Thursday, August 8, 2013

Creativity and Productivity

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. 
~Thomas Alva Edison, quoted in Harpers Monthly 1932, according to Wikiquote

Ideas are funny things. Something can sound truly brilliant in your head, but to get it to come out right on paper takes a great deal of work. As I was thinking about this today, I remembered the quote from Thomas Edison. I think creativity is a lot like genius; it takes a spark of an idea plus a whole lot of work and a great deal of perseverance to finish a creative project. I'm in the middle of editing my book. It's been about eight years since I started. I never counted how many drafts I've been through so far, and I want it to be done. But books don't spring fully formed from an author's brain like Athena from Zeus' head. The idea is there. I know, more or less, how I want this story to turn out. (Actually, the ending's still quite up in the air. I should give it a parachute so it'll land safely...) But I have a tricky middle section to get through first. I changed one detail and now there's lots of other details that hinged on that one, and so I've got to go through and make sure that everything makes sense. Which is one reason I'm writing this blog post instead. (I take breaks. Also, on an unrelated note, facebook is to productivity as a black hole is to space and time.) But I'd really like to get this story finished, because I want to see what happens. I'd better finish up here and get back to work.