I’m getting ready to lead my writing critique group and should be preparing my writing to share, but instead, I’m writing to you in my first post of 2012. As artists, writers, creative, and divergent thinkers, we can attest to being vulnerable, scared, and paralysed. Life alone can do this to us then we add, of our own volition, the stress of putting our tangible expressions out there, into the world to be viewed and judged.
Yesterday I was reminded, yet again, about the benefits of meditation. Disclaimer–I’ve been meditating for years–but it sure does help when someone else tells me how good it is! I’ve included an essay by Orna Ross here, it is so well written and inspiring too. Jane Friedman posted it on her blog and I learned of it through Facebook, ahhhhh the joys of sharing through social media.
My favorite line is:
“Meditation soothes those edges and creates a place of safety from where we can take risks.”
Creativity and wellness message for today: Claim your essential self.
P.S. Should I forego my shower and meditate instead?
I’m frequently asked for advice on blogging. In my programs, speeches, and recently here in the comment section of my blog, budding bloggers want to know what to do. On this Halloween day, the pumpkins are carved, candy is bought, and the costumes are complete. Today is a good day to share some new thoughts on blogging.
1. Take off your mask. Be real in what you write, authenticity is a good thing.
2. Just do it, start a blog, keep it simple, keep it fun. Don’t do it if it’s a chore.
3. Find your niche or specialty. Write from that perspective.
4. Subscribe to other blogs, learn from them. Many times it’s what you don’t like about someone else’s blog that helps you create one that is uniquely yours.
Just like a teenager going through puberty, I write in growth spurts. My rule of thumb is to publish this blog once-a-weekish or when the spirit moves me. When I don’t have anything to say, I don’t.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Risk trying something new, go out there without your mask.
I like the place my writing takes me. It’s a drug-like euphoria that literally expands my heart.
I have to gently remind myself that if my essay wins the memoir contest or not, I felt good along the way. The process is worth it. Just like in my recently drafted essay, the ending isn’t where I thought I was going.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Stay in the moment, let your heart’s journey steer you.
I’m back to writing this blog after taking a break from it for the summer. How was your summer? Are you feeling like it was enough?
This morning while exercising I had a revelation. I was berating myself for not doing enough writing this summer when a little voice inside me reminded me that I had. I started mentally checking off everything I created or learned in my writing world. I surprised myself at not only my endeavors but my completions.
In my summer travels, one of the high points was attending the Dale Chihuly ‘Through the Looking Glass” show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Chihuly is a glass artist extraordinaire. His show knocked my socks off in its scope and creativity. Imagine huge blown glass abstract shapes in brilliant, bright colors suspended from the ceiling all around you. Imagine a 20 foot long boat (made of blown glass) filled with exotic blown glass flowers on steroids. I was bug-eyed the entire time. The energy in the exhibit rooms was palpable. It was as if Chihuly’s immense, fragile art was playfully cutting through dead spaces in the rooms, and activating them with vitality.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Let your playful parts clear out any stagnant spaces in your life, metaphorically and practically.
Today is the Summer Solstice and I’m gearing up for my summer schedule. My work and personal responsibilities increase during the hot, languid days so I’m learning how to balance it all season by season.
This Spring, for a variety of reasons, most of our lush yard got out of hand. We currently can’t keep up with it! My summer mantra is “Finding Beauty.” I’m going to see the orange tiger lily and not the weeds. I’m going to write and not prune.
I’m giving myself permission to not have the prettiest yard on the street. I want to have fun this summer, spend happy times with my family and friends, and not spend all my spare time completing chores on our property.
After Labor Day I’ll let you know how I did. As usual I take a break from writing this Creativity and Wellness blog over the summer. If you want to stay in touch, come to my writing seminar Create a Writer’s Platform at the Darien Library on August 9. Or read my posts about writing and creating a writer’s website on the Fairfield Writer’s Blog. Or chill out, sip a cool libation and wiggle your toes in soothing water. Until September, enjoy your times of warmth and relaxation.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Choose the fullness of beauty.
Recently I lost a contest. Mind you, I’ve been submitting to contests for years. You’d think I had thick skin by now. However, I am human. Rejection still stings. By not placing in the afore-mentioned writing competition I felt a few moments of woe, but soon realized how generally happy I am writing. I wrote about the aftermath of rejection in the Fairfield Writer’s Blog but I’d like to put a different spin on it here.
When I think of tending a flower or vegetable garden my heart expands. I connect to Nature. The natural world is full of promise and patience. Seeds hidden under the soil sprout. Food for the family table is plucked at perfect ripeness to be enjoyed by all. My writing is like this. The act of writing, the art of writing, and the publishing of writing make me happy. Just like a farmer who wins a prize at a state fair for their robust chile peppers, I’m happy to be a writer and happy to write.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Take pleasure in what makes you happy, even if the world does not give you a prize for it.
This morning I lit a candle and wrote in my journal for the first time in a long time. Felt good claiming sacred space for my inner process. Afterwards, an intuitive thought crashed into my awareness. Today became the day I cleared off my writing desk. I have two desks in my writer’s studio, one for the computer and one for writing longhand. My longhand desk has been covered with organized piles of good and important stuff for two years.
Bringing up a big, brown garbage bag I began to edit and toss. Rhythmic music, drumbeat and chimes accompanied my clear-out energy and I made time to follow-through on many of the items that needed tending. I feel like a yoke has been lifted from my shoulders. Oddly it’s connecting me to my artist self again.
I’m reminded of Twyla Tharp’s quote, “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” I feel like I ran away today, clearing out actually immersed me in my art all day!
Creativity and wellness message for today: Turn your intuitive thought into action and see where it takes you.
Just read Brian Jacques obituary. I’m feeling sad and remembering how his Redwall series of books (21 in all with one on the way) delighted my family for years. One of the things I admired about Jacques was that he had many careers and not all of them illustrious. Most of his jobs were working class, as a longshoreman, merchant marine, bus driver or speciality jobs as a boxer and a British bobby. He came to writing in mid-life.
The New York Times obit paints a good picture of him. Rest in peace Brian Jacques you are an inspiration to us all.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Dare to be all you are, let yourself wear many hats.
Happy New Year! A scheduling snafu at work granted me 3 extra hours today. I’m dusty from sifting and editing Pile #1 of 6 that have taken up residence on my writing desk. Finding a March 2009 copy of Writer’s Digest I look for my literary signal — a triangle page corner bent down indicating I wanted to keep something in the magazine when it surfaced.
Debut Author: Rhodi Hawk said her secret to success is, “Keep the focus on the writing and the story. All the advertising, marketing and promotion in the world are meaningless unless you’ve got a tale people want to read.”
Creativity and wellness message for today: Use gifts of time to their fullest.