Break it down…#FridayFeel

casual-chair-coffee-1842621 (1)Lunch breaks, fifteen-minute rest breaks, spare moments between errands–what do these things have in common?

Hint…this is a blog post about creativity and positivity and a big, huge #FridayFeel.

The answer: breaks are a chance to text your Muse, ping the creative spirit within you that was hiding behind Excel spreadsheets, calendar appointments and endless to-do lists.

But I’m busy, Eliza! (That’s you, talking to me, and I’m nodding in total agreement).

I know you’re busy. CRAZY busy. I also know your soul needs that rest break in a big way. I know fifteen minutes may not seem like a lot, but you’d be amazed at what you can get done in such a small space! Creativity does not mean sitting down and writing the greatest novel of your generation, or painting an epic mural or composing an entire sonata…it means engaging, just for a moment or two, in your ideas and dreams. This blog post? A ten-minute free-for-all where I let myself spill my thoughts onto the page then spent the last five minutes of that 15-minute respite editing/posting the piece.

beautiful-beauty-carefree-1458318 (1)The thing about not having a lot of time is that you don’t have the time to be critical. I have friends who do ten minutes of free writing, and solve entire plot problems in the process. I know folks who carry a lightweight sketchbook or tablet with them and just scribble away in the space between one errand and the next, sometimes story-boarding whole comics or getting line art done for a commission they’ve put off for far too long.

And making this a habit? It’s *that* much easier to, the next time you get a break, dive into a creative project with the confidence that it will lead to good things, and the joy of engaging with that part of yourself in the midst of your workaday world. It shows your Muse, your spirit, your subconscious mind that yes, I’m serious about taking time to create and reaping the benefits of authenticity and self-care!

What are some things that you could do in a lunch break’s span of time? I’d love to hear them in the comments and, as ever, happy creating! ❤

Rough Going: Motivation Monday

I love the #MotivationMonday hashtag because, well, I need the extra prod and dose of inspiration the posts so often give me. Today, I’m facing down the barrel of rewrites and plotting for an extremely rough draft (Moya’s book, YAY!). It’s easy to get frustrated when looking at a mangled, wonky set of scenes. It’s easy to feel that I’m a hack, to think that I’ll never get the hang of this writing thing despite the fact I’ve been doing it for a whole lotta, tonna years.

It’s easy to get frustrated and want to back away.

Thing is, a lot of writers or creative content makers feel the same way. Those first few stanzas, the early line-art–it can feel like such a mess. But it has to start there.

ocean-3605547_1920 (2)I love what Terry Pratchett said about rough drafts–“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” Sometimes, we don’t know where a draft will take us, despite the best of outlines and most fastidious of planning. As vexing as feeling lost can be, I need to focus more on the magic of it all…the strange and wonderful alchemy of a story letting me know its intentions. I can only find the way, though, if I sit down and start writing. Eventually, the rough draft becomes something wonderful–in need of polish, but new, full of potential, and laced through with the joy of creation.

To all of you out there working on creative projects today, I hope you find the motivation you need to push through any barriers. I promise it will be worth the effort! ❤

 

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!

For the Love: Thursday Thoughts

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Hiya, all! I hope this Thor’s Day finds you well and thriving. :3

I’ve been blogging all week in celebration of my upcoming new release, Valiant Heart–a 40K fantasy novella that opens the door to a world of adventure, magic, and characters I’ve grown to adore in the time I’ve spent with them.

I will tell anyone who asks me about the process of writing and the journey to publication the same thing: it’s hard work. Work that requires patience, time, sometimes a thick skin, and the ability to focus and stick to a schedule. More than any of that, though, I maintain (and will shout it from the rooftops whilst standing on a soapbox and waving my banners high) that writing is an act of LOVE.

I absolutely LOVE being an author. I am a creatrix of worlds, purveyor of the rarest goods, matchmaker, fate-weaver…I am having fun. There are, of course, parts of the process I enjoy less than others. Writing synopses and blurbs? Not my most beloved pastime, certainly. That millionth editing pass? Well, the love can wear a little thin. That said, I languish when I’m not writing or working toward a major writing goal of some sort.

It’s not all fun, no. But my love for writing far outweighs any challenges I face in the process. If something is going to be this much work, should it not be THAT much more fun? I do the work because I love the work…plain and simple. And if I do my job well, the hope is that readers will love my work, too.

Writers, what do you love most about the process? What keeps you coming back to the keyboard/notebook again and again? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! ❤