Monday, June 10, 2013

# Life # Mild-Mannered Mondays

A Way to Put Fresh Energy Into Writing That You Hadn't Thought of

If you saw last Monday's post about how writers hate the wait, you'll know I was awaiting acceptance on a townhouse with the same dire impatience I await manuscript acceptances from publishers. Well, we finally got the nod late last week, and we launched ourselves into the typical whirlwind of activity that comes with a move. Nevertheless, we ground our gears to a halt last night to honor a fun pre-moving tradition: creating something personal to display in the new home.

For our project, we took clear and champagne-colored vase marbles (the kind with the flat bottoms) and affixed them to a pair of glass votive holders I'd planned to throw out. Mike and I each made one and they're so pretty! They really reflect candlelight. (I got the idea on Pinterest--check out THIS PIN for more.)

So what was the point of doing arts and crafts when we should have been packing boxes? The tradition is meant to stir up fresh, positive energy for our new home, something we put our own creative juices into that we can look at and enjoy. It's a feng shui technique that I apply not only to the house, but to my writing as well.

Ever have those times when writing (or life in general) feels like a stagnant, listless process? Maybe you've run out of ideas or the inspiration to bring them about. Perhaps you've hit the writer's block wall so hard that you're stunned. Or on the flip side, maybe you're facing a new  and exciting chapter in your writing career, and you want to do something to acknowledge that and give it a good send-along. Stop the presses, shift gears for an afternoon, and create something for your writing area. 

The "rules" for turning basic craft time into a serious energy-channeling activity for writing are simple. First, don't worry if you aren't inherently artsy or creative!! There are many different types of things you can create that don't require an art degree. Second, the project should somehow relate to your writing. It should be displayed so it is visible while you work.  Final but foremost, make the experience positive. No fair gritting your teeth and focusing on the problems with your book while working on your project. Instead, you want to deliberately imagine yourself enjoying the finished product while quickly, easily, and efficiently typing your story. Know that you are creating your project for the purpose of bringing energy to your creative zone, and that intention will follow.

What kinds of projects relate to writing? The sky is practically the limit--and it doesn't have to be a strictly decorative item. You can do something purely practical. Find ideas on Pinterest, Etsy, or other sites that feature DIY crafts.

Some ideas for projects to whip up that writing energy:

1. Create a fresh new writing area, or give the current zone a good cleaning and makeover.

2. Create or makeover your reading nook. (Yes, this directly relates to writing, as reading is both the end result of our products and an activity that helps feed the mind for the creative process!)

3. Put a small houseplant in a plain mug you have painted/stenciled with an inspirational message. (Leave the plant in its original container and lift out/pour off excess water as needed for proper drainage.)

4. Create a mini "zen" garden with a shallow dish, some found or purchased stones (I love quartz for this), and a tiny pouch of decorative sand. Check craft stores or online for a miniature rake/comb if you want to be able to draw patterns in your garden. 

5. A career boost: Make a collage of your book covers* and if possible, display it on the wall containing the door to your writing area room. (In feng shui practice, this wall represents your career area.) Ideally, a writer's back should not be facing the door, so you should be able to see it! The collage can be made in many different ways--modge podge (decoupage) onto a plaque, glue to foam core or poster board, pin attractively to a cork board, or even load images into a digital frame for a slide show.  If you're handy with Photoshop, you could also make the collage your desktop wallpaper on the computer you write on.

*Don't have lots of book covers yet? No problem...make the collage out of story characters, images of famous writers you admire, or even title ideas/synopses or inspirational writing-related quotes or messages. These you can hand write or print from your computer.

6. Writer's block cure: Use the collage idea in #5 to create an idea board for the story you're having issues with. Create it out of snippets of text, photos and drawings that represent characters, settings, and important objects/themes, and empowering messages. A metallic magnet board works great for this too (and can be reused!) Ideally, display this on the left hand wall (as you stand in your writing area facing the door), as this feng shui zone relates to creativity. 

7. Use the above glass candle idea (or another candle project)! Candles can add to your writing area both by providing an organic energy and setting a mood that can enhance a scene you're working on. Sometimes, when you need a change, shut off the lights, dim the brightness on your computer screen somewhat, and light the candle while you work.

8. Make a playlist/CD strictly for writing mood music. Or several of them, depending on the tone you want to set and how much music you have. As you create the list, imagine the music empowering your writing and your fingers flying effortlessly.

What do you like to do to help spur creative energy?

On Mondays I gab about, well, pretty much whatever I want!

I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people! And if you enjoyed this post, consider sharing with friends and subscribing for updates.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, J.Rose. Wonderful ideas for inspiration. I'm excited to try some of them.


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