Why Creative People Are Walking Paradoxes

Joe Vastano

Joe Vastano

In the latest Glimmer Train bulletin, Joe Vastano has a lovely essay on how writers have to acknowledge the duality inside them in order to achieve artistic triumph. I couldn’t agree more. Here’s a brief snippet:

Creative people are walking paradoxes; both shrewd and naïve, libidinous yet prudish, and so on. I believe that this paradox forms the basis of the creative tension so essential to artistic triumph—the friction of opposites setting fire to that “third thing,” which goes by yet another name: the Sublime.

Go read the entire essay, “Into the Sublime,” and see what other gems await in Glimmer Train’s latest bulletin.

Posted in Creativity + Inspiration, Life Philosophy and tagged , , , .

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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Donna Amis DavisVisionarystoneCindy Thrashershirleyhs Recent comment authors

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I love this! Just what I needed for my morning of writing. I love this way of describing creativity and the sublime. Jane, you sure know how to pick’em.


thank you, Shirley.  I always recommend that creative folks I know read Carl Jung’s essay, “The Transcendent Function” for a supremely detailed and amazing explanation of the phenomenon.  Blessings to you, and write hard!

Joe Vastano

Cindy Thrasher

Thank you for this.  I agree wholeheartedly, only because I find myself battling both sides, trying to come to some sort of compromise.  Compromise in this context, in my mind, equates to adequate or vanilla or even worse, average.  I’ve printed his article and am pinning it to my board.  It bears frequent reads, until I “get” it. 


thank you, Cindy. I always recommend that creative folks I know read Carl Jung’s essay, “The Transcendent Function” for a supremely detailed and amazing explanation of the phenomenon. Blessings to you, and write hard!

Joe Vastano


For more info on the paradoxical creative personality, I highly recommend this book:


Blessings and good fortune to all!

Joe Vastano

Donna Amis Davis