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The Creative Habit
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About This Club

A club for those who would like to start, continue, and find support for a daily creative habit.

  1. What's new in this club
  2. On Writing is so good. But I can't do death of a child right now. I wouldn't say I have writer's block exactly. I can write, I just have to give myself permission to write about whatever I feel like writing instead of anything I planned to write. Also, y'all are always welcome in my internet space.
  3. LOL. Not by chance; I suspect that I got each idea above from someone whose writing I admired. Did you manage to write a post? Let us know when you have something you’d be OK with us reading, and give us the link, please. (Yeah, I can totally find your blog in a nanominute, but I’d feel better knowing it’s OK with you that some of us come on over into your space. LOL) Regarding writer’s block: I don’t know if you are into this sort of thing or not, but if you are Ok with ghost stories—Haunted Modern Southern U.S. almost Gothic ghost stories—then I highly recommend Bag of Bones (that’s the Wikipedia link; don’t read the plot summary unless you want all the spoilers; I link here instead of Amazon because it seems many people have not-so-happy feelings about Amazon right now). I also highly recommend listening to the unabridged (loooong, hooray!) audiobook which is read by the author. The plot centers around a novelist who has severe writer’s block, and the passages describing this are dead-on. Well. As on might expect from Stephen King. 🙂. I buried the lede here, that the book is by King, because non-King readers have a horrific image of what King’s books are like; while that image is true for most of his stuff, this is one book where the gore factor is relatively low (no guts no weird space aliens eating anyone, no exploding anythings). This book is unusual amongst his others because of the relatively ... muted... violence content. It is definitely not violence-free; it’s just that this book has about the same level of violence as your average modern murder mystery, which is several levels down the violence scale for King. The violence includes gunshots and physical assault (neither are described in gory detail) and the historical and emotional violence in the backstory of the ghost, because, well, ghosts don’t come and haunt unless they have a beef to settle with someone, now, do they? Trigger warnings for guns, rape, drowning, suicide, truly abusive grandmother, and murder/death of a child, all part of the reason Ms Ghostie got her Haunting License. That and his nonfiction book On Writing have given me so language, at least, to talk about my own writer’s socks (you have to read the book for that one). I know; am weird to get my comfort re: writer’s block from Stephen King, but then, well, yes, I am an odd duck, aren’t I? Hey. I haven’t listened to BofB for years. Time for a re-listen, what a treat! (for me....) S
  4. @Sandi Wiseheart I totally by chance started following your advice before I even read it!
  5. Blog posts can be a beatch to get started on. I have one of those idea lists, too. Something which works is for me to start out writing FOR ME, write a little bit about how I am doing that day, WHAT I am doing today...and then, poof! It’s a stealth blog post! Well. I edit out the personal stuff later, it’s just a way to get my fingers moving on the keys. Another thing which works sometimes is to think of a topic and then, again for yourself, start writing your opinions about whatever it is. It’s for you, so snark away, complain, or praise and clap. I find that I almost always have an opinion of some sort (!!) about something related to the blog post, and it’s easy to write one’s opinion. Usually! And I again snark/YAY my way into the beginnings of a blog post. OR one thing I do if all else fails, I go back and look at recent comments, and begin with “Dear Emma...” as though the post is a letter, and refer to the reader’s questions or comment. Readers love to be called out by (first) name. And I get the best ideas from the comments. Not sure if you wanted advice on how to get started. Sorry. I am just very pleased that my writer’s block is, well. Shhhhhhh. (not here now) so I’m a little giddy about writing right now.
  6. I haven't written the post yet, @Sandi Wiseheart. I have a list of blog post ideas that is very long, but of course I always forget about it when it's time to sit down and write.
  7. THIS. All of it. (Did you write the blog post? I should pop over to your blog and see!) The whole idea of productivity being the highest good, and how so many of us as Makers (may) have incorporated that into our psyches, is rather unsettling. It rings true, but I wish it didn’t, if you know what I mean. This concept is very helpful, I think. Stayed tuned. 💖🧶🦄🌷
  8. Hi everybody! I'm Kimberly, and somehow I didn't realize this club was here until I heard Kim mention it on the podcast. So many things folks are saying about creative time and struggling to prioritize it are resonating with me. I'm wondering what might happen if we reframe it. What if we considered it meditation time? Repetitive crafts like knitting, crochet, and cross-stitch can have that effect. (The scholar-librarian in me wants to track down a reference/link for this. The human in me is granting me a pass.) What if this wasn't an indulgence, but a matter of health? What if it were like a dietary supplement or a daily medication? I think the circumstances of my learning crochet help me think this way. I bought my first hook, yarn, and pamphlet while I was stopped at Wal-Mart to grab supplies to help with a migraine that was debilitating enough I had gone home from student teaching because of it. I took them back to my boyfriend's house (I don't think he was there, but I preferred his house to mine, always. Now he's my husband and we have just one house between us) and in addition to my usual migraine remedies, I applied crochet. I think having it to focus on helped me ignore the pain, almost. So I really do think of crochet as an OTC migraine remedy. If you aren't motivated by the capitalist notion that your productivity is the highest good (I am, though I'm trying to break myself of it), what if you think of your creative time like food, exercise, or a nap? Something that, if you grant yourself the time to do it, will leave you renewed, with fresh vigor to apply to your other tasks? These are just thought experiments, not proven advice. But I think I've written enough now to consider this as a blog post topic, so thanks for helping me workshop this post!
