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Creative Process & Life
The “lone ranger” small business model works perfectly for some creators – those people who can successfully wear all the hats in their creative business and have no need for additional team members. But big visions require more hats – and more people to properly execute.
Sarah had a big vision:
Combine the traditional power of storytelling with the latest in touchscreen technology to create portals to the past and bring history to life at the tips of your fingers.
Her vehicle is Time Traveler Tours, a new generation of tour guides for a new generation of traveler, and Time Traveler Tales, the multi-format cousins of her story tours. Together, they #TurnHistoryOn.
Today I am thrilled to begin pulling back the curtain on the making of our launch StoryApp: In the Footsteps of Giants.
The nexus of the project, and the most important element of all, is the story. So this is where we began. And as we close out the first month of a new year, I am happy to say that we're closing in on a working manuscript.
But the road traveled thus far is not been straight. Is it ever?
You never know what’s going to happen when you give yourself over to the creative process, no matter the medium of expression. You conceive of an idea. You pitch it to an agent or editor, who takes it to a publisher or producer; or you take it directly to the crowd. And they say, “Sure! Let’s make that.” At which point you do a happy dance. Maybe celebrate with your friends.
What compelled you to come to the conference this year? I asked Sally. We were both attending the Friday evening pre-conference "Fringe" event on Vlogging (Video Blogging) led by Olivia Kiernan. It was my first meet-up of the 2015 Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) British Isles annual conference in Winchester, UK. Sally had already been to the Scrawl Crawl earlier that day.
To be amongst authors. That’s why I come every year, she said.
And thus began what for author Miriam Craig has turned into the best weekend of the year. I always come to the conference because I love seeing old friends and meeting new people. I always learn a lot. It’s a great way to keep up to date and to experiment.
The lifecycle of creative activity. We've all lived it:
It starts with an idea that leads to a process that becomes a book or a play or a faster computer; a film or the latest trend in teen fashion; a painting or an innovative new way to teach.
Its development spawns many unexpected experiences along the way to realization, and brings with it sufficient highs as well as innumerable lows – doubt, rejection, failed attempts, multiple revisions – before the day it finally falls into the hands of others. Then, it begins to take on a life of its own.
Much to my surprise, this has also been the path of fulfilling our Kickstarter promises, which, now in the rewards creation phase, continues to kick my butt with its downs, elevate me with its multiple ups, and excite and surprise me with its numerous twists and turns.
Last week was a busy and eventful one. It started and ended with my submission to the first annual BookTech Award and Pitch Challenge, sponsored by FutureBook, with two conference events sandwiched in between. The pitch challenge application forced me to get laser focused on communicating the problem I’m attempting to solve as a publisher. It all started with the opening question, “What is your target industry?” which threw me into a familiar tailspin.
I’ve long struggled with this question, to be honest, because I feel that my work and motivations straddle three sectors: educational tourism, children's literature, and the school and library markets. Yet, every business mentor I’ve ever worked has advocated that I hone my efforts to address the needs of one single audience. But how, when the whole point of our multi-format publishing model is to allow us to go broad?