Skip to content

Wise Words from John Cleese: Creativity is not a talent

(Thank you all for being so patient with me during these last handful of weeks. I know I haven’t been as present lately/posting as much. I’ve been really sick. But I think I finally turned a corner!)

Original photo found here:

You might recognize John Cleese’s name. If you ever got a massive cramp around your ribs from laughter while watching Monty Python, you should thank this guy. He’s one of the co-founders.

Creativity can be the lurking monster in the closet–too intimidating for us to tackle, especially if we don’t believe we’re capable. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the words “I’m not creative enough to do ____.” I can’t tell you how many times I have stood in front of a canvas or a blank computer screen and wondered I could muster up the creativity for the next project.

In a Video Arts lecture in 1991, Cleese explained that creativity is not a talent. It’s not something you can be prolific at, like slam dunking a basketball or winning a chocolate competitions with your AMAZE-BALLS chocolate pudding. And Cleese had the sources to show creativity is completely unrelated to IQ. (So if you’ve always used the excuse “I’m just not smart enough to be creative”… Well, that excuse doesn’t work anymore (: )

Read more

Patience and Paintings

I’ve talked about patience before, but it’s blindsided me again this week and I thought I’d talk about it again.

I so badly want to be finished editing RBRP, I can taste the finish line, especially with twitter contests and PitchWars and WriteonCon and conferences and more more more fabulous books being published. I so badly want to be there.

But I am not finished line editing yet.

It’s so hard to be patient. SO hard to be patient to make RBRP the quality I know it can be.
Eagle for pre Animal ModuleAnd it reminds me so much of painting.

Again, I’ve mentioned this before, but with watercolor–ESPECIALLY with watercolor–you need a tremendous amount of patience.

When you lay down a layer of paint (called a wash), it has to completely dry before the next layer. Otherwise you end up with ugly squiggly marks called blossoms. You also have to plan out the painting, because removing mistakes is really hard to do. You have to incorporate them or scrub them out, which is not guaranteed to work.

Patience guarantees a higher quality of art.

Read more

F: Fear of failure #AtoZChallenge

FRecently, I spent a week talking about fear, the fear of the blank page and a quote about the fear of being wrong. So when the letter “F” came up, fear was fresh on my mind.

crumpled paperI’ve always been the person who’s willing to try something new. Learn how to play soccer? Sure. How about pick up guitar? Yeah. DIY this old window into an accent piece? Let’s do it. Try my hand at charcoals? Why the heck not?

Failure doesn’t bother me.

Until you ask me to write.

Then failing can terrify me.

Read more
Back To Top