When President Barack Obama launched Educate to Innovate in 2009 and shifted the conversation in education towards science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), higher education interpreted the administration’s new initiative as a clear, distinct, and in some circles, long overdue, headshot to the liberal arts. Such concerns were perhaps only intensified when President Obama made an off-the-cuff remark about the lack of value in art history degrees when compared to skilled manufacturing jobs. While the President did indeed apologize for an ill-considered comment, the sentiment it conveys represents an increasingly popular belief that in the modern global economy, the need for technical instruction trumps the need for creative expression. Perhaps this is my own liberal art bias talking, but the name of the initiative itself—Educate to Innovate—certainly begs the question: how do we become the ‘innovators’ of this new century without teaching, practicing, valuing, and rewarding creativity?
Monthly Archives: January 2015
Winter is an excellent time to get your creative juices flowing, since few of us are going to brave the cold, wind, and wet that waits beyond our doors and windows. But even on these inspiring early evening, we all could use a little inspiration to pick up our pens or to put our fingers on the keys. Lucky for us, creative writers have always been willing to pay it forward and offer us advice and support to get us in the writing mood. Many of them offer practical advice about getting started and getting published, but they all talk about their personal relationships with writing, and why they continue to write and talk about writing years after their careers first began.
Here are our top ten favorite books about writing by writers:
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
- Earnest Hemingway On Writing edited by Larry W. Phillips
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamont
- The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
- On Writing by Eudora Welty
- Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut edited by William Rodney Allen
- Why I Write by George Orwell
- Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman
- First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process edited by Robert D. Richardson
- Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir by William Zinsser