Sunday, March 28, 2010

Skill and Creativity

Mystery picture time! What do you think this is? First reactions count--don't spend too much time thinking about it.

Got an idea? Okay, try again. This time, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and step back...into childhood, maybe as a three, four or five-year old. As you open your eyes, revisit this picture through that child's eyes. What do you see?

I glanced up at my book shelf the other day and saw a book I didn't recognize. The title is How to Write with the Skill of a Master and the Genius of a Child, by Marshall J. Cook. When did I buy this book? Better yet, when did I read it? I sure don't remember doing either.

But there it was, second shelf from the top. And it cried out, "Read me next--read me next!" Curious, I pulled it down. It's now on the top of the list of books to read this week. It will be my writing inspiration.

In the meantime, the title has already inspired me (see how powerful the right title can be?). We know a lot about the skills of writing--that's probably a writer's strong suit since we're constantly studying the craft. What we don't always get is how to write with the genius of a child--tapping into creativity and imagination. I'll be reading the book to explore this side of writing--and will share some thoughts on the subject in my next post.

To jump start the process, I thought it would be fun to pose my mystery picture question. What did you see at first glance? What did you see through a child's eyes?

I'll share my answers with the review. Can't wait to see what you think!


  1. Great post! What is the pub date of this book? I think I may look into buying this book, let us know how it is!

    My first thought was that it looked like a Victorian wallpaper print (go figure, I'm a historical romance writer).

  2. Fun post! At first I thought it was leaf wallpaper. Then I thought it was a "field" of leaves. :-)