Feed the Beast

Creativity is not a well to be drained but a beast to be fed… I throw pots, cook, design strategy, garden, and write. You might think that those pursuits tap out my imagination, but it seems to be the opposite. As long as I keep feeding the beast new and stimulating things, it carries me to interesting places.

Shove some fuel in, grab the horns and hang on.

Shove some fuel in, grab the horns and hang on.

Ideas come from everywhere, but only God invents from scratch. For the rest of us, creation is starting with raw ingredients and transforming them into something new. Orson Scott Card describes it this way:

“All but a handful of my stories have come from combining two completely unrelated ideas that have been following their own tracks through my imagination.”

One of my first stories, An Accounting, started off as a simple description of a desolate wilderness. I was working through a class on showing not telling, and created a fun little vignette. It turned into something much more when I started thinking about the gifts we’ve been given but neglect. When I mashed them together, the story unfolded.

The trick for me is to let each new act of imagination funnel back into my writing. So in this space, I’ll chronicle new ideas and what my other creative pursuits are teaching me about being a better storyteller.

That’s probably enough pretentious introduction. Thursday I’ll give a real example of what I’m talking about, starting with the movie Ratatouille.

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