Friday, March 14, 2014

Unlocking Creativity

So I read this article on the Huffington Post this morning, 19 Daily Habits of Artists That Can Help Unlock Your Creativity, and here's what I have to say.

1. Let go of your idea of "perfect." 
Um, yeah, done.

2. Allow yourself to have fun.
The problem with this and me is that I write stuff about the bad things that happen to people. I have fun when I'm done. Either that or drink.
3. Don't be afraid to silence your inner critic.
I know some writers who edit as they write and I can only imagine that can only stifle your creativity. I do not do that. I just write. That is what a first draft is for. It is supposed to be shit. You take the following drafts to make it better and publishable.
4. Realize that you can be your own worst enemy. Not the work.
Do not comprehend. No seriously. Duh. If my manuscript is a mess, and I have a couple that truly are, what, I'm going to blame the book? No, I blame me. And I am the only one who can fix it.
5. But not all self-inflicted boundaries are bad.
Oooh, I'm not good with parameters. Maybe I should try setting some deadlines for myself again. I just realized the other day I have not finished writing a book in over 2 years. I've started a LOT of them, finished, um, nope.
6. Find your mantra and keep it close.
Yeah, I seem to change my mantra about once every six months and I usually forget it in about a day. I guess I should write it down on a sticky note and attach it to my computer with all my other notes.
7. Establish your "me" time.

What is this "me" time you speak of?
8. And indulge in some vices to reset.
I thought vices were bad things. Believe me, I have vices and I indulge.
9. Humble yourself from time to time.
Yes, when I want to humble myself I just go read all my 1 star reviews. Really? Humble myself? I think as artists we are all masochistic my nature. Is that not humbling in itself?
10. When in doubt, ask for help.
I have no problem doing this. If you want to be a beta reader, find me on Facebook. I always just put out an SOS there and pick from the litter who offer.
11. And be prepared to find inspiration in mundane places.
I find inspiration in music, when I take walks, when I'm out to dinner, at the grocery store...I am always looking for a story, or quirky character, or even a glimmer of an idea no matter where I am.
12. To clear your mind, maybe you need to clear your work space.
Um, that will never happen. My workspace is a chaos magnet. I clean it, 2 seconds later it's messy.
13. Find another perspective, even if it's physical.
And if it's writing...? 
14. Let yourself be impulsive!
I love when I get a new idea, or a revelation on a novel I'm working on and I just have to get to a computer or notebook and write it down before it leaves me. Most awesome feeling in the world. ALWAYS have something to write on and with on you at all times.
15. Don't be afraid to see the adventure in a challenge.
I love a good challenge. I love when someone tells me I can't do something. It just makes me want to succeed even more.
16. Because failure is only one moment before success.
Failure just means you are taking risks and trying. How will you know you can do something if you don't try it first. I don't want to live with any more regrets in life. I did it far too long.
17. Don't be afraid to alter your process.
As writers, if we get stuck, it's so important to do something different. Write the middle, write the end, try a different POV, a different tense, take a walk, get inspired. Do something to break through the block.
18. Sometimes, there won't be a "finished product." And that's ok.
Um, yeah, the 15 unfinished manuscripts on my computer tell me that.
19. Because creation can come from destruction.
I've taken thousands of words out of a manuscript and built it back up from nearly nothing. I've pulled them apart, sliced them in half, torn them to shreds. You can always start over.

Don't forget, if you're in the Tacoma/Seattle area I'm going to be doing a wine tasting and book  signing on 6th ave. Click here for details.

Happy Pi Day, Happy Friday.

Song I'm digging this week: Arctic Monkeys, Do I Wanna Know
 Book I'm reading: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
Show or Movie I"m watching: The Walking Dead
Quote I'm loving: 

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