I decided to take a couple of weeks away from the blog, not from a lack of ideas, but from a need to sit and think about some big concepts and feelings I am having about my work and about creativity in general. So, instead of finding words to describe all of these thoughts, I…
Over the past year, though, I have noticed a change. Call it a personal maturation, or a solidifying of something. I find I no longer feel the same joy of discovery in throwing everything at a page in a creative frenzy. I want to slow down. I want to finesse. I want to hone my technique. So, I have started to taking life drawing and portrait classes.
The fictional world in which a story takes place matters. If the world is not believable then the story will lose power and the reader will lose interest. Writers call this suspension of disbelief. You can have the craziest stuff going on in your story, but if something about the world in which it is set is off, it sticks out like a sore thumb.
It’s fair to say I have pretty eclectic tastes. To be a good writer, it’s important to read widely so that that I have a broad range of influences and knowledge to draw from. Just like eating a healthy diet, all of the different genres provide me with the literary vitamins and minerals I need. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t pig out on some comfort food from time to time, and for me that is sci-fi.
I almost wasn’t going to post anything this week. I’ve been dragging my heels, writing wise, over the past few days because of a whole bunch of life stuff that took up a lot of time. This means I have had little energy to sit down in front of the computer to put anything into type. But when I can’t write the best thing to do is dive into my sketchbook to get the creative juices going, so this morning I joined a couple of friends on zoom for a bit of sketchbook practice.
For a while now, I’ve been kicking a novella around my writing desk in the hopes that its missing piece would make itself known. Despite beta readers telling me they enjoyed it, there has always been something not quite right about it. Something that nagged me. Something that made me feel uncomfortable about saying ‘It’s done!’ Every so often I have taken it out, dusted it off and had another crack at it but still that something eluded me, until yesterday.
I have always considered myself pretty polyamorous when it comes to art media. Paints, pastels, markers, charcoal, pencils, ink: I have loved them all. I even flirt with a bit of collage from time to time. But I have never felt a particularly strong affection for one over the others…until now.
It’s not always easy being consistent with blogging. I should know. I look back over the past year of this blog and see very large gaps in between posts at times. This is something I am now trying to remedy by sticking to a consistent schedule and making sure that I use whatever time I have to work on the three elements that need to come together to create one post. Because it’s not just about writing the thing. It’s also about presenting the thing.
I like to run. It’s the one form of exercise that I consistently return to after falling off the taking-care-of-my-health wagon for the umpteenth time. I do not run fast. I do not take part in races (anymore) and my maximum distance is 15km. But I do really like to run. A couple of days ago, as I was plodding along in kilometre six of a ten kilometre trail, it suddenly occurred to me that running is a lot like writing or making art.
In five hundred years, when future humans look back at our period of history, what will be left to show of what our daily lives are like?