It amazes me. Life. The journey we take. It takes surprising turns and we end up in locations we never thought possible. We have these big ideas of where we want to go. Sometimes we get there and we don’t even know it, because we get so wrapped up in all the craziness that is our life. Sometimes we don’t get there, but we arrived in a place that’s just as good or even better. And we think, “Wow, how did I get here?”
Living a creative life isn’t easy in this world of constant distractions and doubt. We wonder if what we are doing is right. We wonder if we should do this or do that. We fear what others might think if they find out exactly what we want or exactly how we think. We fear judgement and scorn. We fear failure. We fear success. We fear doing the wrong thing.
But even with all this tumbling in the back of our minds, we still feel the need to live our life the way we want to. That pull. That desire to just be us. It’s not just enough to live. We want to live a creative life. We want to be expressive. We want to experiment. We want to try new things. We want to do more than what we are doing. We want to be more than what we are, or maybe just a better version.
We also worry about how much we are getting done. Is our life where it should be? Shouldn’t we be doing more? Shouldn’t we be farther along than we are?
After a good push to get the second draft of my novel Blood Feud done, I feel a need to stop and take a breather. Mostly because I’m feeling a bit worn out and feeling the edge of burned-out creeping up on me. That’s the last thing I need, so I’ve decided to take a break from my novel and catch up on other things. One of those things is my blog. I already moved it from Blogger to WordPress (as you probably already noticed). That was a big step for me. One I’ve been putting off for awhile. I’m glad I made the change though. I really do love WordPress better. It’s so much more versatile.
Anyways, I will be taking the time to do more posts on my blog. Don’t be surprised to see two or more posts a week for awhile. Yes, I know that’s a epidemic for me. It’s something I never saw myself doing EVER. Hold on while I look out my window to see if pigs are flying. Nope. No pigs. Yet.
|One of my lists of Focused Freewriting Questions
As I already discussed in The Amazing Benefits of Freewriting, practicing freewriting on a daily basis can open up writing in a wondrous way. This happens in the best way possible when freewriting is focused on a specific topic or question. The topic or question can be anything that you chose, but the more specific the question the better. Having a broad topic to work on can be more confusing than helpful, but allowing freedom to explore inside a narrowed topic or question allows for discovery that might be surprising and quite enlightening. Here’s how I do it…
I like to make a list of things I want to know more about. When I have the time to sit down to write, I chose one from my list to write on. I let the pen take me to where it needs to go. I give myself permission to go beyond the borders of my chosen topic, but only if I think it will help fill in the blanks of the subject at hand. Any stray thoughts that have no relation to the writing “topic” is put in the margins of the paper, so I can come back to it later. At the end of the focused freewriting practice, I often find myself surprised at what I come up with. The point is to be flexible enough to explore an idea fully, but not to go off the path so far as to be nowhere near the first original idea. It’s a delicate balance that can only be found through lots of practice.
Not sure where to start in focused freewriting? Look at your own work. Do you have questions about the story, the characters, the plot, the ending, the beginning? Do you have questions about a certain topic in your story? Or maybe you have questions about where your writing journey is going? Do you have mixed feelings about the contract deal you’ve just been offered for a new piece of work, or whether to attend a writing conference, or maybe the question is as simple as trying to figure out the optimum time of day to write?
Focused freewriting can be beneficial, because it offers a deeper look into current and future writing projects, or even into the actual writing journey. Sometimes just the act of writing out a problem can give a solution that has been illusive for days or weeks. Most often, it is during this act that allows a writer to stumble across solutions never considered before.
Here’s a writing prompt for the Halloween Holiday! Have fun as you discover the story behind this picture. Ask yourself: Who was the person these bone belonged to? Who dressed up the skeleton, or did the skeleton dress herself? Is the skeleton a female or a cross-dressing male? Is this the beginning of the dead walking Apocalypse, or a bunch of teenagers playing a prank on their superstitious teacher? Write a story in 1000 words or less, and remember to have a Happy Halloween!
Have you ever sat down to write and just didn’t feel the creative juices flowing? Some days can be harder than others to get the muse to do it’s job. Sometimes it is helpful to have something to visualize and then write about it. This visualization can be take the form of a photograph. Find an image that inspires you to write and just write for 10 to 15 minutes on that photograph. Let your mind roam free as it comes up with a story explaining that picture and what is happening in it. It doesn’t have to be anything grand or elaborate. Just let your imagination run free. You might be surprised where your creativity might take you.
Another writing prompt you can try is by taking an ordinary object around the house like a blender, television, spoon, an apple, a lamp, ect. Then write from that objects point of view. What would a blender say if it could talk? You can also choose an animal: fish, squirrel, spider, ant, bear, ect. Write from that animals point of view. What would a squirrel say if he found a mouse in his nest?
Often when we look at something from another point of view or simply step out of our box of comfort, we can inspire ourselves to see things we never saw before. Using writing prompts not only helps get you into the writing mood, but it can help change your whole way of thinking.
Next time you sit down to write just remember that only a few minutes of free writing can open up the flood gates of creative genius, so that short story or novel you’ve been working on can be tackled with new vigor. In 10 minutes, what kind of story would you come up with to explain the picture above?