that can grow your writing opportunities. Today I want to discuss another tension you will need to navigate in your writing, especially if you're writing (as I do) about your faith and your life. I supposed this advice would fit with those who communicate in other ways, especially preaching. People connect with other people who seem to be real. That is they are not so wooden and stuffy that the word which come from their mouths (or pens) seem so lofty as to be impractical. My best writing coaches always encouraged me to "show, don't tell." For those who write fiction, a person's character is best fleshed out in dialogue and story. And for those who write inspirational nonfiction, it is best to...

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Creative Tensions: Between Annoyance and Passivity

I’ve had some folks ask me to post a bit more on the writing life. So I decided to begin a series I’m calling, “Creative Tensions.” I’m not coming at this as an expert, as some kind of know-it-all bestselling author. My goal is to share what little I know about writing in hopes that it helps and inspires a few who read it.

Today I want to discuss the creative tension between annoyance and passivity. One of the keys to advancing in your publishing career is to develop relationships. The publishing world is a small world and so the more people you know and who respect your work the more opportunities will come your way.