One Small Thing: Staying Creative in a Busy World

Life is busy, the world is rife with problems to be solved, and finding quiet moments in the midst of it all can seem like an impossible dream. If chasing down moments of peace is already so difficult, how in the universe is it possible to stay creative?

The answer is simple: start with one small thing. There are days when I race from crisis to crisis, and I forget that anything else exists outside the noise. But I still have to do humany survival things like eating, chores, and such. I have to drive from busy point A to just as busy point B. I still have to walk across a parking lot to the day job, or take care of my pets, buy groceries, continue to human. Each of these everyday life occurrences offers me a choice: move through the moment mindlessly or pause, look around me and for a time, absorb the world around me.

create-3026190_1920 (1)When I think to do it, I can world-build, daydream, do character studies, catalogue ways to describe sensory input, and stoke the fires of my creativity in the small pauses daily life offers. A walk through the parking lot, for example, allows me time to observe nature in the city, think about how I would write about the color of the sky or how I would mix paints to achieve that particular winter blue. Are there any specific sounds, scents, or other sensory data I can name? How would my characters react to this particular scene before me? If they are from a different universe or time period, for example, what would that same sensory data look like to them?

It may not seem like much, but it’s one small thing that can, over time, enrich my creativity in unexpected ways. Just the other day, I was outlining a scene and an image I’d witnessed while driving home one hot summer afternoon popped into my head, spurring a different (and far better) trajectory for the scene. Over time, these moments add up and before I know it, I am living my creativity!

What do you do to stay creative in the midst of life’s busy-ness? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments and, as always, thank you so much for reading!

Wonder-full Wednesday

I see the hashtag #wonderfulwednesday a lot these days, and I love it. Stories of joy, moments of happiness, quotes for hope often accompany this tag, and I can never get enough light in my world!

With the release of Valiant Heart nearly here, I cannot help but think about how exploring the worlds we find in books, games, and TV/movies can keep our senses of wonder alive and well. If could not have played the fantasy RPG games that started me thinking about the world of Tanahr in the first place, if I had not read fantasy and fantasy romances that set my heart soaring in whole other worlds…would I have had the determination and squee needed to see this project through?

clean-21479_960_720There is a phrase I remember when I’m suffering from creativity blocks and writing doldrums: you can’t draw water from an empty well. If I don’t have an overfull sense of wonder, how can build worlds to entice my readers? How can I keep up with the difficult, if rewarding, work that writing entails?

I have to fill the well. Making time in my schedule for gaming, reading things that make me happy, talking walks in nature, watching shows that inspire me, or creating playlists that I know keep me in that writing chair once I get there…none of this is optional. I fill my well of wonder so I can create more wonder to put out into the world.

What do you do to ensure that your life is wonder-full? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments and as always, thank you so much for reading!

BeValiant2