Writer Cathy Pickens visited the senior English classes on May 16 and 17 to talk about developing and using creativity. “It’s not a question of whether you’re creative,” Ms. Pickens said. “You are! The question is whether you’ve done the work to develop your creative super-powers.”
To develop creative power, Ms. Pickens suggested two important steps. First, learn how to capture what you notice in a creative notebook; write at least fifteen minutes a day, about anything, without worrying about anybody else reading it. Second, take regular rambles, exploring things you haven’t done before; pay attention, write about your impressions, try something that challenges you a little. “Start noticing things, figuring out how things work,” she said.
Ms. Pickens’ first crime novel, Southern Fried, won St. Martin’s Malice Award for Best Traditional Mystery. She is a lawyer and former business professor at Queens University of Charlotte and has served as national president of Sisters in Crime, a 3000-member organization of crime writers and readers and as a founding board member of the regional Forensic Medicine Program.