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Creative. I love the sound of this word. As a child in the forties and fifties, I don’t think I ever heard it. In fact, the first emphasis on being creative that I encountered was in the late nineties when I read, then taught, Julia Cameron‘s The Artist’s Way.

Reading Cameron opened my eyes to the notion that creativity lives within each of us. All I had to do was tap into it. And she gave dozens of specific exercises to follow to find it.

As a result, I still don’t draw, paint, sing, or play an instrument. Nor do I design mosaics, work with metal, or cobble my own shoes.

But I could have learned about these creative pursuits, plus more, at the 10th Annual Creative Chicago Expo held at the Chicago Cultural Center last Friday and Saturday. Instead, as an author and blogger, I migrated to workshops on writing, my most favorite form of being creative.

At the workshops, my ever-present purse-sized writer’s notebook filled up with scribbles. Maybe some of my scribbles will be of interest to you.

From the workshop How to Get Published, presented by the Society of Midland Authors:

1. Amazon takes 62% of the retail price of a book; Ingram and Baker & Taylor take 55%.

2. China prints books much cheaper than we do here.

3. The Big Six publishers are used to working with agents.

4. Using Kickstarter to fund your project is becoming a new normal.

5. Traditional book reviews are much harder to get today because of newspaper cutbacks.

6. You are not finished when you finish your book. Next step? Stand by your art. Promote.

7. Templates are available that convert a Word document to a publishable form.

8. Amazon and Lightning Source offer POD (print on demand).

9. Your words are your ideas. (In other words, they are powerful!)

From the workshop WordPress in a Nutshell: Your Website, Security & More, presented by GIZMO Design:

1. Back up your blog routinely.

2. Change your password frequently.

3. Change your login to something besides  “admin” — make it harder to get hacked.

4. There are endless customization possibilities on WordPress blogs.

One man told Tall Tales!

One man was telling TALL TALES!

For more information on these topics, you really had to be there to experience the nuances of each of the presenters. Plan to join this comprehensive expo next year.

Meanwhile, read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and get inspired to explore your own creativity. You will not be sorry.