just for fun · Life and Stuff

Filling Your Creative Well A Little at a Time

Creativity is a bit of a mystery to me.

Sometimes, I feel overflowing with creative energy. I’m driven to make something, anything. My writing calls to me, sweetly, begging me to sit down and pour out the words.

Other times, I feel like I’m looking into a dark, dry well. I send my bucket down, hoping for a few drops of creativity to soothe my parched spirit, but there’s nothing to be had.

What drains the well, and what fills it back up again?

I don’t have the whole answer for you, but it’s at least partly a matter of the balance between play and focus. Sometimes, when we’re working on a big creative task, we get so focused on getting it done, we forget to enjoy ourselves, to play around with it. That lack of play drains our spirit, leaving us feeling barren. On the other hand, when we allow ourselves room to play, even if it’s not with the project at hand, we refill that well.

Lately, I’ve been struggling to find the enthusiasm I need to keep going on several goals, especially my novel-in-progress. We’ve had a couple of big upsets in the family. I think that’s thrown me off. But more than that, I think I’ve been too intent on just getting my goals done. I’ve forgotten why I set the goals in the first place and the joy with which I first embraced them. That lack of just plain fun has sapped my creativity.

My friend and fellow blogger, Jay Squires, reminded me that a little bit of creativity just for the heck of it can go a long way toward refilling the well. Continue reading “Filling Your Creative Well A Little at a Time”

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Tuesday Toss-Up

Novel Wishes and NaNoWriMo Dreams

Baby Stepping Through NaNoWriMo

kitten yawn
NaNo’s over. Time to paaartay!

National Novel Writing Month is over for 2012.

Whether you rocketed past the finish line or were miles away, you wrote words that didn’t exist before November 1.

Even if you never got past the first sentence, you made something happen. Seriously. Pat yourself on the back.

Celebrating even a tiny success can motivate you to succeed further.

I’m a huge believer in baby steps. Some people get jazzed by lofty goals. The mere idea makes me want to puke in my mouth a little. Continue reading “Novel Wishes and NaNoWriMo Dreams”

Tuesday Toss-Up

Are You Stuck in the Squishy Middle?

How to Get Over the Halfway Mark Hump in NaNoWriMo
(or any big writing project)

Middles.

Sometimes they’re a cause for celebration. As in: “Yeehaw! We’re halfway through!” Or: “Whew! Thank goodness that’s half over already.”

Other times, they just suck. As in: “Oh man, I’ve come all this way and I still have so far to go.” *cue self-pity montage music*

I suppose it probably depends on whether you’re glass-half-full kinda folk or if you’re stuck in that middle.

We’re heading towards the halfway mark of NaNoWriMo. Some of you may just be picking up steam after a long, slow start. For others, the creative high of the first half of NaNo may be wearing off, leaving them stuck in that mushy, soggy, squishy middle.

Me, I’m aiming for denial. Continue reading “Are You Stuck in the Squishy Middle?”

Tuesday Toss-Up

Fattening Up Your Word Count for NaNoWriMo

Is it Cheating to Use Tricks to Get to 50K?

Scaredy Cat
I have to write how many words a day?!

50,000 words in 30ish days. That’s the NaNoWriMo goal and it breaks down to about 1667 words a day.

For some, word counts in the thousands a day is routine. For others (*cough cough* like me), this is no small feat.

Prior to NaNo, I averaged about 5-600 words a day. 750 was a pretty good day. And 100o was cause for a parade and statue erected in my honor (in my head, anyway).

Of course, I was also hand writing all those words. So that may have played a big part.

Coming up on November, the idea of hitting 1667 daily was nothing short of terrifying.

But then I remembered reading a post on padding your word count for NaNoWriMo and 750Words.com. At the time, I ignored the advice. Sounded like a good idea but I didn’t think I needed it.

And I didn’t need it for 750 words but for 1600-2K?

Well…maybe. Continue reading “Fattening Up Your Word Count for NaNoWriMo”

ROW80 Check Ins

Night of the Living ROW

Final ROW80 Check in for Round 2, 2012

yawning kitty cat
Having reached the end of another ROW80, Mortimer decides to take a well-deserved nap.

We’ve reached the end of another round of ROW80. This round, I haven’t been as attentive as I would have liked. Of course, lots of life intervened. But all we can do is all we can do.

My plans for this round:

  • Update ROW80 page, for last round and this one: I updated the page at the beginning of the round but it needs another update.
  • Spend 15-30 minutes minimum 4 days a week on new novella. I’m working on expanding Postcards from Hell and its sequel, Ants in the Mailbox into a novella. My MIP is on hold for now: For the last month, I’ve tried to catch up with work projects and a big move. I put a hold on writing work until I get settled. Continue reading “Night of the Living ROW”
Parallel Tuesdays

There’s a Story Here Somewhere: Inspirational Images from Flickr

*Looking for the Summer (June – August) Writing Challenge – Every Picture Has a Story? See below for details.*

Flickr is my favorite site to scout for images to use on my blog. There’s a wealth of Creative Commons licensed images and it’s easy to search for them. The images vary widely in quality and artistic value but I’ve rarely failed to find just the right one for a post.

And, of course, it’s all free…which might be the most important factor to a blogger who isn’t making money off her blog.

My Favorites stream over there is already jammed with more images than I can use in a couple of years but I just keep adding more. So many of the images I’ve encountered have captured my imagination, inspiring blog posts, stories and stories-to-be. Here are some that have really stuck with me even though they have no story…yet: Continue reading “There’s a Story Here Somewhere: Inspirational Images from Flickr”

Life List Club

Life is Too Short

I’m posting at the Life List Blog today, talking about the lessons I’ve learned from my grandmother’s passing. Please drop by and say hello and tell us how you would finish the phrase “Life is too short to…”

Life Really is Too Short (Even When it’s Long)


LilyRecently, my grandmother passed away. And, as is so often the case with the death of a family member, the regrets came along with the sadness. Why didn’t I write and visit anywhere near as often as I should have? Why didn’t I know her better? Why? Why? Why?

I realized that life is really too short not to make sure our friends and family know we love the. It’s too short to put off that visit, call, letter or email. It’s too short not to tell them we love them as much as we can.

Life is too short to create regrets.

It’s too short to put off our dreams. Whatever it is we wish for…

Click here to visit the Life List Club blog and read more.

***

In other news, I’ll be jumping into ROW80 Round 2 next week. It’s taken me a little while to get settled in this round but it’s gonna be great one.

Check out the April-May writing challenge. It’s all about first impressions and famous last words.

Image Attribution (In Order of Appearance):
Lily by ana branca, on Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Killer Thursdays

Ants in the Mailbox – Postcards from Hell, Part 2 (a 500-word story)

My friend, the lovely historical fiction writer Haley Whitehall, issued a flash fiction challenge in the horror genre and this time it involves a prize! The contest runs until 10/31/11, so there’s still time to enter. My entry is Part 2 of a story I wrote for BeKindRewrite’s Inspiration Monday IX. You can find Part 1, Postcards from Hell here.

And now…

Ants in the Mailbox

US Mail
They stood at the edge of the front lawn gone almost knee-high with weeds. The figure in the filthy postal uniform lay still on sidewalk.

Steve looked right. Left. Nothing else moved anywhere on the street.

Deanna squeezed the stock of her crossbow. “He really dead? Dead-dead?” Continue reading “Ants in the Mailbox – Postcards from Hell, Part 2 (a 500-word story)”