Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'm Back...and Creative Thinking

Hello gorgeous friends!

Yes, I'm alive. 

Thank you for all the thoughtful 'Get Well' cards and emails and tweets and comments and texts and phone calls over the last 2 months. They meant/mean so much to me. I'm beyond grateful to have YOU in my life.

Love is the best medicine. 

It feels good to be back. I'm still on the prednisone (and holy hell has it made me gain weight!), but I can breathe. Breathing is kinda important, yeah?

So, anywhoodles, enough about me.

Oh, how I've missed you. 

Also, it has been brought to my attention that just before I got sick, I promised to do a post on:
 description, metaphors, similes and such. 

Thing is, I haven't written it yet.
And, due to being so sick for so long, I'm behind on...everything. 
Also, those are some broad, deep topics, yes? 

So, I thought I'd break it down, make it a series of posts. 

And I think starting off with Creative Thinking is how I shall begin. 

Why? Because to write inspired, non-cliched description/metaphors/similes one must...think creatively. 

So let's do this thing.

(meaning, I'm going to write this right now, right here in Blogger-compose, hit 'post', and hope it makes sense and is typo-free. o_0) (but you know that's how I write all my posts, so, yeah, you're used to me and my wicked ways by now.)

Creative Thinking for Writers in 5 Easy Steps by Lola Sharp

1) No Negative Self-Talk. Creativity requires freedom. YOU ARE CREATIVE and YOU ARE BRILLIANT in your own special way. It is born within us ALL. Give yourself the freedom to play, to try new things, to live without fear or shame, to be unique.

2) Read, Write and Study Poetry (no one ever has to see it). Play. With words.

3) Start and Maintain Lists of 'Favorite Evocative Words'. Be creative with these lists and continue to add to them. 

*(I prefer these lists be hand-written, because I believe pen to paper activates deeper parts of our imagination.) (also, try writing with your least dominant hand! :) (use colorful ink if you like. Feel free to doodle, too. :)

List One: Random Favorite and Fun Words
Maybe you just like the sound of the word, or the look. (I love the words rutabaga and kookaburra, for example. I love the way they move in my mouth and the way they sound.) Or perhaps you love the image the word invokes. Feel free to make words up! (those are my favorites) Pay attention to their rhythms, cadence, sounds, shapes, and how they make you feel, as much as their definition, meaning. 

List Two: Make a list of STRONG, ACTIVE Verbs

Now let's go deeper, let's make at least SIX more lists (of words) separated by the FIVE senses (plus). Working on these lists will help you become more observant, more thoughtful. 

List on Sight...Practice and exercise your eyes (and your other senses): when you look at something, what do you really see? Look at, say, an orange...or an ashtray, or a chair, a person. Take 15 minutes and describe it visually in a list. Go deeper. Now compare it to other things. 
Be original, play with it. Is it a pink sky? Nah. Perhaps it is a cotton candy sky or a flamingo sky or a mango sky or a Pepto-Bismal sky or a strawberry milkshake sky? 

Word List: Sound Imagery Words/Onomatopoeia...what is the sound of (fill in the blank)...? Make lists. Made up words are especially useful here. PLAY!

Make more Word Lists for: 
Add a '6th sense' list, too...and/or if you write fantasy/sci-fi, create lists based on your world(s), etc.

4) Create a Creative Space: Surround yourself with inspiration. Make it special, colorful (or not) and uniquely yours. Write in bed if it makes you happy. (I often do!) Play music or work in silence. Tape images to your walls. Whatever works for you.

5) Carve Out TIME (preferably daily, but whatever works for YOU). Creativity is smitten with solitude. Nurture yourself with creative writing time. Free-write a bit each week by hand.  

Okay, that's enough for today. We'll go deeper soon.
But, I hope you find these tips and exercises helpful.

To my fellow American friends, have a safe and FUN holiday weekend! And for everyone else...ditto, minus the 'holiday'!  




Summer Frey said...

I have a rutabaga in my pantry right now. That is a great word, and a tasty root.

I'm very much looking forward to creating a new creative space! That's a very huge, important part of my psyche.

Jessica Bell said...

Oh my gosh I had no idea you were sick! :( I'm glad you're okay!

Anne Gallagher said...

I'm sorry you were so sick. I didn't know, I don't Tweet.

Your creative lists are fantabulous as always. I have lists for words but not in so creative a vein. I'll have to do something about that.

Rogue Mutt said...

Congrats on getting better. The rest sounds like too much work.

Candyland said...

Glad you're back and feeling better!

Catherine Stine said...

Glad you are better. No negative self-talk--that's always a good one to remember! Have a great holiday weekend. Just posted about kicking back on my blog. What will you do to kick back?

Christa said...

Lola, I've missed you. Glad you are feeling better. This is a great post. Am working on strong active verb list right now...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Welcome back! Although it appears you brought us homework.

Old Kitty said...

Gorgeous and sexy Lola!! WELCOME BACK!!!!!

