Day 2 – Let’s Get Together

Day 2! Keep up the good work!

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We’re back for day two of this five day challenge, which is going to get you on a path to understanding

  • who you are as a writer, and to
  • keep you on that path.

Anytime you get stuck, anytime you find yourself not making progress, you can come back to the document you are creating this week.

It’s more effective than any other productivity hack like making appointments with yourself or setting deadlines and word count goals.

Those things can all help for awhile. But what matters is the story under the story:

Who are you as a writer, and what is the story you’re telling yourself?

Yesterday, you identified people you admire as creatives and wrote down what you admired.

I encourage you to think about these people as your Fairy Art Parents. These are the people who are guiding the way for you. These are the people you want to be like, but in your own way

Find The Common Threads

Today, I want you to look through that list and find the commonalities between them.

For example, for me, I quickly realized that optimism, humor and open-heartedness were something that all of my people that I admired had in common.

It wasn’t about winning awards or being famous. It was their approach to life and creativity. That was what they had in common that I admired.

So those things belong on my list of what matters to me about writing.

I realized that my fairy art parents also had in common, a commitment to the craft and to turning out work.

I also saw a strong sense among all of my fairy art parents, that art matters. Art is life changing. Art is important. They really felt that creative work can change the world, and I realized that’s something I really believe too.

Your Turn

Go through your fairy art parents and the list of things that you wrote down that you admired about them. Look for those commonalities, circle them, write them out in a separate list. Do whatever makes sense to you to highlight those things…

And then just ponder that for the rest of the day and you’ve completed today’s part of the challenge.

Tomorrow, we’re going to come back. And put all this stuff together. In a way that is going to help you figure out your. Writing Manifesto, your values, and the things that will keep you on the track.

But don’t worry about that yet.

Leave a comment to let us know what you found in common among your Fairy Art Parents.

And I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Keep writing,

Julie (signed)

47 thoughts on “Day 2 – Let’s Get Together”

  1. To my list I can add Kahlil Gibran, the poet-philosopher and Agatha Christie, the mystery writer.
    3 write in the same genre while the other 3 are a smattering of others
    3 have a descriptive style and flow that I admire, yet I admire the other 3 for their tight, concise style.
    3 deal with real-world themes in their imaginative works while the other 3 are grounded in their use of real-world settings applied to their fiction.
    All are well-known; they have set the standards for or contributed massively to their respective genres.
    All of them, or at least 5, lean heavily on or use psychology as a basis for their work.
    All of them have stood the test of time; their readership spans generations.

    1. How interesting that they all lean on psychology. Sounds like something for you to consider in your work…

  2. All of my fairy art parents have the ability to hook you in the beginning ,keep you on the edge of your seat and lift you to your feet before twisting everything around to keep you guessing until the end.At which point they deliver an ending I never saw coming.. All these fairy Art parents make me say.Wow I wany to write like that

  3. So many people are stuck in the confusion and trying to figure out what to do in the present work situation. I think a lot of us get stuck in pessimism which limits our abilities to think creatively, negotiate with our feelings and through away the idea that only violence will solve our problems. I think in the list of writers I admire, all look at:
    — possibilities
    –world building and how a future utopia could look
    –understanding what beauty is possible in our environments
    –Some of the writers, like Lorrie Moore and Willa Cather, write so beautifully and expansively.

  4. Some themes that stood out for mewere:
    -great storytellers
    – spiritual, magical sense of “the other”
    -can be raw, vulnerable
    – using story subtly for a bigger purpose
    -a deep and reverential sense of beauty
    -a fierceness

  5. Stephen King
    Jennifer Weiner
    Jodi Picoult
    Joyce Maynard
    My Reading/English Teachers

    This doesn’t describe all of them but most of them. I looked for common threads, but if there was something I really admire about an author I want to emulate, I included it.

    1. Like how they use words/descriptions. Excellent word choice.
    2. Well researched
    3. Out spoken outside writing books–like on social media, at book readings, overall
    4. Character creation/development
    5. Concise language
    6. Writing on relevant/important topics
    7. Making you think
    8. Laughter/humor–even if it’s dark
    9. Providing a love for books/giving recommendations

    1. Fascinating. I think it’s going to be important for you to be bold: in your word choice, your subject matter, and your willingness to stand up for people who need it!

  6. Margaret Atwood, Arudhati Roy, Elif Shafak, Joanna Glen, John Boyne, Julia Samuel’s

    They all focus on charecterisation and depth of emotion. They show how people’s behaviours are affected by their environment and what has happened to them and around them. Their writing style is often quite simple yet moving.

    1. Oh I like that “how people’s behaviours are affected by their environment”. Such rich ground for a writer!

  7. Beyond the fact that I gravitate toward award-winning best sellers–I see that there’s a lot of love emanating from the stories that connected and captured my heart. Woven throughout, there’s an element of caring for nature/animals. And the overarching idea that we are all connected. Among the not-famous-writers on my list, I find persistence and innovation–making do with the materials at hand. Which is definitely part of my approach to writing.

