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CoastLine: Wiley Cash on the mysteries of creativity, surrendering, and making bad art

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Mallory Cash
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Author Wiley Cash has launched an online creative community called This Is Working

Wiley Cash is working to demystify the creative process for himself and his online community. Creativity, he says, comes through engagement with the world — observing it, surrendering to it. It’s his fascination with his own creative process and pointing others in the direction of their own creative flow, whether writing or some other art form, that we explore on this edition of CoastLine.

“Our world – whatever that word means to you – is there waiting for us to engage with it, to observe it, to surrender to it. If we pay attention, it will reveal something to us that will redirect the course of our creativity. What else could we ever ask of this world? In surrendering to it, what else could it ever ask of us?”

So writes Wiley Cash as part of an essay on creativity.

While this New York Times best-selling author has published four novels, collecting a passel of literary awards along the way, he writes a feature called The Creators of North Carolina for four North Carolina-based arts and culture magazines. He’s also contributed short stories and essays to The Oxford American, Garden & Gun, The Bitter Southerner, and Our State Magazine.

Margaret Renkl
This Is Working / Wiley Cash
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Wiley Cash interviewed Author and NYT Opinion Writer Margaret Renkl about her creative process

He teaches fiction writing and literature at the University of North Carolina – Asheville. And he recently launched an online creative community called This Is Working. It’s his fascination with his own creative process and getting others in the creative flow – of writing, yes, but not only writing -- that we explore on this edition of CoastLine.

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Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.