You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go… Dr. Seuss
Today is the beginning of my new year-long project and I’m super excited. Instead of resolutions, I have chosen to go with a new challenge each year. Beginnings are always bursting with possibilities. There’s nothing better than beginnings. Except for endings. Endings are better. Finally finishing a project. Completing a goal. Finding success at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Yes. Endings are to be savoured. My 2017 Imagine—the Journey has come to an end, but I’m not sad. I’m joyful with all I accomplished and experienced and learned. Wow! What a ride it has been. The best part? I’m beginning a new challenge that will pick up right where I left off. It has been wonderful to fill my days with creative experiences and to find inspiration lurking in the most surprising places. Ideas poured in and I discovered I could work on more than one project at a time; something that had eluded me previously. But now that I have dabbled, played, experimented, I feel that it is time to become more focused. It’s time to capture this creativity and set it free in my own way, with my own twist. After all, being an artist means creating – right?
How do you imagine capturing your creativity? Maybe you are just starting to dabble. Or maybe it’s time to write that book you always planned to write. In Capturing Your Creativity, I want to share what I have learned about the creative experience and the writing process, in a way that is more focused. Each week, my blog will focus on a specific aspect of creativity and writing in a way which will hopefully help us all to reach our writing goals. Whether you want to write for self-expression or to get going on that first novel, Capturing Creativity, will provide some tools and motivation to guide you on your quest. And if you’re a teacher, many of the ideas are also suitable for young writers.
Each week there will be an inspiring quote, an article about creativity and/or the writing process and an exercise or two to try.
Here is an exercise to get you started:
The best way to get started with your writing goals for 2018 is to make a promise to yourself that you will write something every day. That something may simply be some free writing. Natalie Goldberg refers to it as Wild Mind Writing. In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron calls it Morning Pages because she feels it’s important that the free writing be done first thing each morning. Almost all writing workshops begin with some kind of free writing exercise. The rules may vary slightly, but almost every book you read on the craft of writing will refer to free writing as a way of developing creativity, preventing blocks and stimulating ideas. I like to call it Mindless Musings.
- Set a specific amount of time for the writing exercise. Anything is better than nothing. Fifteen minutes is good, but if you have five minutes. Five is better than nothing. You can work up from there.
- Keep writing for the entire time without stopping. Writing by hand is better, but use a keyboard if you must. Keep the ink flowing and do not lift your pen from the paper until the time is up. If you have to write “I don’t know what to write now,” and keep writing that until something comes to mind.
- Write using complete sentences. Jump topics as often as you wish but keep writing in complete sentences.
There will be other exercises that will be more focused. There is also a place for making lists. But for now, we want to practice opening our mind and allowing our thoughts to wander. Here’s a tip: make sure you do this exercise daily and that you keep it in a notebook. You’ll want to notice your progress as time goes by. You may also want to mine these pages for your novel or short story ideas. If you are faithful to it, you’ll be amazed at where Mindless Musings will take you.
Have fun and enjoy it. You’re on your way to developing the habit of writing!
See you next Tuesday!