Archive by Author

More Creatives With Multiple Talents

She is best known as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” but the late silver screen star Hedy Lamarr is remembered in some circles more for the inventive genius she brought to wireless communications, decades before its time. Lamarr was an immigrant from pre-World War II Austria. She left behind a life that had […]

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Creative Control in the Age of Kickstarter

How much creative control do we cede when other people’s money is involved? Before I get to Kickstarter, let me throw in a historical anecdote. Galilee Galileo was not only the Father of Modern Science, he also earned a decent income from book sales. He was driven enough by profit maximization to eschew writing his […]

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Forgiving Yourself for Not-Done To-Do’s

“Congratulations,” a colleague told me yesterday. “For what?” He smiled and pointed at the cloudless blue sky through the window behind him. “For surviving the winter.” His statement implied two things: that it was no longer winter, and that I had survived. I do not consider myself a person of weak constitution, but I have […]

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The Fundamentals of Middle-School Blogging

On what topics would an eighth grader blog? Anything and everything, I’ve learned. During an all-day creative writing workshop I conducted with about forty students at Henrico County Public Schools‘ Elko Middle School, I read student writings on everything from football to indie music, from wrestling to baking. I also read a powerful “open letter” […]

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How One Author Combined Personal Essays Into a Coherent Memoir

It is the height of hubris to edit an award-winning creative nonfiction author who also happens to be your mentor. But I decided the brilliant proposed title of Sue William Silverman’s guest post–”E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many (essays) One (book)”–wouldn’t translate well in a tweet. So I’ve imposed a more utilitarian title on this […]

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Why I am Obsessed with Artists

“Patrick, why are you so obsessed with artists and their creativity?” I’ve been asked that question a fair amount during my years as an artist’s advocate and a creativity and writing instructor. There is no simple answer to that question, but if the top five answers were on the board, one of them likely would […]

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Separating Curiosity from Creativity

Can you be creative without being curious? I find myself curious to learn the answer to this question. On some level it seems like asking if you can enjoy peanut butter without peanuts. Loads of creativity scholars tell us that curiosity is what drives creativity. But what if forces in our lives reduce our level […]

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Are You Talking to Me? Use of the Second Person

Perhaps it’s because I don’t like being told what to do. Maybe it’s because I don’t like to reflect on some of the things I’ve done. But as a reader I generally do not care for the use of the second person. I’ve been forced to rethink my position after reading Sue William Silverman’s masterful […]

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Envy, Narcissism, Depression and Creativity

Two weeks ago Facebook celebrated 10 years of making us depressed and envious by creating for each user a personalized video not unlike what you see in an Oscars “in memoriam” telecast. It was a wise move by Facebook’s corporate brass to create a video starring ourselves, because academic studies show Facebook encourages narcissism;¬†feeding the […]

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No Writing Today, I’ve Gotta Watch Curling

I covered the sheet cake in white frosting. Squeeze tubes of red and blue icing were used to make the rings on both ends. Yellow and red gumdrops became stones, and some of my son’s Lego men posed as the curlers. I don’t recall now what we did to simulate their brooms. The cake was […]

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