In Others’ Words: When Intelligence has Fun

As a writer, I sometimes focus on the work of it all. Writing the story synopsis. Developing the characters. Putting the fast draft down on the page, scene by scene. And then rewrite. Rewrite. Rewrite.

Somewhere along the way from synopsis to rewrite-rewrite-rewrite, I forget that, at the beginning, I fell in love with the story and the characters. I stop having fun and get enmeshed in the work. 

I’ve spent time with a lot of talented writers and they are some of the smartest people I know.  Many of them pursued college and post-graduate degrees and attend writers conferences — or teach at them. They’re voracious readers and researchers. We challenge each other to up our game with every book we write. But one of the best things we do for one another is remind each other to have fun.  

Being a creative — someone who spends a lot of time with imaginary characters — doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my intelligence. No. I’m just allowing my intelligence to play. Sometimes I just need to remind myself of that truth. Yes, there’s work to this writing gig — but there’s fun, too.

In Your Words: How do you see intelligence and creativity balancing one another out?



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  1. November 16, 2017, 6:46 am   /  Reply

    I once saw a sign in a pastor-author’s office that read, “Genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” Those numbers seem pretty accurate in my experience.

    • November 16, 2017, 6:47 am   /  Reply

      Dee: So you agree there’s work to creativity, yes? But I know you and you’re also about taking time to have fun and to go off exploring and to be with people who invigorate you! 🙂

  2. November 16, 2017, 7:46 am   /  Reply

    Had to think about this one for quite awhile (it was all I could do, being in no condition to write!).

    Fun is volitional; we can draw enjoyment from things experienced in pretty harsh circumstances, if we choose to, and we can find fault with conditions that are just a few feet short of paradise.

    It’s all about what you choose to see with your heart.

    • November 16, 2017, 1:46 pm   /  Reply

      “It’s all about what you choose to see with your heart.”
      This is a true statement.
      And it’s what I was trying to say: that sometimes we lose sight of our heart when we get caught up in the work — the goals, the deadlines, the “have to’s” — and we squelch our imagination. We forget the fun.
      Praying for you.

  3. Lori Altebaumer
    November 17, 2017, 6:26 am   /  Reply

    Well said. Thank you for the reminder! Creating IS fun. Writing IS a joy. Not every step of the journey to publication (i.e. platform building) is fun, but if I don’t enjoy writing the story, however long it takes and however much effort is required, then I have no idea how I’d get through it. I love the gift of imagination that God has given me (well, maybe sometimes it goes in scary directions, but most of the time it’s fun).

    • November 17, 2017, 6:46 am   /  Reply

      Lori: And thank you for the reminder that our imaginations are a gift from God — gifts that should be appreciated! 🙂

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