My Creative Genius

Death to the Stock Photo

the Creative Genius, partner in the creative process, or strict task master

In her first TED talk Elizabeth Gilbert describes her Creative Genius as a spirit who is always there — in the corner of her room — while she is working on a book.

Liz speaks about this ingenious creature as if it was a person. She says that the Creative Genius is just as responsible for her writing as she is. Her job is to turn up at her desk each day and do her work.

I was reminded of Liz Gilbert’s explanation of the Creative Genius recently while writing an unexpected book. It was not a project I had planned at all.

In fact, the plan had been to take a few weeks off over the holidays and allow my creative source to replenish itself.

The day after I was ‘officially on holiday’ this Creative Genius turned up out of the blue, and he made me write a book. His name is Professor George.

He has been around for about 20 years now. He first showed up when I decided to write my own work — having translated other people’s books for over a decade. (I tried to change his name a couple of times, but he wouldn’t have any of it!)

Professor George, my Creative Genius, turned up with his Dragon. (He always comes with his Dragon — don’t ask me why…). He suggested that I write a book — only a little one — and I agreed.

It took me 4 days to complete the first draft, and I was very pleased with that. But then my Creative Genius made me rewrite the blooming manuscript twice, by hand, from scratch, and that took 2 weeks, by which time I was ready to fire Professor George.

If he’d come anywhere near me again, I was going to tell him in no uncertain terms that I’m not going to be treated like this anymore, and that he should please stop bothering me in the future.

After all, this was supposed to be my well deserved holiday, and it was not the first time he’d done something similar to me!

But Professor George and his Dragon managed to calm me down again, and I rewrote the manuscript a fourth time, by hand, from scratch.

Now my Creative Genius and I are friends again. We published the book this week.

The title of the book: Professor George, 14 Questions from the Sierra Varnida

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An excerpt of the book is available to download here