Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Beginning to Create

Lost in a sea of ideas for writing and papercrafting, but having difficulty getting the ideas to sail, my New Year's Resolution (once again) is to actually DO something this year about my writing and new papercrafting venture.  Seriously looking around for help, I've become a bit overwhelmed by the plethora of suggestions, courses, goal setting forms, to-do lists and what appears to be a million online resources and aids standing by to magically ignite and sustain my ambitious goals for 2012.  All I have to do is tap into them.

Then, I discovered NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) where one commits to posting a blog entry every day of the month.  January's suggested theme is beginnings.  Sounds good to me!  The commitment of registering online, declaring my intentions to possibly thousands, will surely force me to write every day.  Right?  Well, it's January 3rd and this is my first entry.  :-) Obviously proclamation of intention and registration do not guarantee inspiration and action.  Somehow, life continues to intervene at the most inconvenient time, as it always does, and the 1st and 2nd ran past me before my pen could catch them.

What was so different about today?  Life still intervenes.  Piles of files need to be taken care of.  Calendars need to be filled in.  Rooms need to be dusted and vacuumed.  Bills need to be paid.  In the midst of a busy daily routine,  I discovered a blog post "What Word Will You Choose for 2012?" on the Writing Your Way Home website.  The premise of the article intrigued me and I fell in love with the idea of choosing a word to use as my guiding light for the year. 

But, what word?  Acceptance, Patience, Writing and Creativity immediately came to mind -- all appropriate for the shortcomings or shelved passions of my life at this time.  I finally decided on the word "create."  It's an action.  It's positive.  It's motivating.  It's the perfect word for what I want to do.  Combined with NaBloPoMo's theme of beginnings for the beginning of the year, I see it as an avenue to begin to create a writing niche for myself as well as a new business of handmade papercrafted gift items.  

It can also govern other areas of my life as I create organization out of piles of files as well as create a more simple life for myself.  I can replace impatience and stress by creating peace and calm within.  I CAN create a lot of things!

2012 -- Create...Create...Create!

So, what word will motivate your life in the new year?

Kathy Marie

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Beyond First Lines -- Why The Name Change?

I started this blog a month ago because I was ready to write.  After years of dilly dallying, I was serious.  I was going to post on this, OR one of my other two blogs, EVERY dayIt didn't happen.  Somewhere along the line, I got hung up with blog design and naming, never satisfied with the look and not comfortable with the name.   I tried on designs like one tries on pairs of shoes in a store, liking some, but never quite finding the perfectly cozy fit.  I think I'm over that now.  I like the new design.  I like the new name.

The new name more fully expresses the sluggish start to my writing journey as well as the planned path ahead that I've committed to.  For years, I could rarely get beyond those tentative first lines...the show opened, but froze before the performance really got started.  I'm thawing out those old ideas and revising and interspersing with new.  I'm going beyond first lines and opening acts.

Look for regular posting beginning now and news of a line of papercraft greetings and gifts by fall.

Kathy Marie

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Writing Prompts -- Enabler of Writer's Block?

So, you read the title and you’re thinking, “That doesn’t make sense … it’s a contradiction .. writing prompts exist to unleash the flow of words from a creative brain that, for some reason, just can’t seem to get the words from brain to pen to paper.”  But, it’s NOT a contradiction.  I have found writing prompts to block that creative flow more often than to release it. 

I’m always collecting writing prompts … the tomes on my bookshelves, history of Google searches and haphazard piles of slips of paper embellished with barely legible scribbled notes confirm that.  But, have any of these led to writing?  In all honesty, “not much.”  Oh, I’ve collected all the tools that should magically ignite the much-too-long suppressed award-winning publication, but have produced virtually nothing.

Recently determined to seriously pursue my lifelong passion for writing, I discovered a few snippets of scribbled writing prompts.  One genuinely captured my imagination just as strongly as it had when it first jumped out at me from an endless list of ideas.  However, two weeks later, a perfectly blank sheet of white paper stares back at me.  The prompt suggests one lists the chapters of his/her life; choose one; write five “possible” opening and 5 “possible” closing sentences for the chosen chapter.

So, what are the chapters of my life?  Do I list them chronologically — by year, by decade?  by sections of life, i.e. childhood, college, working career, retirement?  Should I be creative and list them by subject?  Which chapter should I choose for this prompt?  And on and on and on…until I have to shout … to stop my out-of control brain and remind myself that writing prompts are solely meant to unleash one’s spontaneity … to JUST get myself writing … writing ANYTHING … just let the words flow … just get them to paper …worry about arrangement later  … JUST WRITE!

Block the spontaneity, and I, the writer, NOT the writing prompt, enable the writer’s block.

Kathy Marie

The Difference Between Sunrise & Sunset

Is there really a difference between sunrise and sunset?  Look at many photos  — can the average person, especially at a quick glance, really tell if it is sunrise or sunset?   Does it matter in most cases?  Probably not — your breath can be taken away by the sheer beauty and force of either.

But, there is a difference between the two…sunrise signifies beginnings while sunset signals endings.  The connotation of sunrise is usually positive — the dawn of a new day; rebirth and renewal; fresh start — we get another chance; light.  On the other hand,  the connotation of sunset, in spite of its beauty, is often negative — the end of the day; the end of an era; the ending half of life — “she is in the sunset of her life”; darkness.  But, we can change the negative connotations and successfully blend the best of the two with a sometimes-not-so-simple change of attitude.

We do this with life in general and we can do it with our writing as well. How many times have we had a really bad day and can hardly wait for it to end?  We use the ending of the day to put all the bad stuff behind us, using it as a launch pad to the beginning of a new day=new start — the old “brush yourself off and start all over again” “tomorrow will be better” cliches.  How often are we stuck in our writing journey — how often do we think we are burning out and we want to throw in the pen — wave the white towel of surrender to defeat?  How often do we NOT START our writing or END it because we see only that the imagined creative fertility of our brains has died — has reached the sunset of its life?

Maybe, we need to blend the beginning and end and start our own new day.  Maybe we need to close the door of one room in our life and open the door to another.  Maybe we need to leave behind and say goodbye to what didn’t work in one genre and pack up and ship all the good stuff we learned to a new genre — awakening our creativity once again.

We need to forget the differences.  We need to blend the beauty, richness and expertise of our sunsets with the freshness, imagination and hope of the new sunrise we create for ourselves.

Kathy Marie