tagged with: Creativity

How are you all doing out there? I hope you and your family are following the guidelines and keeping safe. I haven’t posted much about my writing for a while. Part of it is due to the fact that I’ve
I have been working on my wellness blog, trying to help others during this trying time, and I’ve been slowly editing my latest novel, Love, Lies, and Grace and sending my chapters to my critique group for their input.



So I woke up this morning thinking I need to get back to writing and posting again. I’ve only been posting about other authors’ blitzes and virtual tours, and I hope some of you have taken advantage of some of the great offers. But to be honest, I think COVID-19 has stifled my creativity somewhat. I have a novella that I started working on some time ago and it’s collecting cyberdust right now.

But this morning, I stumbled across this video that has gone viral and, in addition to bringing a tear to my eye, it has brought me inspiration. It has shown me that the world is not a great, big ball of coronavirus, as they show it on TV, but it’s a place filled with people who can smile, clap for each other, and love each other. It has given me hope.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, you can view the video below. I believe it will bless you as it did me.

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libri4Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and is looking forward to the New Year. With my grandchildren around me, my Christmas could not have been better. I am now looking forward to what 2015 holds.  Which brings me to the reason for the headline above. Actually, it came about as a result of a post I read this morning, one that had nothing to do with writing. The author was speaking about expectations in general and she stated that expecting too much from others can lead to disappointment. And she was right. We should only set standards by ourselves.

So, what expectations do we have of ourselves as writers? I know for myself, I set my expectations very high. I want to be the best writer I can be. I want my work to stand out from among the others. There is a trend in writing and publishing toward producing work that is quite similar to what is already on the market. One person writes a successful vampire story and hundreds flood the market. One person writes  a dystopian novel and we get hundreds more.  And I wouldn’t even touch on the romance market. I suppose we are afraid that no one would read our books, or, worse yet, we would not be able to find an agent. The latter may very well be true, but whatever happened to originality and creativity and uniqueness?  Where are the Shakespeares, the Jane Austens, the Faulkners of our day?

A friend of mine who is a voracious reader told me recently that Agatha Christie, who wrote 91 books, 82 of which are mysteries, has a unique plot and unpredictable  ending for each one of her mysteries. Now that’s what I call creativity. I read Agatha Christie when I was growing up, so I may have to go and reread some of them through the eyes of an author.

In 2015, my expectation is to be my creative best, and if I get only one reader, then so be it. What are your expectations? Please share them in the comments box below.

 

 

 

Writers are supposed to be creative individuals who spin spell-binding yarns out of nothing. After all, that is what creating means, right? Making something out of nothing? So you get your coffee, soda or water bottle, position yourself at your desk or on the floor with your laptop and your fingers dance over the keys like they are dancing with the stars. Right? Wrong, most of the time. You might be more likely to sit for several minutes staring at a blank screen, turn it off, go get a sandwich, come back, type a few lines, then hit the delete button in disgust. So, what does it take to ignite this great stuff that fathers so many excellent works? Learning a few tricks may help.

1. Always keep a pen and a little notebook handy. An idea might come to you when you least expect it. At the supermarket, on the bus, while driving (wait until you stop before you reach for the pen) and in many unexpected places. You may even awake during the night with an idea for a novel. When this happens, jot down as much of the detail as is available, then lay it aside.

2. Use your senses. Your senses can help you conjure up a story. The next time you go for a walk, look at your surroundings. What lies beyond that vacant lot? Why is that car parked in the same spot for the last two weeks? Every morning on my way to work, I pass an area with overhanging trees and under them are three old vans parked in parallel parking. That’s all I can see. The vehicles look like they’ve been there for ages. I can’t see any house behind them, just the trees hanging over. I wish I could get out of my car and investigate. I should get some material for a good story. Don’t be afraid to eavesdrop, but do it without being obvious. Other people’s conversation can make a great story.

