On curiosity and conversations

“Genuine curiosity draws people into a conversation” (Liz Strauss)

I didn’t get quite where I intended with curiosity, the December theme at Confident Writing.

I found myself getting pleasantly distracted with writing challenges like:

And I’ve been busy with other things: creating a blogsite for our new Absorbing Writing workshop, working on the redesign for Confident Writing (it’s looking good - all will be revealed on New Year’s Day…) and the really important stuff like time for friends and family and the search for a missing (now happily refound) cat. (He understands the concept of curiosity all too well!)

I’m grateful to Robert Hruzek and Jeanne Dininni who found some of the words on curiosity and inquisiteveness that were failing me:

All I can say is, without the lure of curiosity, life would be dull indeed! No more challenges, goals, hopes, dreams… heck, there’d be no point in writing – and nothing to write about!
(Robert Hruzek: Please Turn Me Over)

Inquisitiveness is where the creative process begins. This eager thirst for knowledge fuels our desire to explore the world around us, within us, and beyond us, stretching us from the deepest, most revelatory truths to the farthest reaches of our own imaginations
(Jeanne Dininni: Inner Resources for Writing Success in 2008 and beyond)

But if I didn’t get to write, much, about curiosity I know that it still helped to fuel my writing motivation: to explore new ideas, to play with words, to look at things differently, to rise to a writing challenge or two, to learn more about all of you - and to get drawn into some great conversations.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment during December:

Brad Shorr, Robert Hruzek, Jeanne Dininni, Emma Bird, Lillie Ammann, -Deb, Rosa Say, Robyn McMaster, Laura, Karen Wallace, cat, Lis Garrett, lornadoone, Terinea Weblog, jnswanson J Erik Potter, Monika - The Writer’s Manifesto, Lisa, Mervi, Jim Murdoch, EnnaVic, Pussreboots, Valeria Maltoni, Lea Woodward, Karen Swim, April Groves, Writing the Cyber Highway, David Airey, Ariane Benefit, Will, Norm Leigh, Stormy, Claire Raikes, Sue Waters, Michele Martin, Sarah Stewart, Janice C Cartier, Kelly, Blogtommy, Eelkat, Michael Martin, Carma Dutra, Chip Campden, Johnny Centreback, Glenda Watson Hyatt, James Chartrand, Leah Maclean, Renae, Tim, Guy Hogan, Terry Heath

I hope you all have a good New Year when it comes… and look forward to seeing you in 2008.

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count

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16 Responses to “On curiosity and conversations”

  1. On December 30, 2007 at 10:32 pm Brad Shorr responded with... #

    Happy New Year, Joanna, and thank you for helping make my 2007 a most enjoyable year of blogging.

  2. On December 30, 2007 at 11:16 pm Valeria Maltoni responded with... #

    Curiosity comes easiest when we can forget what we know for long enough to learn something new. You have been a wonderful discovery for 2007 and I look forward to continue reading and having the conversation with you.

    Happy New Year, Joanna.

  3. On December 31, 2007 at 12:30 am Monika@The Writers Manifesto responded with... #

    Hi Joanna,

    Thank you for enriching my blogging life this year and providing such great content. It is always a pleasure to meet bloggers like you and I look forward to a fantastic 2008 for all of us.

  4. On December 31, 2007 at 1:10 am Tommy responded with... #

    I think you’re right on track with the curiosity theme. Sure, maybe a cat or two met it’s demise as a result (and you can simply not go there with me…5 cat subservient owner)…but it does serve to fuel. Without interest/curiosity, it’s tough to write and or even exist. It’s what makes life LIFE. Not hopin’ for the alternative anytime soon…Happy New Year Joanna and thanks for the link back!

  5. On December 31, 2007 at 2:34 am --Deb responded with... #

    You have a wonderful 2008, too, Joanna! And, is it really possible to be too curious? (grin)

  6. On December 31, 2007 at 2:50 am Rosa Say responded with... #

    I know the feeling Joanna! You lived your curiosity instead of writing about it :)
    Hau’oli Makahiki Hou ~ 2008 will be glorious. We pack our bags with both curiosity and aloha.

  7. On December 31, 2007 at 2:53 am Jeanne Dininni responded with... #


    Thanks for the quote and the link to my post! So glad I was able to contribute to your December theme, as well as your Christmas Wish-List-despite being a little late contributing to the latter.

    Your inner resources challenge definitely inspired me to begin thinking about the qualities I would need to call upon for writing success in 2008-and I found the exercise very revealing, not to mention edifying. Thanks for getting my creativity flowing in a positive and fruitful direction!

