Embrace the fear.

The writer Peter De Vries said, “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at 9:00 am every morning.”

Color Doodle
Color Doodle

We are all born with a creative brain. If you don’t believe that, hang out with some four or five year olds. The impulse control is underdeveloped. The filters of acceptable behavior and fears of rejection aren’t there yet in the young mind. This is why the creative genius, Picasso, said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

So how do we redevelop our creativity?

In the mid 1800s there was a movement that changed how the world would forever look at and judge art. Impressionism was incubated at Café Guebois. How did a small group of people accomplish this fete? By meeting together regularly, they challenged and debated the idea of art. They had heated disagreements over the “rules” of art. Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and Degas were a widely diverse group of artists, but their creative energy paved the way for generations of modern artists. Steve Jobs said collaboration works best when ideas are met with brutal honesty and are forced to explore a deeper purpose. Sound like good critique to me.

Four years ago, I found SARA (San Antonio Romance Authors), and my writing has greatly improved because of their questioning, pushing and tough critique. They introduced me to other writers that changed my life.
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In June, for the last two years I have made my way to West Texas A&M to a writers week organized by the amazing Jodi Thomas and Tim Lewis.

Morgan Hysinger, Winona Cross, Matt Sherley, Linda Trout, Alexandra Sokoloff, Jolene Navarro, Storm Navarro, Deann Landers, Sheri Waide, MarilynTucker, Sherrill Nilson
Morgan Hysinger, Winona Cross, Matt Sherley, Linda Trout, Alexandra Sokoloff, Jolene Navarro, Storm Navarro, Deann Landers, Sheri Waide, MarilynTucker, Sherrill Nilson

The people above are superstars. For five days, we meet about five hours a day in a class led by Alexandra Sokoloff. This year bordered on magical. A full week of brainstorming, being pushed by this small group to find that twist in your story. The ideas are there, buried deep in your brain.
Side benefit? Lifelong friends that “get me” in a way no one else ever will.
Brainstorming in class.
Brainstorming in class.

If you want to be creative, you can’t let fear of rejection or ridicule hold you back.
Find people that help push past your first superficial idea and get to the imaginative workings of your brain. Whatever it is- art, writing, computer, finance, or building things- We are beings created to create, find that group of liked passions and discuss how to make your dreams come true.
Do you have a group that challenges your creative mind?

10 comments

Add Yours
  1. Jamie Burton

    Jolene,
    Great post. SARA does have a great group of writers dedicated to helping each other achieve their dreams. You lead by example and inspire. As you know my fear is being told to go stand in the trash can at the front of the class (again, as in my childhood). You’ve helped me realize that fear was holding me back. Thanks friend. As I’m pounding away on my story for the next 30 days, when I get frustrated I’ll think of you and keep going.

    • jolenenavarro

      Use the fear to go deeper in your story. We want to shy away from the unpleasant memories and feelings but they come off the page and make the people in our stories real. Use the fear of that little girl standing in the trash can to reach your readers. Her story is so worth telling.

  2. lynnkelleyauthor

    I love that quote by Picasso! So true. What a wonderful workshop you attend every year. It’s awesome to be around people like that, and they do become life-long friends. Awesome!

    • jolenenavarro

      Lynn, you are also a big part of my creative community, even though we have never met – Hotel California forever! 😉 WANA is another great place that was brought into my world, more creative people that helped me face the fear of SOCIAL MEDIA!

  3. Joni Hahn aka Sophie Greyson

    What a great post. I need to read it daily. Fighting the fear of rejection and ridicule is a constant battle for me. And like Jamie said, YOU have been an inspiration to me and many others in SARA.

    I can’t imagine having friends you could be any closer to than fellow writers. Baring your soul to your critique partners and support group requires a trust that isn’t found easily. AAMOF, I think it’s necessary to be successful in this business.

    You’ve built a community where you absolutely thrive. Your career success proves it.

    • jolenenavarro

      Joni, I’m not sure if I ever told you, but one of your comments in an early critique gave me the courage to continue after I got a contest entry returned that said my story was not worth writing or reading. There are so many people along the way that either give you a stone to build your path or use the stones to throw at you. You are one of my builders.

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