Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Good Advice and the Creative Process

Week of March 13—A Chat with Margie Palatini
Tuesday, March 15—Good Advice and the Creative Process

This is the second installment of a four-part conversation with author and illustrator, Margie Palatini.

Rob Sanders: Margie, we’ve all heard that the best way for beginning authors to learn to write is to read, read, read. What is the second most helpful way you discovered to learn and grow as a writer?

Margie Palatini: I was a member of a wonderful writers' group, and feel reading and critiquing others work helped me focus better on my own writing. In fact, there was a stretch of time of maybe five years when I didn't write at all and only critiqued.

RS: What’s the best writing advice you ever received?

MP: Be yourself. Be authentic. Be patient.

RS: In hindsight, what’s the advice you needed as a beginning writer that you never received?

MP: It was all good. When my writing group first started, our mentor was Patti Gauch. She structured our group on a group she had belonged to which had been mentored by her friend, Jean Fritz. [NOTE FROM ROB: If you’re not familiar with Jean Fritz and Patricia Gauch, do a little research and this story because even more fantastic!] That's pretty good 'lineage'. We were a very fortunate group of new writers. When the dozen of us first began, no one was published. Within the first year, Nancy Cooney, had her manuscript accepted at Putnam. Nancy was followed by a rush of others. (Not too long ago, the group 'formally disbanded', but we had over three hundred books published in the time we were together . . . which isn't too shabby.) [NOTE FROM ROB: Stop and reread that last sentence about the success of the success of one critique group!]

RS: Everyone always wants to know where writers get their ideas. I want to know where you find your inspiration. I know from your website about your “Inspiration Equations.” But tell everyone else about the bits and pieces that come together to form your creations.

MP: You don't really want to go there, do you? Have you seen my 'Brain Closet'? (yikes) http://www.margiepalatini.com/inspiration-2/my-brain-closet

COMING TOMORROW: Margie’s Writing Routine, Favorite Books, and Professional Life

It’s Your Turn!
1.  Pause right now and check out Margie’s brain closet. And her “Inspiration Equations” http://www.margiepalatini.com/inspiration-2/inspiration-equations. When I first heard Margie speak her entire presentation was a Powerpoint that showed the process of your creative brain in a hilarious homage to Doris Day!

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