Everyone sees and defines creativity differently. Creativity is imagination, it is the ability to make stuff up. “Creativity is an essential strategy for a writer.” Creativity is something you do – like going on vacation, it is a process. Creativity is an endless journey to self awareness. Write something only you could write, based on your journey into the wilderness, and drawn from your well. However, creativity and making art are two different processes.
Craft is the making of art. This is a visible and tangible thing. This is the writing. This is what the reader experiences, and is aware of. Craft guides and directs, it is part of consciousness. Craft is what makes an artist’s ideas digestible and delicious. Refuse to settle for the “almost right” word. Everything on the page, from the loneliest punctuation mark matters! Ask yourself if you have made the best possible choices. Craft is the result of what one does not what one is.
Be a part of this community! Share, mentor, critique! Join groups like SCBWI. Create a common experience and move away from the loneliness and the isolation. Always read, and keep reading.
The last C should be filled in by you – pick something that is a treat, a reward. Remind yourself that you are doing a difficult job and reward yourself. Chocolate is her personal reward, but you should pick your own.
Dinah Stevenson is the vice president of publishing at Clarion books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing. She has been at Clarion since 1989. Mrs. Stevenson shared the above information at the 2009 SCBWI Los Angeles Conference.