3. Keep a journal. Similar to # 1, keeping a journal can be a way to unlock your creativity. Try to write in it first thing in the morning. Don’t worry about grammar or style or even spelling. Simply write what comes to your mind and after a month, you’ll see things emerging that you never knew you had in you. It could be the beginning of a memoir, a novel or a non-fiction book.
4. Read. I’m sure you already know that this is a surefire way to spark your creativity. My love for writing and, I daresay, my creativity grew out of my love for reading. Growing up, I read voraciously and that led me to begin writing at an early age. Reading can supply you with a lot of ideas for your own work, while at the same time teach you to recognize good writing.

So there you have it. In my next post I’ll talk about some other ways to release your creativity. Meanwhile, leave me a comment and let me know what you do to get your creative juices flowing. Until next time …

by Beth Ann Erickson

Intuition is the deep knowingness inside yourself. It’s that place within you where you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what you’re doing is right or wrong for you at the moment.

Living intuitively, life is a joy, your work a pleasure. When you don’t listen to your intuition, you’ll stumble, life will be difficult. Everything you do will feel like swimming up stream.

You find yourself self sabotaging yourself. You may forget to answer e-mails. You won’t return calls. You’ll find yourself doing anything except tend to the task at hand.

In a similar vein, when you follow another person’s path (which is exactly what you’re doing when you’re not following your intuition), the same thing will happen. You will self sabotage the project. You won’t feel joy. You will have an inner sense of panic.

So it’s imperative to follow your intuition because your path will always be unique… never quite the same as other writers.

Where one writer will share a trick to do “this” and another writer will share a trick to do “that,” these techniques may or may not work in your situation.

It’s important to take into account your personality whenever you’re evaluating marketing techniques.

I’d darn near die (literally) if I had to cold call editors. I have no problem contacting people if we have a prior relationship, but to call out of the blue? No way.

That’s just the way I’m wired. I accept it and work around that inability.

Some people may dislike writing queries and sales letters. Then cold call. Send e-mails. Do what works for you.

This is why it’s so important to follow your hunches no matter how far off the beaten path it may be.

Your activities may make no sense to the person watching your life, it may look bizarre to others, in fact, your hunches may not make sense to you either.

But in your spirit, in your soul, all will make perfect sense. And that’s what matters.

How to Know You’re on the Right Track

When you’re on the right track, career-wise, you’ll experience love. You will experience joy. You will find yourself in a high-powered creative zone.

Ah, but what about money? How will I make a living doing something far off the beaten path?

Or worse yet, how will I understand how my writing career will unfold without knowing the end result of my actions?

To that I say, your first goal should not be to rake in the big bucks.

Your first impulse should always be joy.

It’s been my experience that money flows towards joy.

This is because when you’re writing in a state of joy, you won’t self sabotage yourself. You won’t feel anchors beneath your feet. You will feel incredible peace while clients, customers, buyers will be drawn to that same incredible peace.

Your first and foremost plan should not be gaining wealth. However, on the other hand, if your grand plan, if your Polaris is to accumulate great wealth as a writer, if that is your joy, you just may find yourself in a very hollow situation later on.

This is because accumulating wealth isn’t in and of itself a negative thing.

However, making wealth your sole purpose in a writing career seems to stem the ebb and flow of creativity. And ironically you may find yourself without a message, without anything to share with your reader.

What a bummer, eh?

I know far too many copywriters (those who write advertising) who entered the biz for the promise of high pay. Many have gone on and done quite well.

Thing is, most are avid “swipers.” Some border on plagiarism.

This means that alone in a room, without their swipe file, they probably couldn’t come up with an elegant, solid sales piece more than flap their arms and fly to the moon.

They may be making the big bucks, but they also get to contend with the continually niggling feeling of inadequacy wondering if and when they’ll ever develop the chops to build their own message from the ground up.

It’s tough to do when you’ve short circuited intuition.

Mark my words, these non-writers will not enjoy long lasting writing careers. They simply can’t. They don’t know how to write.

But I’m off track. Back to it.

If your first path is joy, and if you’re committed to spreading that same joy, the money will make its way towards you and you will live a full, happy, and beautiful life.

Truth be told, the only path to joy leads through the door of intuition.
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This article written by Beth Erickson is one that every writer, aspiring or seasoned, should take seriously. When you write with intuition and joy, your readers can sense it and will come back to it again and again. Without joy, your writing will be as flat as the paper it is written on.  

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