Need A Creative Boost? Wild Write!

This year I set out to write a ‘Blurt’ – what I now think of as a ‘Wild Write’ – every week. I wasn’t very precise about what I intended, just that I wanted to make the most of a few spare minutes by writing something new (most likely fiction) that I would commit to posting on my blog.

Why?

I was looking for a creative boost.

I needed to find a way to look afresh at my collection of stories and novella. I’d been working on them for quite a while and they had become just too familiar. I was hungry to get into new stories but wasn’t prepared to commit a lot of time to new material as my priority was to finish the collection.

I was nervous! Would I be able to write something quickly that could be made public? Was I crazy to go against the advice of people far more experienced than myself?

“Don’t waste time on a blog,” I’d read. “Focus on your ‘real’ writing.”

“Don’t post stories on your blog as they will then be considered published and no journal will accept them,” was another piece of advice.

But I decided to go ahead all the same.

With just over Continue reading

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Go Squeeze Words

pencils rich in wordsDo you read what artists in other disciplines are writing about?

I am always surprised by how helpful blogs and books about photography or visual arts or theater (or any art form) can be for my own writing or movement creativity.

“Think like a painter. Think like a musician. Think like a surgeon. Don’t think, just write.”  Lisa Moore (Prism International, 2009)

I’ve been receiving ideas, advice, inspiration and encouragement from artist Robert Genn’s always entertaining twice-weekly newsletters for years. His recent passing will be a great loss to those who enjoyed his writings, paintings and teaching.

His daughter Sara, also a visual artist, is picking up the torch and continuing her father’s newsletter tradition. In last week’s newsletter she celebrated her father with a moving and inspiring tribute.

Robert Genn was a master of pithy quotations. One in particular that Sara shared, snagged my attention: Continue reading

Writing Craft and Community

spare parts for writing a storyI was stuck with my novella, not a bad stuck, just a point when I needed to stop, think, and realign characters and plot.

I pulled a couple of craft books from my shelf at random in the hopes of sparking an idea, or finding a new way to see my material.

  • “Naming the World” (ed) Bret Anthony Johnston
  • “Burning Down The House” Charles Baxter
  • “Creating Fiction” (ed) Julie Checkoway

Writer Unboxed

Not an hour later, I was reading a blog post from Writer Unboxed about the issue of craft books. Although many people shared their favorite craft books and inspirational authors, a number of comments expressed quite a lot of antagonism towards craft books – e.g., craft books are only written to make money; you can’t learn writing from a book…

I was very surprised because I think of writers/artists as curious people and would have thought they would want to see what other Continue reading

Golden Rain And Other Inspirations

When spring insists on remaining winter, it’s wonderful to have such a rich arts week! So great for enlightening our own creative process…

Golden rain

In Lin Hwai-min’s “Songs of the Wanderers” performed by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, three and a half tons of rice stream down as curtains of golden rain, splash up in high gleaming arcs and, in falling, transform into the shifting sands of a desert.

sun up in Sahara © Dr. J. HockAn ancient tribe struggles through this desert, leaning on their crooked staffs which have what look like a little leaf or bird at the top but are in fact tiny bells.

To one side, a monk or Buddha figure in white. Eyes closed, hands together in prayer. A constant column of rain pings off his head and hands and white robes. He remains absolutely motionless. Surely a statue. No. At curtain call he receives thunderous applause for his 90-minute stillness. Continue reading

In Search of the Perfect Ending

The End(s)Why am I writing about story endings when the very thought makes me want to whimper and hide my head under my pillow?

Endings! Endings! Oh the agony! But oh the sweetness when you get the right one!

Continue reading

Five Ways To Lift Yourself Out Of A February Writing Slump

Le Malheureux Magnifique, Pierre Yves Angers

Winter is the traditional time for storytelling but by February many of us story tellers and writers in colder climes are feeling the effects of battling the freezing winds and icy sidewalks of a long, cold winter: hunched, tense shoulders, neck ache, cabin fever.

Here are five suggestions to help you rise out of the slump and re-energize. Continue reading

Towards a Year of Creative Thinking

dancer's shadowSorting through the boxes and folders of lesson plans, lectures and articles I wrote during my years of teaching creative movement and physical theater, I found my notes for a discussion on ‘creative thinking for creative movers’.

A perfect reminder for the beginning of a new year – for movers and writers. Continue reading