Friday, August 14, 2009

Conference Recap - David Ian, The Screaming Muse

I'm a little late in posting today. My intention was to post a recap every day this week but that obviously didn't happen. I'll be continuing with the recaps next week. However, on Monday, I will be blogging about Nicole O'Dell's book series for tweens, Scenarios for Girls. If you have a tween girl in your life, you'll want to check it out.

Today, though, I will be blogging about a wonderful class taught by my friend and fellow FaithWriters member, David Ian, at the FaithWriters conference last weekend. Here's a little bit about David:

David Ian is an author whose writings have been performed for stage, video and radio, as well as being published. He is a national award-winning playwright and his two-time winning “Shakespeareanesque” play Esther, the Hebrew Queen was sold out every evening it was performed. His Christian material has been performed all across the country, and his space opera series Burton Sound Byte has been published in various literary magazines and performed for live audio drama.

He has conducted writing seminars for Christian groups, international writing conferences and has guest lectured for college and high school classes. David is the founder of Unchained Productions, and when he’s not writing or teaching about writing, he is acting, directing, and doing fight choreography, as well as live sound effects for the stage, radio and film.

Visit David's FaithWriters profile.

Here's my take on David: Besides being an awesome man of God and an exceptional creative talent, David has a unique way of capturing his audience. Those of us in attendance were holding our sides from laughter one minute and brushing away tears the next. With a definite flair for the dramatic, David was the perfect choice as a speaker on the screaming muse - how to unleash it and use it to our full potential.

Here are a few things I took away from David's class:

* The more constraints we put on our muse, the harder it is to be inspired. So true! I know this from personal experience. As I work at my technical-type jobs--such as content writing, where creativity in it's truest sense is not exactly required--it's so much harder to switch back into "fiction mode" when I turn my attention to my novel.

*The more logical side of our brain we use, the less creativity we have access to. Again, if we want our creative muse to burst forth, we have to instruct our brains to think less about facts, reason, and logic and more about the whimsical and imaginative and dare I say...insane? Mwahahahahahahahahahahaha!

*We can't just call up our muse anytime we want. Wouldn't it be nice, though? We need to allow our minds to wander and not allow our inner editor to tell us that something is a negative idea. You never know where one thought will lead and what a masterpiece could come out of it.

*Document, document, document. On the flip side of the previous thought, the screaming muse pops up at random - and often inconvenient - moments. In the middle of a meeting, while driving to your mother-in-law's, sitting on the toilet (hey, just being real). Documenting my ideas is something I personally need to work on. Many writers I know carry around some sort of journal or notepad and constantly jot down ideas as they arise. Some even say they wake up in the middle of the night and reach for the pad of paper on their nightstand. I am almost ashamed to admit I don't do that. I depend on my memory, which has let me down time and time again. (I am now over 40, after all.) Pen and paper attached to my wrist would be a good--no, make that great--idea.

The most memorable moment of David's class was when he acted out a scene in which the audience helped him create. We started with "jumping spiders with sneakers" and ended up with a beautiful scene about a messenger delivering a word to Job. Awesome!

So how do you unleash the screaming muse? And how do you tame it when it pops up at inopportune times? I'd love to hear from you.


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Karlene said...

I loved David's dramatic presentation of the runner, delivering the message to none other than Job, we learned at the end of the story. David was so inspirational.

I'm learning to play with my muse this week. I have been on FB going nuts with it. I've named it Lizzy. It seems to me, giving it a name, allows me to make it more a part of my life, rather than an inconvenient houseguest. (Which when at inopportune times can be an annoying housemate.)

I'm working on giving license to my muse to speak at will because I've spent too many years telling it to be quiet. So many in fact, that it almost did and nearly killed it.

Diana D said...

That was a fabulous presentation, wasn't it? Thanks for the reminder about the documenting, I had better go and get me a notebook or something ;-)

Kim Russell said...

Thanks for posting these, Lynda. It helps to relive them again. And yes, I have note pads all over the house. It does happen at the most inconvenient moments (during Pastor's sermon last Sunday...uh oh...)