Posted by: Robin Koontz | March 29, 2012

Flexibility as a Creative Boost

I should be working on Robin Hood, the last of the four early readers I was hired to write and illustrate for Rourke Publishing. It’s time to do the illustrations. I did stare at the storyboard for an hour or so. But I was hopelessly stuck. The create gene wasn’t happening.

I reviewed a dizzying batch of contracts for the SCBWI Oregon Spring Conference yesterday and went back over them today. Three of us read this stuff and we hope that all the issues are nipped in the bud!

Then an editor I had contacted asked to read my middle grade novel Hot Walker, and wondered if I could turn it into two books. Apparently, they prefer a series. She had only read the query for the story, but her interest in it was very exciting! I figured out how the book could be divided, and am thinking about more books (why not? without hope, there is no life). Meanwhile I polished up the synopsis, did another read-through of the 37,000+ word story, and sent it to her.

Then at mid-morning, a start-up publishing venture (well established elsewhere, unlike most of these companies I’ve been contacting lately) sent a writer prompt for a 6-700 word story to see if my style might fit their program, and a lot of other writers were also invited thanks to a post they had on their careers page recently (and my sharing!). Here is the prompt:

A seven-year-old boy with big ideas tries everything he can think of to make his grumpy dad laugh. But nothing he does works, until…

I decided to go for it immediately, not dally and stress over attempting to create the perfect story. I’ve learned from my heroes that writing fast means we can sometimes get the slip on the demons inside us all who, given the time, will stomp our confidence to a pulp. It worked! I struggled a bit, came up with a beginning of a story, went for a walk in the rain with Marvin and Jeep, then finished up what I felt was definitely good enough to submit. And if they don’t like it, it’s fodder for another project.

Nothing is lost by the time spent off-project today. I’ll get back to that storyboard for Robin Hood in the morning and I’m pretty sure the stuckness will be gone. Breaking away to take on new challenges always helps when I’m stuck on a project. See if it works for you!


Responses

  1. It sounds like a very creative and great day. Creating in a different arena has a tendency to unlock ALL the other creative juices.😀

  2. A great day, Robin, and a great post. Really liking the illustration, above. Well done.

    • Thanks so much. This book is about hiking… and getting lost. I’ll have to send you a copy!


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