Please please please take great big lungfulls of oxygen and breathe!!! yay!!!!

And rest. Get better! Rest!! Take care

Bluestocking said...

Glad you are on the mend! I hope your writing invigorates you going forward!

Sara B. Larson said...

I'm glad you're doing better! I'm so lame, I didn't know you were sick. I'm sorry. :( And what a great post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm all excited to go work on some lists now!

Jemi Fraser said...

So glad you're feeling better! Breathing is most definitely good!

Love those exercises - I rarely do that kind of thing because of that whole time factor. Gotta get better at it!

Anne R. Allen said...

That is a great list! So sorry you've been so sick. Prednisone is a gift and a curse. It can keep you alive, but the weight can stay with you forever, so fight the urge to eat any more than usual. It can turn a celery stalk into fat, I'll swear.

Welcome back!

GigglesandGuns said...

So glad you're and feeling better. Prednisone makes me look like a helium balloon.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lola! Welcome back!

Laura Marcella said...

Glad you're feeling better, Lola! Great post. I'm all about creative thinking! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're feeling better! Awesome tips. :)

Robert Guthrie said...

Welcome back. Great advice. I jamm on favorite words.

Kazzy said...

Welcome back!,,

Jessica Love said...

Glad to hear you're doing better! Welcome back!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

LOVE this post, especially the part where YOU'RE BACK! :D :D
So glad you're doing better! And I love your advice about a strong action verb list... I need to try that.... :)
<3s, and welcome back!

Madeleine said...

Glad you are back and feeling better. Your excellent post shows that you are well on form. Great advice! :O)

Sophia Richardson said...

Love lists, must try that! Glad to see you're back.
- Sophia.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Yay! Glad you're back and also gald to hear you're feeling better. Hopefully you'll be able to come off the pred in the future

Lola Sharp said...

I adore you guys so damn much. *hugs*

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me thoughtful, sweet comments. I'm grateful.


Christine Danek said...

Glad your feeling better. Love making lists thanks for the challenge.
Have a great weekend!

Zan Marie said...

I'm so glad you're better! Sounds like asthma to me. Prednisone doesn't just make me gain weight, it makes me moody, irritable, and down right nasty. Think PMS on steroids. : D

Carolyn V said...

Yay! I'm so glad you're feeling better! And what a great list of things for creative writing. They are so true.

Ricki Schultz said...

I def need to utilize this list. Thanks, Lolz! ;)

Jeff King said...

Awesome… being sick sucks.
I hate making lists, and I hate having things I have to do.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Welcome back Lola!!!! <3 <3 <3 I'm so glad you're feeling better and this is an awesome post. I'd wish you all the creativity in the world. . .but I know you've already got it!

Lindz Pagel said...

Hey hey! I've tagged you at my blog

Jai Joshi said...

So nice to know you're well again, Lola!


Meredith said...

So glad to hear you're doing better! And thank you so much for the advice--I'm definitely going to try to keep a list of my favorite words. Kookaburra may have to be on there. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're back and doing better. I loved reading your list. :)

Regina said...

So happy that you are feeling better! *hugs* Great post, there is so much great information there. That prednisone can really put the curves on ya. My husband has had to take it before.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Welcome back! So glad you're feeling better! Thanks for the great tips and exercises.

LTM said...

SO GLAD you're back. And there's more of you to love! :D

Awesome post--at the moment I'm struggling with the "carve out time" portion of the show. You'll know why tomorrow, but this is such a great creativity boost. Thanks, dahling~ :o)

Simon C. Larter said...

Welcome back, darlin'! Glad to see you back on your, uh, keyboard again.

Excellent advice, also. You musta done did some good thinkin' while you were offline. :)

Girl Friday said...

Sorry to hear you've been ill :( Hope you get better very soon.

Love this post, especially the part about playing with words, fantastic!

Christina Lee said...

These are AWESOME (And so are YOU)!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Lola,

Thanks for stopping in on my blog! I see you are a fellow keyboard pounder... I just added you to blogs I follow, lol, anything I find that aids and abets the neurotisism of writing is a must follow :).

Robyn Campbell said...

Excellent advice! I love them all, especially #2. All writers need to write poetry, even IF no one else will ever see it. It really DOES work wonders for creativity.

Thanks bunches. (I've been nosing around your blog.) hehe

Abby Minard said...

Aw, so sorry your were sick! Glad you are back :) Love the creative thinking tips!!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I'm so happy you're feeling better. Hate how sick you got! :(

Great post, though, hon. What a strong way to come back! Full of super advice.

Anonymous said...

Ohh Lola! So glad to read that you're feeling better. You be looking after yourself!!

sarahwedgbrow said...

SO glad you're better. Had no idea you were so sick! Thanks for that creative list of reminders and new ideas. I needed that. Especially as summer makes me really busy and I don't much time to focus on art. xx

Samantha Vérant said...

What happened to you??? So sorry, whatever it is!Welcome back!

May your pen be mighty

May your pen be mighty

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Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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