    1. Great! Hold onto these insights as you pursue your writing.
      We writers are such good students it’s easy for us to get pulled off-course by a charismatic teacher or an interesting trend. We do so much better when we stick to our true loves, though!

  8. To deeply move fans in a simple and specifically direct way.

    They are uniquely open and intensely intimate in their creative work.

    They all love to share themselves through their work, and they are prolific because being creative is a way of life, not just a job.

  9. What my crop of fairy art parents all have in common: justice, fairness, balance, equity; standing up for the little guy or the oppressed; dealing with reality as it is to change it to the reality as they want/ed it to be.

  10. The commonalities I found in my list of fairy art parents:
    Generosity—in their writing and in their careers. A willingness to share wisdom and encouragement with others on their own creative paths. A lack of competitiveness.
    Persistence—staying the course and finishing what they’ve started, even when life interferes, and no matter how long.
    Dreamers—willingness to own the inspiration that comes from getting to know and grow their creativity.
    Belief—in themselves and others, and the truth and beauty of creativity.

  11. Isabel Allende, Francine Rivers, Louise Penny, Agatha Christie, Jim Morrison, Michael Card, Emily Freeman, KJ Ramsey, and Alina Smolyanski (artist and art therapy instructor).

    I’m seeing spirituality, empathy and a comfortableness with mystery, uncertainty, doubts and open endings. I also just realized that there were only 2 men and both of them are emotionally sensitive and have an element of gentleness and beauty in their writing.

    1. I was just thinking through the list again and I’m seeing that emotion plays a large part in all their works from different angles and lights – raw and refined, honest and deceptive, lovely and ugly. They all play with the complexity of emotions.

      1. So, I’m guessing you should be tapping into that in your work (and your approach) too.

        Great way to rule out projects (even scenes) you shouldn’t be writing: where’s the emotion?

    1. That certainly sounds like you, Anita! I think you’re already living up to your Fairy Art Parents’ example.

  12. Work ethic and commitment to excellence. But the primary thing I noticed was the ability to make the commonplace extraordinary.

  13. Elizabeth Strout, T.C. Boyle, Ray Bradbury.

    humor, flawed characters, the characters trying to get what they want doesn’t always work out.

  14. Willingness to show up even if the outcome is uncertain, belief in transforming power of art and artist as community member, social consciousness and willingness to use their voice, profound humanity, wit. (Not sure about this for Marie Curie). Inspiring youth.

    Margaret Atwood, Ruth Ozeki, Toni Morrison, Gustavo Dudamel, Marie Sklodowska- Curie, David Carpenter.

    1. Flow…… prolific ……. A simplicity but outpouring of emotion to get message over to listener…… hope…. Connection – I want to go back again and again to these creatives
      I’ve added Nina Simone , John Muir and Simone de Beauvoir to my Fairy art Parents

  15. “Richard Brautigan, Patricia Clapp, Ray Bradbury, Michael Parkes, Agatha Christie, Ricky Tims, and my mother.” Also Robin Williams.

    Originality, cleverness, perseverance, humor, and an unusual way of seeing the world.

  16. Common themes in fairy art parents
    – Skillfull imagery (picture, music or by word)
    – Relating to the human condition
    – Simplicity
    – Different cultural viewpoints – broadens / clever
    – Freedom of thinking
    – Humour
    – Fictional / creative writing has a place
    – Stimulating on ethical topics

    1. Oh how interesting. Can you begin to see how this ought to be informing your own choice of projects and how you approach them?

      I see aesthetic choices AND values that matter to you, in this list…

      1. Im also thinking this morning about formative books in my education – Chaucer (so much fun), Taming of the Shrew (gender issues in focus!), Alice Walker and The Colour Purple – Michel Foucault and the History of Sexuality – agreeing with Margaret Atwood (Handmaid’s Tale..)

        Yes I noticed the Aesthetic idea coming through and wondered how that relates to words (except I am not so skilled at visuals). For values – I can’t quite put them I to words yet – diversity, equality, learning springing to mind so far. My secret revolutionary voice is peeking out ..

  17. Michael Ende, Rafik Schami, Roald Dahl, Siri Hustvedt, Johnny Depp, Prince, Steven Tyler, Ulrich Roski (German singer-songwriter from the 1970s). They all have in common humor/surprise/colorfulness, courage/honesty, accessibility/clarity, original use of voice, the ability to put bad/shocking events in story form.

  18. “David Bowie, Anthony Horowitz, Bill Finger, George Harrison, George Carlin, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Paul Simon, Ernest Thesiger.”

    Hmm… I’d say boundary pushing is definitely a commonality. A gentleness. A sort of coolness, not really borne of haughtiness, but more like an ease in themselves. A lot of going their own way, a sense of stylishness. A strong dedication to their craft. Cleverness, and interesting word choices for the writers among them.

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