A Dare – You ‘should’ try it

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A white card with the word should in black text. The word is surrounded by a red circle and bisected by a red line that 'crosses' it out.

What about if, just for a day or two, you dropped the word ‘should’ from your vocabulary?

What would that feel like?A white card with the word should in black text. The word is surrounded by a red circle and bisected by a red line that 'crosses' it out.

I know there are things that you *want* to do and things you feel obligated to do, but when you add in the word should things get tangly…and VERY heavy.

So, what if you were to leave out the word ‘should’ and treat all of those should moments like a choice? Choose the thing that makes the most sense but drop all the heavy baggage that comes with ‘should’. See how it changes your approach.

I know it will be tricky. And it will probably be strange. But it just might be worth it.

Let me know how it goes.

New Year, Same Old Me

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I like New Year’s Day.

Not because I buy into that whole ‘New Year, New Me!’ Business but because I like an opportunity to draw a line between what was and what can be.

New Year’s Day is one time you can do that but it’s possible at any time. You can pick any time that suits you, decide that that is when things are going to change, and you can work from there.

White index card on a light wood table, card reads 'You know, technically, every day is the beginning of a whole new year. The changing of the years is kind of arbitrary. If today is not a good day to start fresh, pick a different day. I'll back you up on it.

I shared this advice on FB yesterday. It’s still true. <3

If you need something to be different, figure out how you want to change it, what systems you need to put in place to support it, and then pick ANY OLD TIME and get started.

Sure, sometimes things won’t work out but then you can pick a different time, a different method, and just switch things up.

I believe in you.  ??

Sunday Creativity Break: Think Small

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 This is Moreekow P. Shoes, he’s a leopard gecko.

I am fairly sure he’s up to something. What do you think his plan might be?

Can you think small and figure it out? Write, draw, or sing all about it. I dare you!

Update: ‘Disconcerted’

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Here’s the cover of my e-book of short stories and flash fiction that I am releasing on Saturday, Oct. 28.

I am finishing an art project and getting all the details in place for the release of my e-book  ‘Disconcerted’ on Saturday.

Regular updates will resume soon! Sorry!

Sunday Creativity Break: Invent Something

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I’d like you to play with your creativity a little today and invent something entirely new.

You can do this any way that you like* but here are a couple of suggestions:

Think of something that annoys you (say, the way that those little plastic chummies from price tags hide in your clothes until you get dressed and then they stab you) and create an imaginary machine to stop it from happening.

OR

Look to your left and notice the first thing that catches your eye and then look to the right and notice the first thing that catches your eye. What kind of machine/circumstance/activity/evil plan could incorporate both items in the most ridiculous way?

OR

Pretend that you don’t recognize the object in the photo to the right but you have been told that it has a nefarious purpose. What could that purpose be?

 
*Don’t worry, you don’t have to TEST your inventions or anything, just play a bit!

Writing Coaching: 10 Minute Novelists – Writing Vivid Descriptions

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I have the great honour of being a columnist on Katharine Grubb’s 10 Minute Novelists site. My column appears on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, and yesterday was the magic day.

Please check out ‘Bring Them With You: Writing Vivid Descriptions’  and let me know what you would add!

Sunday Creativity Break: Music

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Do you often listen to music when you create?

I sometimes find that if I am finding a bit of a challenge to ‘settle in’ to my creative work, a little music will help.

So, for today’s creativity break, I’d like you to try using music as a bridge to creativity.  Grab the tools of your art, whatever they may be, turn on a favourite song, and, just play for awhile. You don’t have to create anything specific, in fact,  you don’t have to even have a definite result. Just play with colour, with sound, with words, with shading, or with movement.

If you don’t have a specific song in mind, perhaps you could try a creativity music list on YouTube?

The important thing here is that you try creating something, the music is just a tool to help you get there.

Have fun!

Bonus Flash Fiction for Friday the 13th

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Since it is Friday the 13th, I decided to add a bonus ‘Fear’ story.

Here’s ‘Downstairs.’ You can watch the video here: Downstairs

Do you also run back upstairs faster than you went down?

Creativity Prompt: Light? Or Dark?

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In my backyard this past summer.

Something to jolt you into creative thinking this morning…

What does this image bring to mind?

Are you seeing fun lights in a dark yard or the dark encroaching on the lights?

I dare you to do something fun and creative with your response. 🙂

Creativity Coaching: Good News – You Don’t Need Inspiration!

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I know, it seems a bit weird for me to suggest that you don’t need to be inspired. Inspiration is where us creative types thrive, isn’t it? We get inspiration from on high, some sort of divine blessing, and then, suddenly a torrent of creative work pours forth.

Meh. I’m not buying it.

Yes, inspiration is great. It’s exciting when you have it. You feel tuned in to your creativity and your work feels easy. You don’t need to look for motivation, it’s all right there!

When you don’t feel inspired or motivated, you feel dull. The work can be slow, it can be hard. It’s probably not all that exciting.

Here’s the thing, though:

You can work when you are not inspired.

It might feel a little weird to bring yourself to the keyboard, to the pen, to the paintbrush, when you don’t have any ideas, but you can do it.

You can just start typing any old thing. You can just doodle while you think. You can ask yourself some questions. You can wonder ‘what if?’

Returning, over and over, to your work is what gets things done. Most of the workers in the world get stuff done that way because they don’t have the expectation that they have to be inspired before they can start.

Besides, if you think about it, we set some pretty high expectations when we have been ‘inspired’ but if we know we are just trying to get words on the screen or colours on the page, we can just go easy on ourselves.

So, go on: I dare you! Work when you aren’t inspired. Work when you aren’t motivated. Just work anyway.

The momentum will come, no matter how you started out.