Rogue Ideas, the Gin Club, and more, with Author Barbara Claypole White

When an idea shows up - and it's not the one prescribed by your career - what do you do? Author Barbara Claypole White made the courageous choice to write the book that was talking to her, rather than the one she thought she should be writing.

This lively episode of Creativity Quest is available as either video or podcast—take your pick! I’ve included the Soundcloud link, but you can now subscribe to Creativity Quest on most of your favorite podcast apps!

You can find Barbara on Facebook:
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And find out anything else you want to know at her website:

OH - and check out her books, of course! Here's an Amazon link:

TALENT, an interview with author Juliet Lapidos

Why does a writer become a writer, and not - say - a plumber? Juliet Lapidos, author of the novel TALENT, joined me on my Creativity Quest podcast for a wide ranging discussion on the nature of inspiration, de-inspiration, and re-inspiration, and how all of that fits into her delightful new novel, TALENT.

TALENT has been hailed as “ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2019” by LitHub, The Millions, Thrillist, and Entertainment Weekly.

I enjoyed it immensely.

You can listen to the interview here:

And here is my review:

"Talent is an intellectual delight woven around the intriguing and somewhat troubling New Testament parable of the talents, which would seem to teach that those who are given much will be blessed with more – and those who have been given little will pay for it.

Lapidos explores this theme through her main characters, Anna and Freddy.

Anna is a once promising but now thoroughly stalled graduate student in English literature, reduced to contemplating the nature of inspiration without doing much about it. Her family has begun to suggest she consider law school. Her advisor has suggested, with increasing urgency, that she find a case study sooner rather than later.

Frederick Langley, “Freddy”, is—or rather was-- an author who wrote three successful books as a young man and then wrote precisely nothing until his death. Literary critics believe he suffered from writer’s block, or, as Anna puts it, he had been inspired, and then de-inspired.

These two unlikely characters are linked by Freddy’s niece, Helen, who grants Anna access to the holy grail that could save her thesis: two notebooks written by Freddy himself. Clues about Freddy’s life and motivations, revealed through fascinating bits and pieces of story ideas and observations in the notebooks, are interspersed with Anna’s own existential crisis. Lapidos weaves it all together into a surprising ending that reminds us that motives are open to a wide range of interpretations, any of which is likely to be wrong.

I loved the characters in this book and their insights into both the human condition and the nature of the creative process. Plus, I'm always in for a campus novel with a unique lead character, snark, and a bit of mystery. "

Buy your copy on Amazon or wherever books are sold!

Kerry SchaferComment
The Magic of Letting Go: How Forgiveness Helps Your Writing

Over the last few weeks I've been engaged in a new process for me: forgiveness.

If you had asked me a month ago if I had things to forgive, I'd have blinked at you and said, "I don't hold grudges." (I really excel at denial.)

When my Dreambook Planner asks me every Sunday as I'm looking ahead at the new week: "Who do you need to forgive?" I often leave that space blank.

That's because I've been focused on who I need to forgive in my current every day life. And it's true -- I am pretty good at practicing forgiveness in the here and now. When something comes up I usually take care of it. But it has not always been so.

As I began working through an online class I'm doing (Money Bootcamp for Women by Denise Duffield Thomas and it's FANTASTIC if you happen to have any money hangups) I encountered an entire module on forgiveness. When I got into the work I realized I was dragging around years of baggage over hurts both large and small. It kinda felt a bit like this:

Thing is, I didn't even know they were there. I was so used to working around them that I thought the whole time I was free.

So I started a very simple practice of repeating the forgiveness mantra Denise teaches (I'm going to share it with you in a minute) whenever one of these people or incidents popped up. No pressure. No need to feel a certain way, or wait to forgive perfectly.

The name would come up. I'd repeat my little mantra, let it go, and move on.

I'll admit there were tears involved around some names and situations. But it felt so amazing to release all of that weight and let it go.

So then I started thinking. The act of forgiving is really for US, not for the person we forgive. In fact, in this forgiveness practice, those people are never even going to know whether we forgave them or not. It's all about clearing away all of that clutter. It weighs us down and holds us back. It can present as chatter from our internal critic.

And there is one person, sometimes the hardest to forgive, who needs to know I've forgiven her. And that person is - myself. She needs to know that I forgive her everything. All of her inconsistencies and faults, failures, and foibles.

I need to forgive her for years she wasted, for not always doing her best work, for procrastinating and avoiding, for missed opportunities and falling short of goals.

This, my dear one, frees up so much energy to move forward into deeper creativity, deeper relationships, and more joyful living.

The mantra is simply this:

I forgive you.
I'm sorry.
Thank you.
I love you.

(Note: You may have some people in your life, or in your past who have done heinous things to you and maybe they don't deserve to be forgiven. In that case, this kind of forgiveness may seem insurmountable to you. Remember this, though: Forgiveness is for YOU. And YOU deserve to be able to let it go. Sometimes it helps to start very small. Sometimes it helps to have a professional person to walk through this work with you.)

I plan to continue this forgiveness work on a daily basis, but this does seem to be the perfect time of year to focus in on it and give ourselves the gift of beginning the new year free and clear.

So, I'm running a free online Clear & Create group on Thursday, December 13, to take us through the process of letting go of our own perceived failures and creating intentions for 2019. This is an interactive Zoom room session involving guided imagery, free writing, and letting go of old baggage. I'd love to have you join us!

I’m also taking this work deeper as part of a brand new coaching package that will transform your creative process - and your life - within the space of 30 days. I believe in this so strongly I’m offering a guarantee.

You can get a free taste of how this works in the Clear & Create group, so I hope to see you there!