Today is a Fellow Creatives Series post. This series features interviews with Writers and Authors, but Visual Artists, Musicians, and others may be popping by too. If you call yourself a creative and want to participate. Submit your link in the Fellow Creatives link list on the right side menu.
Today we have David Meredith with us. He’s the Author of The Reflections of Queen Snow White…
Fellow Creatives Feature: David Meredith
Being that the title of this blog is Anything Imagined, it seems appropriate to first ask how you get inspired and what boosts your imagination?
There are lots of things that inspire me - good books, movies, dreams etc. anything that elicits a strong emotional response. I just make sure to carry a little black journal type book with me everywhere. I write down any ideas I have so I don’t forget them. Some of them turn into characters or stories.
If you could imagine the perfect place to spend your whole life, what would it be like? (I’ll go first and help get you thinking. I think a castle with magical changing designs on the walls beside a beautiful garden with carnations of all colors with a river that sparkles like diamonds would be wonderful).
I really enjoy seeing lots of new and different places. However, one of the coolest places I’ve ever been is the Ginzan Onsen in Yamagata Prefecture Japan. It is an old silver mine and hot springs resort and was used as the model for the “bathhouse of the gods” in the Ghibli movie “Spirited Away”. Its especially pretty there in the Fall. Another place I really enjoyed that is actually veyr near to Ginzan is Yamadera. It is a mountaintop Buddust shrine and has been there since the 600s. You can just FEEL the age in that place. The view is breathtaking with the temple buildings clining to the mountainside and overlooking the great green valley that is Yamagata City and the surrounding rice feilds. I probably went there a dozen times or more when I lived in Japan, but I never got sick of it. It was just a great place to sit and write or think or just quietly reflect.
What first motivated you to write stories?
I guess I just felt like I had an idea that just really needed to “come out”. It was rocky in the begining. I wrote a lot of crappy fan-fic back in high school and I had a number of false starts and failures before I finally finished a whole novel. Longer still before I felt like I had anything good enough to try and publish. It just took a long time to hone my craft and find my literary voice – still an ongoing process I must say. Now what I hope most is that people FEEL something when the read my writing
Do you remember ever feeling scared to share your creative works and what helped you overcome the anxiety?
I think most creative people are overcome with the “Argh, everything I create is crap! I’m wasting my life” attacks. I think that most really creative and introspective people are their own worst critics. You just have to develope enough experience to just your own work dispassionately and objectively yourself AND listen to people you trust not to simply stroke your ego about what is and is not working in your writing. As far as what I think helped me get over those feelings, was getting feedback on my writing that was mostly positive but also motivated me to continue improving.
Do you feel it’s important to explore creativity and dream outside of everyday norms? Why or why not?
Yes. I forget who said it, but I like the quote “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” It is only when we look outside of the everyday and dare to imagine something new and different that innovation and discovery can happen.
What advice would you give anyone who might be shy about exploring creativity or sharing their works?
It’s never going to be perfect. You can always get better, but don’t let that stop you from sharing it. Art by definition, makes a statement. If no one ever sees it, it isn’t stating anything. Your work only becomes art when it is shared and it is only when you get feedback from those who view/read/hear your art that you can grow as an artist. Don’t fear rejection. Don’t be hurt by critisism. It’s all a part of the creative process and can be an incredible opportunity to be better than you ever could have been by yourself.
Thanks so much David for sharing some great advice and telling us about yourself. It’s very powerful what you mentioned about hoping people FEEL something when they read your work. I can relate and I think most artists can. It’s like writing, music, art and acting all serve as ways to convey and work through complex emotions that we continue to try to understand within ourselves and others.
More about David’s book, The Reflections of Queen Snow White:
The Reflections of Queen Snow White
Or my web page!