Yipes. Did you see that blur? It was yet another month flying past. Holy moley!
Which mean... it's time for another IWSG post. This, the first Wednesday of the month, is when writers all over the world post about the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the ins and outs... of writing. We celebrate... we complain... we commiserate. Whatever we need, this is the place to find it. Humble thanks and a jolly tip of the hat go to Alex Cavanaugh, our fearless ninja leader and the originator of this fine group. If you'd like to join (It's FREE!) or would like to read some of the other posts, please go HERE
I've gotta say, October has been a pretty good month for me, writing-wise. I'd been semi-stalled on my WIP, kinda spinning my wheels, and only writing in short dribs and drabs, and then at the last minute, I decided to write something for the WEP challenge to make my "kid sister" pal Renee happy. The funny thing is, it made ME happy, too. I actually had fun with it, and much to my surprise, the judges selected it to receive the Encouragement Award... kinda like third place. (Like being Miss Congeniality! Cool. huh?) It didn't do a darned thing to advance my WIP, but it was writing, and it was fun. Then, I decided to write and submit a story for the next IWSG anthology. Young adult romance isn't exactly the sort of thing I usually write, but doggone if I didn't have fun with THAT, too... a LOT of fun. THEN, to top it all off, after completing those two projects, my enthusiasm for my WIP returned... and I'm now doing more writing than procrastinating and making lame excuses. (At this rate, I may actually finish this darned book!)
How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?
I don't have any statistics to back me up, but I suspect that most writers are creative people, and by that, I'm not just stating the obvious. I'm not saying that writers write. (Duh!) I mean that I think writers tend to be creative in other ways, as well.
I think we're all born with an innate curiosity and imagination, which kinda go hand-in-hand with creativity. This spark of inspired creativity, combined with a propensity to ask what if is what propels many writers. Me? There aren't many creative endeavors I haven't explored.
Smarticus thinks I've crocheted enough afghans to just about cover the globe. Lots of sewing and doll-making, too. Used to do a lot of oil painting and song writing, too, to go along with my guitar-playing. I even got into macrame... and made all kinds of things out of egg cartons. Even built a small Morse code receiver and transmitter. You name it, and I probably tried it.
Was I good at all of it?
In a word, no. I wasn't horrible... but I certainly wasn't great. But I was creative.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. [Scott Adams]
I made lots of mistakes. Most of my oil paintings belonged in the garbage, but there were a few... a few... worthy of a frame. Dabbling in water colors was a whole 'nother kinda painting that brought me a lot of joy, as did all of the other arts and crafts I embraced over the years. The most important thing to me was that I created something other than carbon dioxide.
But as for how my creativity has evolved since I put all of my eggs in the writing basket? It hasn't. Writing has come to rule supreme over all the rest. And ya know what? I think that's a mistake. Just as writing the entry for the WEP challenge and the Young Adult romance for the anthology stirred things up a bit and enabled me to summon up renewed energy for book two of my series, I think doing other creative activities... you know, something that doesn't have a darned thing to do with writing... would be a smart move. Not just for me, but for most writers.
Writing may be a passion, but if we allow it to become the be-all and end-all sum of our creativity, we shortchange our potential. Do you do puzzles? I do, and my two favorites are the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzles and killer Sudoku puzzles. The thing about doing these two very different kinds of puzzles... and I know this is gonna sound weird... but it feels like I'm using different parts of my brain to solve them. The whole thought process feels different... and I think that's a good thing. Kinda keeps my brain on its toes. So to speak.
Same with doing different kinds of creative activities. The different processes exercise different parts of our imagination and stimulate the ol' gray matter and our creative chops. Why limit ourselves? So what if you don't paint like Rembrandt? Paint like YOU. Don't be afraid to try. Not the world's best dancer? So what? Dance, anyway! Enjoy the experience.
The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. [Sylvia Plath]
Like the commercial say... Just do it! Life is filled with creative possibilities. Why limit ourselves to one thing? Writing is our passion, but it isn't cheating when we have a fling with another kind of creativity once in a while. Keeps the imagination limber, and in the long run, I think we'll be better writers for it.
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.