A Guide to Creating by Jillian Sullivan
Here is a book to inspire, impel and sustain the person who wishes to live creatively.It is an allegory about a writer who struggles with her craft, with motivation and most of all with doubt. One day a guide, whom she calls Godfrey, turns up. From Winter till Spring, on the beach where the writer…
Here is a book to inspire, impel and sustain the person who wishes to live creatively.It is an allegory about a writer who struggles with her craft, with motivation and most of all with doubt. One day a guide, whom she calls Godfrey, turns up.
From Winter till Spring, on the beach where the writer lives, in the mountains and by the valleys and vines, the writer asks and Godfrey explains: what it is, this creative life, how to live it, and how to keep on going.
For years I wrote one unpublished novel after another. I knew about the struggle to create, all right. I had 5 children to support. I loved writing and the texture of a sentence. Yet I faced such doubts that at times I almost couldn’t carry on.
It was easier at the start, when I could still believe in the possibility of success. I wrote seven novels before one was published. How to keep going? I still didn’t know. I was stuck halfway through yet another novel and nervous about taking on a project to write a mythology textbook.
A writer friend, Bridget, and I came up with a plan ~ we would text each other two random words at night and in the morning, before dawn, we would make something out of them. In this way we would shortcut doubt and procrastination and begin each day already being writers.
On the third day, I started to write what seemed like lectures from a guide I called Godfrey. I thought I would photocopy them for Bridget. On the day I wrote there were fifty more lectures to come, I realized it was a book length project. I wrote almost every dawn over a winter, in my house beside the sea. I wrote a book I didn’t set out to write and I did it without thinking, without stopping, for twenty minutes a day. That was the first thing I learnt ~ that by simply doing it, something would grow.
I went on and wrote the myth book, finished the novel, published two more. The fear has mostly gone. Doubt still lives on and procrastination thrives in many guises. But after meeting Godfrey in these pages, I think I know enough now to carry on.
“A Wonderful Read!”
Five Star Review on Amazon By Troy in Indiana
A wonderful read! I’m glad a friend recommended this to me. I’m sure your friends will thank you if you share with them as well. The descriptive narrative will fill your mind and soul with vivid images.
“There was a bee on the leaf of the geranium. Godfrey stooped down to watch it. The bee seemed dazed, as if it had hit its head against a winter-stiff sunflower while thinking of things other than flight. He blew softly on the yellow brown creature. It bumbled around on the green texture, then lifted off. “Even a bee?” I asked. “We need to watch out for everything ,” he said. “Everything weaker than ourselves, everything more damaged than ourselves, everything more precarious. If we each look out for another then the despairing will be taken care of.
Sullivan, Jillian (2014-11-10). A Guide to Creating: A Book of Soul Wisdom (Kindle Locations 2648-2654). Steele Roberts. Kindle Edition.
About the Author
Jillian Sullivan has published novels, collections of short stories, picture books, a book on mythology and a book on writing. Recently her first collection of poetry, parallel, was published.
Her awards include the Highlights Fiction Award in the United States, and the Kathleen Grattan Prize for poetry in New Zealand. In 2012 Jillian graduated with a Master of Creative Writing with Distinction.
Her current project is a memoir based on the year she spent building her strawbale home. Jillian, who is a grandmother of six, lives in the Ida Valley, Central Otago, New Zealand, where she looks out to the mountains.