I’m giving a keynote address this Saturday at the SCBWI Canada east conference in Montreal, and my topic is creativity and the creative process, so I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

Whenever I am to do something like this, I always think of the audience. What do they need to hear? What would I want to know if I was sitting there listening to me?

It’s not about me. It’s about them.

It doesn’t help that my head is muzzy because I’m sick, sick, sick.

Been working too hard, stressing myself out, and plus Ramadan begins on Saturday so I might very well be fasting.

I am exempt because of the traveling, but hey, that would mean I’d need to make up the fast and that’s just so hard.

But if I’m still feeling sick and I’m traveling, well then, it just makes sense to take the exemption and make it up!

So I will.

Thinking of the creative process makes me go back to how I created my best work and how I approach my new projects. So much of it comes down to taking out the ego, getting past the marketing and whether anyone will want to read this, but rather exploring a story because something about it drives your own curiosity. You just can’t help it.

What kind of head space do you need to be in in order to approach your project with the right attitude?

I find ego is a definite no-no. Don’t let your imagination start going wild with all the awards and recognition you might get. That’s like the worst thing  you can do!

Doesn’t it have to be about curiosity?

And yet can’t you eventually get ‘too enlightened’ for mass appeal?

Face it, what author doesn’t want their work to have mass appeal? To be read widely? And yet a lot of mass appeal books are quite shallow because they’re appealing to the lowest common denominator. I remember reading Gone Girl after watching the movie because part of the movie just didn’t make sense to me. It still doesn’t. The whole reasoning for the guy to stay with ‘Amazing Amy’ at the end just doesn’t make sense, and maybe that’s part of the appeal of the story? I don’t know.

I thought the book might be more elucidating but nope, it’s where the story breaks down for me. But there seems to be something in the author who insisted on that turn of events. For her, it was probably the point. That this married  couple is bound together in a dysfunctional push-pull kind of relationship but her commentary on the media and the way stories are spun was what I found most fascinating.

I think that’s what I’ll focus on. The approach to story.

It should be interesting!

I just wish my head was clearer but then it’s only been a couple of days of the antibiotics and I should have enough time by Saturday to feel better insha Allah.