Creative Exercises

Although this month gotta kind of crazy there for a bit I am participating in the Free Write Fling again. Cynthia Morris of Creative Impulse hosts these months of free writing. I talked about it in this post. During the month of March we were staying in Portland and out at the beach. It made a difference being out of my normal routine; I wrote everyday. This month started out with us in Hawaii and writing was, again, no problem to accomplish everyday. However, returning home it became a problem to break out of my routine and find that quiet time (and place) where I could just let go and write. Write without thinking about what I should write. Not journaling about my feelings (although sometimes those do sneak in), but just choosing a writing prompt and starting from that thought. Cynthia provides these prompts during the fling. I don't always use them, but reading them can sometimes get my brain going. I was thinking about these prompts in the shower this morning and a few of my own popped into my head. This being the place I have my most creative thoughts:) I went on to think it would be a good idea to write down my own prompts somewhere but, for me, not in a book. I will never go back and read them. So I am going to do something my sis and I did as kids when we couldn't decide what game to play...I am going to write down prompts as I think of them and put them in a vase. When I need something to jump start my creative juices I can pick a prompt and go. One prompt I thought of in the shower was "You Weirdo". To me that leads to writing about keeping Portland weird or surrounding myself with creative people or don't apologize for your creative ideas even if not everyone gets it. What would that bring up for you? Can you challenge yourself to think up ten prompts and then write for ten days using them? The other thing I've noticed as I've fallen into and out of writing over the past months is that if I approach every type of writing with intention I am much happier with the outcome. And I mean even a grocery list-I don't forget things if I am only thinking about this and not what else I need to do before leaving the house. With Free Writing I find that staying Intentional and Within the Moment brings out some beautiful writing and interesting thoughts. I may be the only person that every reads what I've written, but I am beginning to see how everything else in my life is affected in a positive way through all these exercises and thoughts.

So today I challenge you to Create with Intention. Whether you are creating breakfast, weeding the garden, in the middle of knitting a scarf or beginning a novel be present in what you are doing. After a while I think you will see a difference in yourself and your project. Believe me, a rather scattered person sometimes, it will make you feel like you can do anything!


Writing and writing

I have been writing up a storm this month. Just not here. I think I mentioned a few posts ago that I would be participating in the Free Write Fling with Cynthia Morris this month. Today is day 20 and I have been writing everyday in my spiral bound notebook. The most interesting writing has been coming out of me. A lot of interesting knitting/recipe collection ideas. But also a bit of poetry, fiction, processing on paper. Really interesting (for me at least)! Part of the free write process is that I won't go back and look at my writing until the month is over. For most of my journal writing I don't ever go back to look, but I know I will want to use some of the ideas in the future. It has been great to participate with a community of other Flingers online this month as well. We don't comment on what anyone is writing (if shared), but offering encouragement happens occasionally. I am finding that for myself any beach or seaside related prompt is sending me off to the most interesting creativity. Often it starts there and wanders off somewhere else. I was thinking about it this morning and realized that, as a child, my most creative endeavors took place at the beach. My sister and I had our fort in the old lumber pile my grandfather put off to the side of the cabin. In there "Mama and Jodie" eeked by on mudpies and gigantic, wild blackberries. We painted rocks gathered from the beach with water colors; repainting after every summer storm battered our artwork from the rocks. I took painting classes from a terrific artist visiting one summer from Texas. My artistic talent didn't stick, but a great love of fine art did. And the most important creative endeavor of all were those many stormy days and setting sun moments where I would sit in the bay window and stare out at the ocean wondering where those ships on the horizon were going or what creatures might be peeking out of the tumultuous waves.

Funny that today I am sitting in a city cafe with these memories instead of writing in a wind blown notebook. But that is the joy and wonder of memories. They can travel with you anywhere:)

Information-- overload or inspiration

I've been considering the amount of time I've been online lately.  It really is a fraction of the time I spent online with the yarn company.  However, that time was well spent work.  Now I find myself continuing to start the day with my coffee and iphone or laptop surfing twitter, facebook or ravelry.  But to what end?  I am not feeling inspired by these interactions and I am taking time away from my own creativity by spending that time reading about what others are doing.  Now don't get me wrong-I do want to interact with my friends and keep up on what is interesting and new in the knitting/spinning and cooking worlds.  But to what end?  At some point I think there has to be an end result or goal to web surfing.  Sister Diane has a great blog post about this subject today.  Make sure to check it out.  I am curious what your take is on this subject.

Back when I was a more serious blogger (before Ravelry, Twitter, etc) I had a round of blogs I visited with my morning Joe.  I found them to be inspiring on crafting and personal levels.  As each new website came along it took me farther and farther away from both the read of other blogs and from blogging myself.  My podcast took the place of the blog for quite a few years.  Now I am finding that I miss the time to write my thoughts (hence this blog).  I am also rethinking where I want my voice heard and whose voices I want to hear.  I can't quite bring myself to quit Facebook as I connect with so many family members as well as foodies there where I don't see them in other places.  But I already have stopped posting as often.  Twitter is my connection to my favorite knitting friends and I really like the instant conversation you can have.  But really, neither of these sites are where I want to be starting my day to get inspiration.  My husband pulls up the daily videos on the NYTimes for ipad.  I like having those varied stories to listen to while we are both still a little sleepy and thoughtful about things.

But I really want to get back to reading some interesting blog posts by friends and other crafty folks. Not necessarily even a craft I am involved in.  Right now I am really itching to learn to sew, but I know I'm not set up for that or have that kind of time.  However, I am going to find some blogs where I can vicariously enjoy others endeavors and maybe inspire me in some other way.  

What are some inspiring crafty (or just interesting) blogs you read?  My choices will start popping up on the sidebar.