Apr 19, 2011

Highly Creative Writers

By Leesa Ostrander

I recently found an old book titled, “The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women.” This book has been interesting.
I am open to reading new thoughts and perspectives from various points of view. This book seemed to focus on women and how they deprive themselves of freedom to be individual and separating from mothering duties.

This was interesting for me because of my up-brining in the Church. We are encouraged by strengthening our individualism through mothering.
– just a thought.

The book had a few points I would like to share.
First, on page 94, the author states, being creative needs to have a “calming effect.” This can happen when you can organize and prioritize. Her suggested order of priority is relationships, creative work and service.

I feel my priority is different. I rank relationships (children, family, friends), service then creative work. This may be why I spend more hours at the park when the sun shines than I do typing away. I also spend many hours of service in various capacities and not working on my WIP.

Second, the author suggests setting boundaries and learning to say “no.” The thought is to spur your creativity by knowing your limitations and then saying and keeping yourself in target of finishing the WIP.

“No” is a word I find telling my children and not myself. I do not set the boundaries to focus and spend quality time interviewing my characters. I spend more time thinking about how I will get my character to be as free-spirited as my five-year-old.

The last point I want to make is, offer support to other creative women through service. By helping others through babysitting, offering honest critiques and creative conversations, we help fuel inspired thoughts.

I feel these thoughts are reinforced by Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk “Waiting on the Road to Damascus” with his thoughts about service. He states, “Often, the answer to our prayer does not come while we’re on our knees but while we’re on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us.”

 When we use our words at the right time and place we are serving others. When we help the creativity of other people we are helping to encourage growth and a stronger written community. We also can have cherished thoughts of how to improve our WIP or a specific character or dilemma when we are helping someone else.


  1. Great post :-) I especially like the bit about service and how you try to figure out how to get your character to be as free spirited as your five-year-old. I often spend time observing characteristics in my kids and seeing how they translate into characters in my books. I don't think being a mom holds back my creative process, but it emboldens it and gives me more to draw from.

  2. Being a mom is about relationships...all levels esp as your child grows up. I think the author had some good advice about setting boundaries for ourselves and not losing ourself in one aspect of our world. For example, someone in the church once said women can only be moms for a certain period of time because God has other things for them to do as well. Thought provoking to say the least.

  3. It is great how reading things that we don't completely agree with gets us thinking about what we personally feel and believe. I do think that sometimes others ask us to do things and do not realize our stress level or other obligations and that when people or organizations ask for our time or money that we can't give without shorting ourselves or our families we can say no.

  4. Great post Leesa! So many things to consider. Thanks!

  5. Love this today. Especially Pres. Uchtdorf's message. I too find myself telling my family "no" way too often and saying "yes" to everyone else except myself. I really need to figure out a way to take some time for me.


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