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Oh, the Things You Can Learn From Creative Writing – Part V

Podcast Link: Click here.

Podcast Transcript: Hi, genuine writers! This is Innovative Editing’s Jeannette DiLouie welcoming you to episode #27 of The Genuine Writer Podcast. We keep things short, sweet and to the point here so that you can learn what you need to learn and get back to writing already. Or editing. Or publishing. Essentially, whatever stage of becoming an actual author you’re at, Innovative Editing wants to encourage you as much as possible to be the best that you can be – cheesy though I know that sounds.

Today’s episode – which continues to cover the short list of amazing things you can learn and ways you can grow from creative writing – is sponsored by Proving America again. In fact, in honor of the all-American holiday this month sports, I’m going to continue recommending Proving America, since it’s the story of how the “Star-Spangled Banner” really came about. Think you know it? I know I did before researching and writing this novel. The true tale, told through the eyes of a fictional character – Ashley Slasen, an American soldier who has a lot riding on his shoulders – is downright riveting and insane, complete with drama, battles, love stories, tragic defeats and impossible victories. I know I’m the author, but I have to say that this is one riveting read… for which I’ll include a link for Proving America in the description section.

It’s a decently sized story, unlike our podcast today, which is going to be on the shorter side, I believe, even for this short and sweet podcast we have here. Then again, maybe not. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

We’re back on the subject of pride regardless. So far, we’ve talked about how much positive pride we can get from creative writing-fueled research, where we discover actual facts about historical, scientific, spiritual, philosophical, psychological and other fields above, beyond or in spite of what we learned in school or through other sources, like Hollywood. We also talked about how allowing other people – specifically beta readers and editors – to critique what we’ve written helps round out that pride, keeping our egos in check and reminding us that we’re not the end-alls and be-alls of the universe.

Today though, we’re flipping the coin one more time to find that there’s a final side to the topic of pride. Right now, we’ve got the height established. And we’ve got the width. So let’s get some depth.

Instead of just feeling confident about what he or she has learned and displayed, and just being humble about his or her limitations, a creative writer also gets opportunity after opportunity to hone his or her thinking. In other words, creative writers get to test out their critical and logical mental capabilities on a regular basis and in numerous ways.

And that is extremely important.

Think about it this way: We’re not supposed to accept every bit of praise we get any more than we’re supposed to accept every bit of criticism. Getting feedback is important, of course, as we’ve already established. But that doesn’t mean that feedback is always right.

Sometimes it isn’t right because it comes from someone who’s trying to manipulate us.

Sometimes it isn’t right because it comes from someone who has our best interest at heart but doesn’t have the right perspective.

Sometimes it isn’t right because it comes from someone who simply has a different opinion that doesn’t fit with our particular message we’re trying to get across. It’s not a matter of good or evil, only personal preference or objective.

Either way, figuring out what to accept and what not to accept – as you have to with those beta readers and brutal editors we’ve mentioned in previous podcast episodes – is an exceptionally important life skill that can help you cut through so many other bits of information and influences that come your way later on – information and influences that will oftentimes have nothing to do with creative writing, for that matter. We’re talking about much more important intellectual, philosophical, psychological, political and even spiritual matters.

Sharing your creative writing forces you to pit your ideas up against others, and then to hear – and hopefully consider – their reactions to your thoughts.

I like to tell people that I take about 85% to 90% of the advice that my editor gives me. Now, when I’ve told her this in the past, she gets very huffy and wants to know why I don’t take all her advice. But there’s a very good reason for this. It’s because, thanks to so many factors, including wonderful parents who gave me excellent guidance growing up, and my life-long love affair with creative writing, I’m smart enough to understand that my editor makes very good points the vast majority of the time.

I may have missed something on p. 218, or mixed up a detail between p. 7 and p. 35, or gone on way too long about something on p. 64. And it’s thanks to her that I catch those issues before I press the publish button. But I’m also confident enough in my own critical thinking skills to be able to weigh each one of her equally carefully thought out edits to see whether or not it’s right for my book, my style and my message.

So sometimes I’m going to respectfully disagree with her. This is something I encourage with every single one of the writers I serve as editor for. I tell them to always make sure that my edits don’t obstruct their voice or change their meaning. This prompts them to really take ownership of their work and their critical thinking skills – something that isn’t encouraged nearly enough these days.

That’s where I’m going to officially stop myself. Otherwise, I will go off on a rant about how nobody thinks anything through these days, making them fall for whatever’s thrown at them by whoever seems most convincing in the moment. So, instead of that, let’s move on to the next creative writing plus on the list next week, as normal. Until then, thanks for tuning into The Genuine Writer Podcast. Very happy writing and critical thinking too!

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