Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Creativity: Playing well with Others

Summer Retreat 2013
Tahlequah, Oklahoma is known for being the Capital of the Cherokee Nation, town of Northeastern State University, and home to Sam and Ella’s Chicken Palace where Carrie Underwood worked as a waitress . . . lesser known is that Tahlequah is a hot spot for creativity.  For me anyway- It is one of the places where I go for creative group play. 

This past weekend six of the nine members of my critique group (The Inklings) gathered to exchange manuscripts and encouragement. If true innovation is the combination of work and play that explains why our group gets so energized when we get together.  The Inklings are diverse in age, stage, background, and writing- AND we accept and enjoy each other.  If you were a chicken in the backyard (no exaggeration) peeking through the window you would have observed  us: reading silently with a critical/compassionate eye, laughing (a lot), giving feedback, taking notes, exchanging recipes and ideas, eating, drinking caffeinated drinks, and collaborating.  In a perfect world for me this would happen more often.  We actually meet once a month for regular critique but about two times a year we have this kind of magical-leisurely-productive-writerly jam session. 

If you are a writer and feeling a wee bit jealous about my weekend fun come join me in May when many of us writers leave our solitary writing cubicles to venture to the annual Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. (OWFI) conference in OKC.  This conference sparks incredible surges of group creativity, it is also where I met and joined the Inklings. Every year OWFI hosts fabulous author and agent speakers, from Oklahoma to New York City and many states in between- offering a range of genre, topics, perspective, and experience.  The extended time of a weekend allows people to leave their comfort zone and mix and mingle, exchanging ideas and business cards, and igniting that creative mojo. 

Whether you are interested in increasing your creativity in the kitchen, with your children, or at work- don’t skip the step about playing with others  . . . look for a class, conference, or PTO task force to meet people who  share your passion, and develop those relationships while you  nurture your creative spirit. 

Want to read more about creativity in Oklahoma? Please check out Oklahoma Women Bloggers.  This month they are all about "start" and I am one of the featured writers.  


  1. Lisa, now I'm really sad I missed the mini-retreat! You are so right about incorporating friendship and fun into our "serious" activities. Without the Inklings, I never would have lasted this long with my writing endeavors.

    1. I wish everyone could find their "tribe!"

  2. I am very lucky to have such lovely friends!

  3. I'll join you at OWFI! Looks like the weekend as a productive success!