  9. Just taking some chill Deep breaths, deep thoughts, some action Wait, where's my coffee? My mornings have been lots of thing about stuff I have to do, while rubbing my dog on my couch, constantly losing my coffee. I feel like there;s a lot going on so I need extra time on quiet contemplation
  10. @Alice Creason, it was dark when I took the picture, the lighter colour is actually off-white. Now that you mention it though, Gryffindor colours would look really good in my living room. Maybe the next one. 😄
  11. Love the blanket! Is it Gryffindor-inspired, or just a coincidence? 😁
  12. Hi @Lilly.O.4 , I love the hand lettering trend. People are doing some beautiful things with brush pens. I can understand what you mean about needing to practice it every day. I love that you're dedicating this year to learning new things! Can't wait to see what you do!
  13. Yes, I hear ya. Here is mine for today: Staff meeting today Everyone wondering, Will the school have to close? We are on spring break this week and watching other universities announce closures for the rest of the semester. Wondering if we are going to do the same...
  14. Way to go, Alice, it's beautiful! I'm hoping to finish my zig-zag blanket this month as well as establish a daily calligraphy practice.
  15. Hi, I'm Lori. I spend a lot of time thinking about making things (other than dinner) but am trying to spend more time doing. I started a blanket during the zig-zag crochet-along using Kim's Craftsy/Bluprint class to learn how. I was going along great and then life got in the way and the project sat in a bag for a while. During the MIMU workshop I started working on it again and I want to keep up my daily crochet time. Also, last year I did Show Me Your Drills, learning the basics of modern calligraphy with brush pens. I went on to learn the lower-case letters and how to join them but still haven't learned the upper-case letters so I'm trying to set up a daily practice for that. It is really something that needs to be practiced every day even if just for 5 minutes I have a lot of creative things I'm interested in, all of which I little or no experience with, and my goal is to try my hand at as many of them as I can this year. Embroidery, hand applique, sewing, needle felting, drawing, painting, art journaling and more but even if I only get to one or two I'll be okay with that.
  16. Big event coming. Will we have to cancel it? Just need to decide. This has been the all-consuming issue for me (leading to lots and lots of stress knitting!).
  17. I finished the inner square last night on my counted canvas project. Woohoo.
  18. I thought it might be fun to share tips and ideas for small, easy, doable things to try if you're struggling to build a daily creative habit. This exercise only takes a couple minutes each day and is for anyone who is trying to start a journaling, diary, or daily writing habit. You can use it by itself as a 2-minute daily diary entry or use it as a warm-up exercise any time you're feeling stuck. The exercise is simple: Write a haiku about your day. A haiku is a very short 3 line poem that follows this format: Line 1: 5 syllables Line 2: 7 syllables Line 3: 5 syllables --------------------------- Example: Had cabin fever The sun was shining today Went for a short walk ----------------------------- (Note: They don't need to be GOOD haikus!) Start this habit and pretty soon you'll start making up haikus for everything.
  19. Declare an intention and/or show your progress for the month of March 2020 here! This month I intend to complete the counted canvas project I've been working on.
  20. Hey, accountability works! Here is the progress I made yesterday evening and now today:
  21. YES. THIS. SO MUCH THIS. This is what we need to change, everyone. We've got to start putting OURSELVES first. The laundry, the grading, the grocery shopping, the conference call...they can all wait. We ALL DESERVE to spend 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes just for ourselves EVERY. DAY.
  22. In other news: I have complete Row 4 of the button band on my hoodie. I have three more rows to knit, then the Bind Off row. YAY! And in other other news: Reports of each row in the hoodie button band being over 4,000 stitches each are greatly exaggerated. I did a triple-recount, and the actual number is a much more reasonable 516 stitches per row. This means I have 1548 stitches left to work, then 516 stitches to bind off, then done! Thought: I must be getting royally tired of this buttonband thing if I am now counting down the actual stitches instead of rows remaining to complete...
