Writing prompt #5 Imagination

When I read this prompt I was for some reason filled with a kind of anxiety. Frequently when I feel pressured to be “creative” because I’m a “writer” and I’m supposed to be creative, my heart begins to race and I get sweaty. 

For example a week or so ago in a class at uni, I remember one of the guys saying “You’re the creative one, you’ll come up with something.” Gah! The pressure! Let me be creative in my own time dammit! I’m not one of those people who can perform well under pressure. I’d be useless on a skit show that required improvisation.  Continue reading

Writing prompt #4: Garden

Okay, so I missed three days. Bugger. But it’s nothing to freak out about. I have learnt over the years things just have to happen in their own time. Sometimes, life has other plans for you and you just have to stop, relax, smell the roses, and enjoy their scent. If you are anxious over the things that don’t get done “just right” you might miss the beauty and delights the world has to offer. So with that in mind, instead of skipping the three posts to “catch up”, I’m going to continue in order and write about the number 4 prompt, which is “Garden”. It may take me a thousand days to get the 365 posts done, but that’s okay. Continue reading

Procrastinating…

Why do we do it? Is it because we think we might miss out on something while our head is buried in our notebooks? What is it that we think we will miss?

I know how hard it is myself to turn off Facebook, twitter, the TV, and just WRITE! Just focus.
I’m going to have an honest moment here and say I like to say I’m a writer. Here I am, writing, that’s what I do, right?
I even have a buttload of inspiration around me in the form of other writers I have connected with over the years. Yes, YEARS. So year after year their novels come to completion and find their way into some form of publication. Or they are in competitions, attending workshops. And here I sit. With my coffee and gluten-free raspberry coconut cake, writing about my procrastination instead of writing the freaking novel I’ve been “working” on for 4 years. Sigh.
Yes I know the answer to this – well stop writing the damn post and write the novel!

Okay, I will, I’m going now, I swear.

*Note: after jotting this down during the day, I did switch of facebook and twitter, went to the library and punched out 2000 words, a personal best for a while now. What do you do to switch off and get into the zone?

Acceptance – a message from your heart and soul.

I had a yoga class tonight, the first one in weeks (possibly a month or two…) and it was awesome! Bikram yoga really does put your body, mind and soul through its paces.

I had my favourite instructor Mara on tonight- she always has such lovely things to say, and something she said tonight really struck a chord with me (well two things, the other I have already posted on “living in tolerance”).

The mind isn’t meant to comprehend some things. We have our 5 physical senses, and then the 6th sense – the mind, which is what makes sense of everything your senses collect. But sometimes the mind isn’t meant to understand what is around us. You just have to let it be.

Mara talked about the thoughts in your head that go round and round, the ones that come back over and over; your mind struggles to comprehend them, make sense of the insensible.  Some things aren’t meant to be understood by the mind, they are matters of the heart and the soul.

A few days ago a was sitting by myself on the beach after work with a notebook and the sound of the ocean. It was nice to sit and take in what was around me, but there were thoughts in my mind that kept going around and around. Making clutter. I was trying to write down what was going on and tried to make sense of my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions and the reactions I have to certain things and people in my life.

I sat on the beach for an hour, until it got chilly, then moved to the hill in the park behind the beach. Under lamp light I continued to write. I was confused and ached in my heart for reasons I couldn’t understand, nor even comprehend.

Eventually it dawned on me… Acceptance. Acceptance is the key sometimes. It isn’t always about having an answer, or making sense. Sometimes in life there are questions you just don’t have the answers to, and may never have the answers to. Sometimes you have to stop asking why, and accept the current state without questioning why it is so. Just because your mind doesn’t understand it doesn’t mean that it isn’t real, or you don’t feel it. They are matters for the heart and the soul, somewhere deep inside you there is peace, it begins with acceptance.

Chapter 1: the beginning – getting started

BW for post getting startedWhen you begin a new project, where do the ideas come from? Are you in the shower? Cooking dinner? Enjoying a soy latte at your local coffee shop? Or are you like me- driving along the pacific highway cruising at a hundred and ten when something along the roadway catches your eye and instantly you no longer see the road you see an idea in your head.

What gets your mind going? Is it music? Is it nature? Is it other artists? Do you start new projects because of the ideas that jump into your head or do you sit down and purposefully try to create something new? The beginning has to start somewhere. For me it is one of the hardest to write. Why do you think it has taken me so long to write this post? I’m writing about getting started! Where do I start??

Once you get going sometimes it can be difficult to stop- suddenly it’s 4am and you’ve filled a spiral bound notebook and even though you haven’t done any kind of dancing that requires spinning around on your head (not that your caffeine / red wine distorted memory can tell anyway) your hair resembles some kind of birds nest. But its those first words, where to begin? What helps you sort through the rubbish in your mind… do you just… start writing?

This right here is pretty much how my rubbish starts. Right here, what’s happening right now. Just getting the words out, one by one, in all their unedited glory.

As I mentioned I am usually driving along when an idea hits, and I am so grateful for several of the best inventions ever – iPhones, headphones, and voice-recording Evernote. So I just speak candidly to capture the idea. I hate listening to my voice later, but it does the trick. Because as I speak the first ideas, I am capturing the essense of what I was thinking and feeling at the time. Let’s face it – it’s a little hard to write ideas down on the highway, and by the time I get home (or get to where ever I’m going) the idea is gone, or it is nowhere near the same and I’ve lost the essense.

I do also have notepads strewn about everywhere, and occasionally sit down with one and scribble what is in my head. I save photo’s and images from the web that give me “feeling”. That stir emotion in me for some reason. Music is also a big one for me, especially if a song is tied to my emotions, listening to it can bring back that emotion which can help me write.

Knowledge and information from other writers – reading other blogs and tips on how other writer’s like to be inspired. Reading their books, talking to them on twitter, reading their posts on their blogs and Facebook, all gives you ideas if you are open to letting them in.

At the end of the day the most important thing I have learned so far is that it’s not so much HOW you start but just the fact that you DO. Letting go of fear and worrying about what “people might think” (a big one for me), stop making excuses for why you can’t pick up a pen or turn on your computer or talk into Evernote…. and just write. Write everyday, even if no one ever reads it. Writing because you want to and because you enjoy it is for me the best reason to write anyway.

You might write 20 pages of rubbish to find that one line of potential. But you will never find that potential if you never write a word.