Q&A On Creativity: Nick Daws (The Creativity Series)

It has been a pleasure being a Writer Warrior on Triberr. I’ve connected with a number of really wonderful people. Many in the group responded to my call for articles or interviews about Creativity.

Here, In this Q & A, British freelance writer and editor Nick Daws reveals why creativity is important to him both personally and professionally…

The Creativity Series: Nick Daws on Creativity


Q. What do you do that is creative?

A. As I am a full-time freelance writer and editor, some would say that everything I do is creative. Personally, however, I feel that some of my work is more creative than others.

Sometimes I’m hired for my creativity – this applies especially with copywriting work. At other times, such as when I’m editing a book, the scope for creativity is less.

Even so, there are often many possible ways to edit a text, and creativity still plays an important role in achieving the best possible outcome for all concerned.

Q. How do you use your creativity?

A. I use my creativity in my work, as mentioned above, and also for coming up with ideas for new projects of my own. Although I write for clients to pay the bills, I enjoy fiction writing when the time permits, and always have a few short stories and other projects on the go.

Another area where I have to be creative is in marketing myself and seeking out new outlets and opportunities. Being a freelance writer is a tough gig at times. You have to be creative in how you present and market yourself. And sometimes you may have to reinvent yourself entirely!

Q. Why is creativity important to you?

A. Creativity is essential to me partly because, as I said above, it’s one aspect of what my clients pay me for (and sometimes the main thing).

Beyond that, though, creativity is what keeps me excited and motivated by my work, and always trying to do better. I’d hate to have a job that offered no scope for creativity. I’d soon go mad from boredom!

Q. Who or what has been a creative influence on you?

A. There are numerous brilliant creative writers whose example has inspired me – just a few examples would include the British poet and novelist Laurie Lee, science-fiction author Roger Zelazny, thriller writers Stephen King and Dean Koontz, and fantasy author Robin Hobb.

There are also some brilliant bloggers whose creativity (and productivity) never cease to amaze me: Darren Rowse of Problogger, for example, and Joanna Penn, of The Creative Penn.

More generally, the Internet itself has been a huge creative influence on me. It’s an endless source of creative ideas and inspiration.

Q. What do you feel your creativity does for others?

A. For my clients, I hope my creativity helps them to produce the very best work they can – be it a book, a website, a blog, an advertisement, or whatever. And I hope that, through my work, my creativity inspires readers to try new challenges, to take on projects they might not otherwise have considered, and to find new sources of fulfillment and creative satisfaction.


Byline: Nick Daws is a professional freelance writer and editor, living in the English county of Staffordshire. He has a blog at www.mywritingblog.com and a homepage at www.nickdaws.co.uk. His publications for writers include the CD-based Write Any Book in Under 28 Days and Kindle Kash, a downloadable guide for writers who want to publish their work for profit on the Amazon Kindle platform.


Journaling to Unleash Creativity (The Creativity Series Guest Post)

For a return engagement, Corrine O’Flynn offers further thoughts on the creative process.

The Creativity Series: Guest Post

Journaling to Unleash Creativity

Ask a creative person what they do to keep track of their ideas and you’ll find many different answers. Some will file them away mentally until they can revisit them later, others will use a voice recorder, and still others will email themselves, call their own voice mail, or make lists. I do all of these things. But my tried and true solution to problems that crop up in my stories is usually found within my journal.

Creativity can become stifled if we’re unable to move beyond a certain sticking point. In my case, as a writer, I will find myself staring into the dark abyss of a plot hole and wonder how in the world I am supposed to get my characters from point A to point B while maintaining whatever was happening at the moment on the page.  My head will be stuck on some minute detail, and then everything stalls, leaving me unable to find a solution.

Awareness of my tendency to do this does nothing to keep it from happening, mind you. Our minds play tricks on us in broad daylight!

Enter my journal. In a case like this I will pull out my journal, grab a pen, and start writing out the issue long hand. I’ll write out a question at the top of the page like, “What is the problem with Character D at this point?” And then I’ll start writing out an answer as if I was explaining to someone who was not familiar with my story. Eventually, I will get lost in the telling of the issue and start brainstorming the possible solutions I’ve come up with.

Maybe they could go here and discover this fact before such-and-such happens, or maybe they don’t find this detail out until they arrive at the next town. Or, maybe they don’t stop here at all and instead…

Thinking through a problem like this is like taking part in a one-man brainstorming session. When you start being open to putting the issue down without worrying about the writing, and instead with a goal of problem solving in mind, you free yourself from that sticking hold on your brain.

Journaling to unleash your creativity in this way can bring about many different solutions, sometimes making you change everything once a gem of an idea emerges. It forces you to separate your ego from the stunning and fabulous idea that has you stuck in the first place and allows you to come up with alternative (and equally fabulous) solutions to your problem.

Do you journal to solve creativity problems?

Corinne loves to write about fictional dark and fantastical things. You can find her on her blog and on twitter @CorinneOFlynn

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