026: Heather Lee Dyer – Creativity Over Perfection

How Writing Books Saved Her Life and It Could Save Yours

Heather Lee Dyer is a fiction writer and the author of Creativity Over Perfection. Heather normally writes in the genre of young adults science fiction, specifically space opera. Find out why she said she’d never write non-fiction books but did it anyway!

What We Discuss with Heather Lee Dyer:

  • Why she never wanted to write a non-fiction book
  • How she got into the art of writing
  • Heather talks about her Hippie Commune
  • How Heather’s unique upbringing helped her write her book
  • Dealing with lupus and how people with disabilities have shaped her view of the world
  • Everyone is born with creativity!
  • Heather’s process of writing fiction books
  • Characters being framed from real-life emotions
  • How writing served as her therapy
  • The difference between writing a fiction vs. non-fiction book
  • The power of persistence and empowerment
  • Why it’s important to develop the habit of book writing and about NaNoWriMo

[01:45] Why Non-Fiction Books Were Not on Her To-Do List

Heather writes young adults science fiction, specifically space opera, being raised on loving space, space travel, and science fiction.

She initially wasn’t into writing a nonfiction book thinking she didn’t have anything to share.

[04:04] Seeing the World Differently that Helped Her Shape the Book

Heather grew up in a Hippie Commune, living on the mountains of Montana, and considered it as the happiest time of her life.

[08:05] Finding Creativity is in Everyone

Children can find creativity in everything. We’re all born with that. Our experiences either develop or stunt that creativity.

Everybody has a creative side in some way or another.

[09:45] Dealing with a Medical Condition

When Heather was diagnosed with lupus, she threw herself more into writing which she found as a cathartic process. it was an empowering experience for her.

She tried to frame her actual emotions around the characters of the book. And since it was a fiction book, she was able to change the outcome, her reactions, and other people’s reactions.

For her, writing saved her life! Doctors have already given up on her. She stresses the importance of the mental state in dealing with lupus as automatic depression could always happen.

Having to deal with lupus and the consequences along with that, she committed to really writing everyday. She makes sure she celebrates every small accomplishment!

[13:30] Finding Joy in Writing

Some teachers could be too focused on the mechanics of writing. Instead, her focus is to make sure kids enjoy writing.

She also used the book to encourage and reach out to more and more kids to write and enjoy writing.

[15:30] Writing Fiction vs. Non-Fiction Books

Heather outlines stuff. She researches before she starts. She uses some sort of a screenplay outline to help her organize things.

She does a messy first draft and on her second draft, she makes sure everything is cohesive with some transitions.

She edited her first book 14 times before sending it to her first editor. Now, she’s down to three passes before sending it to her editor.

She can usually outline a fiction book in a day or two. She can get her first draft done in a month. Heather walks us through the times of day she spends writing.

A writer’s block comes from having too much information in your head.

[24:14] The Impact of Bullying

Coming out of the Hippie Commune and moving into the big city, Heather got bullied not only by the other students but by the teachers as well.

Heather came from a place of safety to a place where she was afraid to go to school each day and be herself. She stopped writing and stopped from anything special.

[27:05] Writing Her Non-Fiction Book

It took her two months outlining her book and then another 3 to 4 months to finally having her first draft.

The nonfiction book was much shorter than her fiction books, but she found it way more difficult than she thought.

She struggled with exactly the same things she was writing about like the fear of writing. She had to take her own advice as she was writing to get through these difficult times.

Heather outlines the importance of persistence and empowerment. Other people’s stories can help us persevere.

[34:00] The Power of Getting Into the Habit of Writing

Being part of the NaNoWriMo, Heather got into the habit of writing. It showed people that you could do it everyday no matter what.

Consistency is key in doing things.

Finally, Heather shares that the more you write, the more your mind grows, and the more opportunities come your way as a result!

Episode Resources:

Creativity Over Perfection

Recycling Humanity series

Delta Fringe series

Hippie Commune Facebook group


Follow Heather Lee Dyer on Facebook and Instagram.


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026: Heather Lee Dyer - Creativity Over Perfection026: Heather Lee Dyer - Creativity Over Perfection

026: Heather Lee Dyer - Creativity Over Perfection