The Joy of Creation

The Joy of Creation

Pam Uphoff


I don’t often drink. Don’t do drugs. Whatever for?

I can’t image anything better than the high of creation. When the idea burns bright and the words fly from somewhere beyond conscious thought and somehow appear on the screen without my quite being conscious of the keyboard.

I had one of those days yesterday. Practically unaware of the physical therapy waiting room, my mind centuries and parallel worlds away, fighting to prevent a gross miscarriage of justice . . .

This is why I do NaNoWriMo. It’s one of the ways I make myself write. And the more I write, the more often these transcendental states descend to take over the fingers, or perhaps bypass them. Am I one with the computer? Well . . . Close enough to transfer info from subconscious to screen.

Fortunately, or not, my husband’s session with the physical terrorist my husband has dubbed Killer Miller ended yesterday’s writing session for the long slog home at rush hour. Driving is usually a good time for ideation, for me. Rush hour, however, just doesn’t work. No problem, this story won’t shut up, no need for large chunks of time staring at the blank screen, devoid of ideas.

I had lots of thinking time on the road Tuesday.

Tuesday was a fun day. I drove to San Antonio, well, the piece of the megalopolis named Universal City if you’re going to be picky, to talk to a middle school class about creative writing.

Oh. My. I got an overdose of bright and shining faces, eager to write, boiling over with creative ideas. _They_ knew all about the intoxication of ideas. All they needed was a few nuts and bolts to put it together. I keep thinking of practical matters I ought to have also mentioned. How to format a manuscript. Title page, legal page, table of contents. Chapter headings. Smaller paragraph indentations for the smaller screen. And on and on. The details.

The big picture? They all ready had it. All the nodding heads as I spoke of how fun it is to get the original, first, draft down on paper.

And dinosaurs. They all agreed that dinosaurs are cool, no reason to not have dinosaurs in a story.

Oh. My. The way their eyes lit up when they talked about the worlds they were building.

And they took notes, when I demonstrated how simple it is to publish on Amazon’s KDP platform. Which considering how much stuff I’d forgotten, is scary. Oops! Didn’t bring that clever blurb! Oops, what’s the ISBN? Never mind, I’ll hunt it down and fix it later, along with the typos I didn’t find before.

Astonished looks as they saw two quick pages to fill out, and I pushed the “save and publish” button. Done.

Pep talks. “You just have to dive in and do it. Yes, It’s scary. But do it anyway.” I gave lots of pep talks as I packed up.

Wow. Have I mentioned how fun that was? Everyone ought to go talk to small groups of young writers regularly. You’re paying back, but receiving in return a huge dose of optimism for the future.

And they make it so easy to just push the button, with no time for angst or one last typo hunt.

All writers should pass on their experience. And enjoy the experience of passing it on. For one brief hour, it was almost as good as writing.


And the obligatory promo, the newest book, still without the cool blurb or the ISBN number on the Amazon page.


  1. The joy of creation? Yep, nothing like it.

    The more you practice at a craft, the better you get at it and the better your result matches what you intended. I’m a better carpenter today (though still not a patch on a *real* woodworker) than I was ten years ago, and maybe someday I’ll be able to get on a page what runs through my head fast enough, clean enough, and clever enough that it gets close to what I intended. *chuckle*

    Glad to hear the writing is going well. I can’t manage NaNo this year for various other reasons, but I’m still trying to get a few words in here and there. It may take a year or two, but I’m getting back in the habit of putting words on a page. Good luck to all of ye doing the NaNoWriMo this year!

  2. NaNo is exhilarating (when it’s not exhausting). The ideas come so quickly. I attribute it all to the deadlines.

    1. I generally hate deadlines. But NaNo is “It’s just this month, and it’s the cumulative word count, that counts.” Works for me, so far.

  3. When it flows, there’s nothing like seeing the worlds appear on the page as well as in my mind. When it doesn’t . . .

    No NaNo this year, since I’ll be without my working computer next week. Maybe next year.

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