The Fight for Creativity

Apr 11, 2014

Yesterday we attended a thought-provoking talk by an excellent speaker: Darren Dahl, Senior Associate Dean of Faculty and professor of marketing and behavioural science at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. The event was hosted by the Professional Women’s Network, and it was called, “what’s the point of creativity?” Darren addressed the role of creativity in business: why it’s important, how it can lead to innovation and how it can push us to do things we never previously dreamed of doing. 

And it got us thinking. The point of creativity isn’t something that’s often questioned in the writing world we’re immersed in. It’s something we tend to take for granted. Not only is creativity important to the writing process; it’s also a critical component of a successful publishing strategy. It takes original thinking to make a book stand out from the thousands of other titles in its category. It requires inventiveness to set up new sales channels and to reach new readers through unconventional marketing techniques. At a time of rapid change in the publishing world, it’s creative thought that will help us stay fresh and relevant. On some days, creativity feels like the thing that’s most essential to our survival – as a business and as an industry.

Creativity is not all about passion and play. It requires grit, determination and drive. Darren Dahl referenced an expression used by the artist and choreographer Twyla Tharp: creativity is a fight. Our author-clients fight every day to harness their creative potential as they face the enormous challenge of writing great books. We also fight to figure out how best to bring their books to the widest possible readership. We appreciate Darren Dahl’s reminder that this is no easy feat, and that it’s something we should never take for granted.