This is the final post in a multi-part blog series where I have explored creativity. In the first post, I ventured the concepts of creativity and whether or not such a concept could be taught. In the following post, I brought in friend, fellow writer, and esoteric artist Z.M. Wilmot to guest blog what people accessed when using creativity. Now, I bring in another blogger, friend, and fellow writer to address the final question I had conjured at the end of the first blog.
I met Sandra Bunino through Twitter. She is a contemporary Romance author and we made each other's acquaintances when I asked her what it took to make a good romance. Since then, we have kept in touch. I've since shared with her my more 'polished' works and she has (and continues) to be more than happy to read my material and give me honest advice from a reader standpoint. I'm proud to have met her and shared my work with her. She has been a good source of honest and supportive feedback. I'm proud to have her guest blog for me.
So, here's Sandra's guest post.
How important is education to art and creativity?
I probably flip-flopped more on this topic than a presidential candidate on the campaign trail. Here’s why - I’ve known some truly talented and amazingly creative writers who’ve completed their education at a high school level. Personally, I have a graduate business degree. Has my MBA made me a better romance writer? I don’t recall the course “Alpha Heroes 101” as a prerequisite to “How to Write a Smokin’ Hot Sex Scene” in my schedule of classes. I believe there would be a waiting list for those… smokin’ hot sex vs. cost accounting…hmm.
Okay, so my answer is…yes. Education does matter when it comes to art and creativity but not in the way you might expect. It’s not about what you’ve learned in various classes but in the people and experiences you’ve encountered throughout your education. For example, the frustration you overcame trying to follow the direction of your brilliant Chinese Calculus professor who you couldn’t understand due to a very heavy accent; the motivational impact the blind student with a guide dog in Anthropology had on you; the excitement that raged inside when you attended your first student protest; the fear of studying abroad and landing smack in the middle of a country where no one understands your simple question of “where the hell is the bathroom?” – these life experiences shaped you and your perception of the world.
Does this mean education and creativity can only be achieved in a formal classroom? Absolutely not! You don’t need to be a student to be educated or to be creative. As long as you keep an open mind and stay receptive to new experiences, learning and creativity is a continuous process.
Education makes you think outside the box. It makes you take a stand on a controversial topic. A good education will take you out of your comfort zone. A great education will empower you to go out there and do something that scares the shit out of you every day. That’s how we develop, expand and grow as writers and artists.
Here are my top ten ways to be creative:
10. Surround yourself with creative people
8. Write what you know
7. Don’t be afraid to learn what you don’t know
6. Don’t compare your talent and style with others
5. Don’t force your writing
4. Travel or mix up your daily routine
3. Have fun
2. Finish what you’re writing (even if it never sees the light of day)
1. Do something that scares the shit out of you every day.
That’s the end of your lesson and guess what? You have homework! Your assignment: find something that paralyzes you with fear, something that you’ve avoided and in the words of a famous marketing campaign…just do it!
Sandra Bunino is an author of contemporary sensual romance. Her books include MAROONED IN MIAMI, SARA’S SMILE, and the soon to be released LUSTED IN LAS VEGAS.
Connect with Sandra here:
Email: sbunino (at) gmail (dot) com