Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Renaissance Minds

Writers are Renaissance people, in the sense that most have at least one creative talent in addition to writing to keep us out of trouble. Moonlighting as something other than a writer recharges the batteries, and can translate back into writing.

I like being spontaneous. Tonight, for example, I went down to the lake to photograph what promised to be an amazing sunset. Now, I am not a terrific photographer, but that isn't the point. The point was getting away from the keyboard and communing with Nature. I had fun picking my shots, creeping up on exotic birds (blue herons are so twitchy) and hoping I wouldn't run out of film before the last turquoise and pink faded away.

How does being a lousy photographer translate back into writing? Charged batteries have more output than drained cells. Example #2: Last year I took a photo of a double rainbow that appeared over our home just after Hurricane Charley. The photograph was grainy and fuzzy, but it later prompted me to write a short devotional about that moment, and those rainbows. I sold the devotional, so in this case, that one picture = 240 words = $200.00 and publication.

This afternoon, a writer friend and I were talking about unconventional marketing methods, and how a few authors like Douglas Clegg are using their other-than-writing talents to draw attention to their novels. If we're already using our other creative talents to recharge our writing batteries, then why not divert a little of that power toward marketing the output?

Think about the range of individual talents. No danger of being lost in the herd when you're drawing on something that is unique to you. You can experiment with different ideas and see what attracts the most attention. The best part of using your creative talent in a marketing effort is that it will recharge your writer batteries versus draining them, because you'll be doing something you enjoy versus something you dread.

4 comments:

  1. Good point. And that's what I'm trying to get started, in a rather haphazard fashion. I like to write, I like to do graphic/web stuff, I like to do desktop publishing stuff, and magic, and some other things.

    In an ideal world, I'd love to be able to tie all those together and do them all. I just haven't quite figured out *how* to do that yet. ;)

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  2. Oh, I totally do this. I build individual websites for my books or my book series. It's great creative fun and a refilling of the well, as well as great promo!

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  3. I'm looking forward to taking either another drawing class or photography class in either the fall or the winter. I miss playing with the artist side of me. :)

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  4. Anonymous5:09 PM

    This is such a good idea. I never thought about this concept before; too much compartmentalizing. Thanks!

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