"Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you're passionate about something, then you're more willing to take risks." Yo Yo Ma

Let's keep those spring metaphors coming! We've talked about spring cleaning and now let's talk about planting a garden. Although I tend to kill most plants I love the idea of having a green thumb. I always secretly desired to be in a floppy garden hat, holding a basket with fresh cut flowers from my garden. Then I discovered that gardening actually takes a lot of work. Getting things to not only grow, but thrive, means taking time to plan what you'll grow and where, sowing the seeds, weeding, and fertilizing.

Creativity is the same way. You've got to plant ideas, see what comes up, and foster those ideas. This week we've got some articles on things that will help you grow your creativity!

~ New this week ~

On our YouTube channel

In this interview Crystal chats with Will Dages from Findaway Voices—this is the company that Crystal has worked with to produce audiobooks. They handle both production and distribution. Findaway Voices distributes to a ton of platforms — it's like going wide with eBooks.

Eileen chats with romance author Laurel Greer about the five things you need to know about writing romance to get it right and keep your readers happy which will keep you, the author, happy!

~ For Creative Academy Members ~

New in our Members' Only community

In Eileen's Happy Hour gathering they talked about four main areas. Since so many Creative Academy members attended the Creative Ink Festival last weekend, they shared conference takeaways, then Eileen gave a short run down on "what the heck agents do", and then she answered two questions from members. 1) How do you change your writing style to work for Nano and 2) What do you do with the feedback that your manuscript has been "over workshopped." Lots of great sharing of tips from members with some practical ideas (and a few laughs just for fun.)

In Crystal's Strategic Author session everyone shared learnings from the various workshops and conferences and festivals people have attended over the past couple weeks, which include the Highlights Foundation conference for writers of Jewish Kid Lit, the Manuscript Intensive hosted by Robert Dugoni and Steven James, and the Creative Ink Festival for Writers and Readers.

That gang covered their favourite takeaways, tips for conference success, and things to keep in mind if you're contemplating attending an event, and how to get the most out of them!

Office hours, writing sprints and special topic gatherings

For members of the Creative Academy who live outside of the Pacific timezone, you may be seeing strange times on our Glip/Ring Central calendar for the times that events are happening. It's a software glitch that happens every time we switch to or from Daylight Savings. The calendar below is correct, but it might require you do some math!

Alternately, refer to the Google calendar since that one updates without hiccups.

The week starts on Monday.

Not a Creative Academy member yet? Learn all you need to know to become a member here.

~ Creative Advice Prompt ~

What came up time and again in the articles reviewed this week was the idea of doing something new or changing your surroundings as a way to jump start your creativity. Challenge yourself to do at least one new thing this week to alter your typical routine and see what happens!

Eileen, Crystal and Donna