Well, not being much of a genius myself, I had to admit to her that I’d never heard of Genius Hour. She kindly explained that Genius Hour encourages students to research and pursue topics they’re interested in for one hour each week (or whatever amount of time a teacher specifies.) The program is aimed at increasing student enthusiasm, creativity, and productivity. Some schools have incorporated another similar program called 20-Time which allows students to select their own independent projects. It seems both of these programs were sparked by Google’s policy which allows their engineers to spend 20% of their time on any project they select.
So all of this got me thinking. Do writers spend much free time thinking about new story ideas? (I mean story ideas the writer is passionate about, not necessarily ideas they think editors or agents are looking for.) Do writers feel they can muse about story topics they really enjoy, even though the topics may not be “saleable”?
Now I know time is valuable. And there never seems to be enough hours in the day to finish the projects at hand. But as I considered the idea behind Genius Hour, I wondered if sometimes we get so caught up in the business side of writing that we forget to allow ourselves the freedom to pause and consider new book topics (fiction or nonfiction) that really move us.
What would happen if we made time for our own Genius Hours? Maybe set aside the first 15 minutes of our critique group time to ponder book ideas or themes that resonate with us. I wonder if we’d come up with great story ideas that we’d be motivated to research and wouldn’t get sick of after the one-hundredth revision.
So to get the ball rolling — what fascinated you as a child? Swans? Snails? Sailboats?
What are you curious about now? Penguins? Peacocks? Paragliding?
Could Genius Hour help you create some awesome books? Why not take a little time off from the “business” of writing to find new creativity and inspiration and find out!
*****************Book Winner from my last post*******************
The winner of an autographed copy of Penny Parker Klostermann’s book, There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight is Maria Gianferrari! Congrats Maria!
[So how does one “randomly” select a winner from people who leave comments on a blog post? Well, there were just under 100 comments on my last post. So I asked my daughter to pick a number between 1 and 100. If her number happened to be a comment I made, I decided to select the next post entry. That’s how it worked!]