Marilee Zdenek Blogs for SBWC

A special message from Marilee:

Sometimes you make a choice and that choice can change your life forever.

I’m thinking professionally now.  You have a career and it goes in one direction, then something happens and you find yourself on a path that leads you to places you never dreamed you could go.

 For me, the direction of my life as a writer changed dramatically when I attended the Santa Barbara Writers Conference decades ago. Four of my nonfiction books had already been published and well reviewed, but there’s always more to learn. Also, I wanted to meet new friends who are writers. After attending the conference for a couple of years, the director of the conference, Barnaby Conrad, asked me to lead a workshop, and what resulted changed the direction of my career forever.  

 I began to research ways that writers could consciously stir their imaginations and write with greater passion and authenticity.  Insights slipped from my pre-conscious into consciousness and it seemed that what I thought was becoming a book was becoming so much more.  When I completed a raw draft of The Right-Brain Experience, my agent, Don Congdon, said, “If it works for writers, it should work for people in other fields too. Don’t limit your audience. Check it out.”  And I did.  I discovered that it works for people who are mentally adventurous.  Engineers, Broadway actors, CEOs and students who want to stimulate their imagination can become more productive.  So I broadened the scope of the book for anyone who wants to think more creatively.

 So how did that change the direction of my career?  Well, The Right-Brain Experience made a few best-seller lists and some highly successful people sent invitations for me to lecture.  That would include working in many European countries including Switzerland, where I made five presentations at The World Economic Forum in Davos. At first I was concerned that world leaders wouldn’t be responsive to such an unusual approach to intensifying creativity and productivity.  I was wrong.  I have never had a more receptive audience and after that I worked privately with some of them.  I’ve written books on other subjects and I continue to be fascinated with how intentional stimulation of a certain part of the brain can produce fascinating ideas.

 My latest book is Between Fires, a memoir.  What will come next?  Who knows? I’m still growing and learning, falling down and getting up, having fun in the process.

If you’re interested in writing, I hope you’ll come to the Santa Barbara Writers Conference this June. I hope you’ll stop by my workshop to say hello while you’re there.