    Wishing you every success in the New Year!

    P.S. Please forgive the fact that this illness I’ve been (and still am) fighting has seriously curtailed my visits and comments over the past few weeks!

  8. On December 31, 2007 at 3:13 am Karen Wallace responded with... #

    Happy New Year Joanna - it will be here in 11 hours (give or take a few minutes)…

    I am relieved to hear about the cat, they are very definitely curious creatures - we can learn so much from our animal friends.

    Like Rosa said, you’ve lived your curiosity rather than writing about it - and I am sure it will all be good fuel for the writers pen (or is it writers fingers these days?) in months to come. We cannot write when we haven’t lived.

    Enjoy your new year celebrations, and thanks for making my 2007 all the more special for having you in it.

    Karen xx

  9. On December 31, 2007 at 10:12 am Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    What a lovely set of greetings to wake up to this morning!

    @ Brad, likewise. I’m looking forward to more collaboration and nonsense in 2008.

    @ Valeria, what a great line!

    “Curiosity comes easiest when we can forget what we know for long enough to learn something new.”

    I’m going to save that and use it again some place:-)

    @ Monika, thank you for such positive feedback, and for your own contribution to our learning and stretching as writers and bloggers. It’s much appreciated

    @ Tommy, it’s always good to meet another cat owner :-) And yes you’re right, curiosity is fuel for life as well as writing - although what I love about writing is that it helps me get curious about life…

    @ -Deb, no, although my cat might tell you a different story after spending a cold hungry Christmas 3 miles from home!

    @ Rosa, I’m looking forward to packing my bags with a joyful set of learners. Curiosity definitely gets to stay in the bag - it doesn’t weigh anything, unlike some of the other baggage I’ve been known to carry around!

    @ Jeanne, no need for apologies, you have been a great blogging friend over the course of the year. I loved your pick up on inner resources and I’m glad you found it an uplifting exercise. It’s a wonder to watch the words flow when we’re inspired like that isn’t it?

    @ Karen “We cannot write when we haven’t lived.” Too true. I’m looking forward to a year of adventure, opportunity and living out loud… and sharing the experience with such a powerful network of blogging friends. It’s been fun getting to know you too - can’t wait to see where it’ll take us!

    It’s funny - beautiful - inspiring to think of us all starting the New Year at different times as the earth moves round. It makes me smile to think of you all wherever you are and whatever you’re doing… Have a fantastic new year all when midnight strikes where you are:-)


  10. On December 31, 2007 at 10:58 am Jim Murdoch responded with... #

    Perhaps you should devote some blogs to the problem of distraction. I know that it can be a big problem with many writers, myself included, not being able to knuckle down for any number of reasons, sometimes the daftest of reasons too.

    Have a Happy New Year when it comes, Joanna.

  11. On December 31, 2007 at 3:20 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Jim, thanks for the suggestion, I’ll pick it up in 2008. Although you realise that the question of how we handle distraction, whether distraction is a good or bad thing and how we tell the difference, well all of that is now gaily distracting me!

    Have a happy New Year when it comes - it’s good to have someone to share this form of words with!


  12. On December 31, 2007 at 3:48 pm J. Erik Potter responded with... #

    Happy New Year, Joanna!

    I’m glad we made a connection this fall.

    Here’s to an outstanding 2008.


  13. On January 1, 2008 at 3:56 am Robyn responded with... #

    Nothing like squeaking a comment in just under the wire, Joanna! I would not even have a blog if it had not been for my curiosity. Ellen Weber started blogging and and day after day she kept remarking about how fun it was. Well, to tell you the truth, I was so curious I had to see for myself. And, yes, I love it so much I’m addicted and haven’t turned back. I’m very grateful for a great friend like you, Joanna, and I wish you the very best in 2008!

  14. On January 1, 2008 at 4:13 am Writing the Cyber Highway responded with... #

    Thanks for always providing such thought-provoking content, Joanna, and for the link love! :-)

    Happy New Year!


    May the new year smile on each and every one of us!

  15. On January 1, 2008 at 7:18 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    @ Erik, me too. I’m looking forward to more blogging conversations with you in 2008 :-)

    @ Robyn, you model curiosity in everything you write - the way you pick up and develop ideas, ask and respond to questions and feedback, keep up with the latest research and make it digestible for us… I’m sure I’m not alone in being very grateful that your curiosity got you blogging because we all benefit from it.

    @ Michele, you’re so full of smiles! Look it’s infectious!:-)


  16. On January 2, 2008 at 11:02 pm Robyn responded with... #

    Thanks, Joanna. You’ve asked me some great questions that provoked my thinking.


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