  23. Oh, @Alice Creason, I am sorry you have been having such a terrible time! I’m glad that the surgery is behind you, and that you are on the mend despite your difficulties. I am also very glad you posted this here, because you (and you, @Kuchylm, as well) are describing me and my challenges this past week or two—so at least I am not alone in my struggles! After the last few months of illness and snow storms and power outages and family drama and more snow and whatever, I feel as though my to-do list is screaming at me. I am so incredibly behind. I know this, because last month, I started a primitive sort of bullet list, trying to get things on paper so they didn’t keep me awake at night. That did help the nighttime anxiety some, but then...then I realized how long the bullet list of tasks was, and how many tasks there were on there which I had procrastinated about which were now pushing up against due dates, and so on. I responded by trying to do the anxiety-inducing things as fast as I could go through them—so the anxiety would go away as well. Some of these tasks I had procrastinated about because they were HARD to do, so in trying to push through the hard stuff as fast as I could, I may have knocked my own feet from beneath myself. I’m emotionally wrung out (and feeling needy, which I hate hate hate), and my energy level is dipping into reserves at this point. There’s a nasty cycle here. I try to do All The Things, lose energy, don’t have energy to be social online, so end up feeling needy, try to resolve that by doing lots of things, and then we are back around again. Then I noticed something else: I, too, put my creative time at the end of the list, because I have been using my creative time as a treat, or a reward, the kind where one says, “If you finish cleaning the bathroom and then do 3 things from your list, AND it’s close to end of the day, THEN you can go spin for a half-hour before M gets home”. (I think using creative time as a reward/bait is another form of prerequisite procrastination.) In other words, if I have energy during the middle of the day, I really ought to be using it to complete more list items, rather than “frittering away the daylight hours” (that may or may not have been a quote from a figure in my family...) by knitting or spinning or whatever. I especially feel guilty if I take creative time if anxiety-provoking items (the ones Eva calls “peace bringers”) are still on the list. Especially if they are time-sensitive. This isn’t helpful, I know. I never realized I was using creative time as bait, more or less, as a reward for getting my chores done. To be fair, this is what I was taught growing up. My mom, a SAHM for most of my childhood, had a schedule in mind for each day, and she felt very strongly that one ought to be doing “work” or “chores” during business hours. She herself did her chores and worked on her to-do list all morning until about 11:30AM. Then she would allow herself a half-hour to an hour for lunch, during which she would read a novel for herself. After time was up on lunch, she’d work again until after dinner, when we kids were doing chores. For her, after dinner was her time, time to watch TV, read, work on her own sewing projects, etc. The same was true for us: After our chores were done, we could do whatever we wanted to do. But the work had to be done FIRST. The more I think about it, the odder this seems to me, now that creativity is more or less my life’s work. Why isn’t creative time part of “work” for me these days? It used to be; or rather, it used to be something I valued enough, and felt others valued enough, for me to give it the gravitas of something which earned its own calendar slot. Now, particularly in the past few years, my feelings have shifted so that once again I am using creativity as a carrot in search of checking off as many bullet items as I can. When I put it that way, it sounds silly. But changing this attitude is a real challenge for me. The concept of scheduling creative time makes so much sense to me. If only it were so easy to re-program the voices in my head!
  24. Ugh. @Alice Creason I'm so sorry to hear about the complications from surgery. Can nothing in life ever go smoothly? This is a question I've been asking a lot lately, with fists balled up and shaken at the skies. Sometimes mindlessly scrolling Facebook or watching videos is all we can expect of ourselves while our body is wrecked and fighting so hard to heal. Sometimes, that's exactly what we need. Sounds like you're trying to maintain life status quo even as you've been feeling dreadful. That's a tall order, my friend, and one I suspect no one expects of you but yourself. Are there folks at work who can help unburden you of your work-related obligations? Surely no one will expect you to be working hard while you recover from surgery? Please don't feel an obligation to this group right now, but please do count on us for company through the magic of the internet, and for talk of creativity while your body and mind work up the strength to make things. Sending much love!
  25. @Alice Creason welcome to life 🙂 and way to be honest. After reading this I breathed a sigh of relief and thought "oh it's not just me floating along and feeling like I'm playing catch up and wondering what should I be doing". I'm exhausted by 8pm every day, with bouts of needing a nap but no time for it at least 2 other times during the day. Sickness, work, or anything that taxes me beyond the usual ordinary life things will derail me very easily. Getting my house packed and ready to sell while living in it has been my derailment. I've squeezed some doodling and making in here and there but could work a teensy bit more to make a sustaining habit of just 5 minutes of make time.
  26. Okay, I posted this over in the needlework forum, but I'm posting it again here. It's the same photo. I have not made any new progress on this in the past few weeks. So, this is accountability time for me. This is a winter-themed pattern, so I would like to finish it before the first day of spring: March 19.

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