Guest Vanessa Hua shares her circuitous path to literary success, which happened later in life, after a career in journalism and after age forty, and after the birth of her twin boys. In this episode Grant and Brooke explore the many ways writers seize their creative destinies—by following the thread of their curiosity, by taking up hobbies that spur creative endeavors, and by staying open to possibilities. If you feel like your next Big Creative Thing is just over that next hump, or even more so if it’s feeling frustratingly elusive, this episode will give you a shot of inspiration and the encouragement you might need to keep going—or looking, or trying.
ABOUT VANESSA HUA
Vanessa Hua is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of a short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities, and the novel, A River of Stars, which O, The Oprah Magazine calls “a marvel” and The Economist says is “delightful.” For two decades, she has been writing, in journalism and in fiction, about Asia and the Asian diaspora. She has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award, and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, as well as honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association. Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post. She works and teaches at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.
Writing Action: Reconnect with an Early True Creative Love
This exercise is meditative. Close your eyes and think back to an earlier time in your life. Consider when you were happy or free. What were you doing? What brought you joy? What kind of creative pursuits were you interested in?
If you can pluck one or two things out from your meditation, do. See if there’s a desire to rekindle your love affair. Maybe take a class, or carve out one hour a week to tend to that activity. Maybe that dedication to something creative will turn into something else. You never know. Creativity is not a linear path—but you are the mainfester of your own destiny, so at least make the space to see what might happen if you open up some space in your life for new possibilities to emerge.
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