Overwhelmed at the thought of writing?

Fast Company’s Art Markman has four suggestions:

  1. Break it down

  2. Make an outline

  3. Just get something down

  4. Write for five more minutes


If the list doesn’t tell you enough [and it doesn’t], here is the fleshed out version.

And I would add another suggestion.

Bake…[no, it doesn’t necessarily help you generate a bestseller, but it’s great for an afternoon coffee and who knows, the caramel experiment might just pay off in a fun blog post.]

two banana breads side-by-side
I added an amaretto caramel to the banana bread on the left. I added an Irish cream caramel to the banana bread on the right.

Seize the moment…

girl-reaching

So it’s like this.

My friend from NY sent me a quick email telling me a classmate of ours from junior high had passed away…a year ago.

M was always a pretty happy-go-lucky guy and he was the same way as we went facemark-to-facemask in a junior college football game in 1972. And the same way as he served customers at his dad’s fish market and at the restaurant he started in the 80’s.

While I hadn’t seen him for decades, his passing hit me a little harder.

Maybe each succeeding loss of a contemporary does that now…but it was yet another reminder, a tug at my insides, with the familiar message…”What in God’s name are you waiting for? Get out there and make stuff!”

Yeah…it doesn’t have to be good—especially at first. It has to be done, so you have something to build on, a reference point.

And let’s all assume we’re not going to live forever, so it’s time to build some creative momentum.

It doesn’t have to be a leap. Even a step will do. But let’s aim together to be in a different place than we were the day before.

How to Never Miss a Day of Creative Work

Highlights:

  1. “Take the minimal viable action of sitting down at your desk…”
  2. “Reduce the scope, but stick to the schedule.”
  3. “It’s better to lower your standards and actually follow through…”

no-yes

Words of inspiration from Jill Badonsky

I have two of Jill Badonsky’s books: The Awe-manac and The Muse Is In

Until tonight, I had not opened this newsletter forwarded to me by my wife the same month I left my job almost two years ago. Just one of those emails that slipped by…
I hope the quote nudges you forward in your creative pursuits…

jill badonsky quote with background

If you believe it’s time to give that creative calling inside of you a shot, honor it in some really small way today.

Start by asking “What do I love about my creative passion?” and “What one really small thing I can do to get started?”

Just asking these questions, even without having an answer, will begin to shift your energy toward the thoughts and actions that make it easier to get to your passion.

Once you light that fire, you will shine so brightly, there’s a chance one or two souls will stop their bickering and be inspired to do the same–you will be a catalyst of creative passion. — Jill Badonsky

Excerpts from an interview with writer Joan Wickersham

I came across this interview on one of my favorite writing websites. A few of the lines spoke clearly to me…

Enjoy.

  • “When I am home I tend to become preoccupied with laundry.”
  • “But that boggy, ploddy, stage of blah writing or no writing is just about unbearable while it’s going on.”
  • What’s your advice to new writers?
    “Keep going, and one day you’ll be an old writer.”

http://www.advicetowriters.com/interviews/2015/3/17/joan-wickersham.html

Curation Saturday: Gems from other blogs

1. Alex Markovich shares the products of his photography skills.

alex markovich

https://illustration.art.blog/2018/06/19/illustration-1/
https://illustration.art.blog/2018/06/21/illustration-2/
https://illustration.art.blog/2018/06/30/illustration-3/

2. Virginia puts life in perspective with her Roses in the Rubble.
Quote: “What does it take to stop you? There are all sorts of crutches that keep us from moving forward after our spills (splat) on the pavement of life: bruised egos and empty pockets, tears and fears, maybe sprained hearts too hurt to love anew.”

https://rosesintherubble.com/2018/07/19/character-muscles-crutches/

3. Shape Shifter Fitness keeps me on the culinary straight-and-narrow. Well, he tries to.
Quote [about turmeric]: “The difference it’s made in the quality of Stella’s life by adding it to her dog food has been amazing, and I’ll always be a huge proponent of its benefits for that alone.”

https://shapeshiftpt.wordpress.com/2018/03/21/top-5-new-eat-clean-foods/

4. Cristian Mihai shares his views and expertise on blogging.
Quote: “Accept that you have to add value.”

https://artofblogging.net/2018/07/20/how-to-stop-being-the-invisible-blogger/

Curation Tuesday: More from Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing

From Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You

  • “Do not, for money, turn away from all the stuff have collected in a lifetime.” [For many of us, it’s time to put all we’ve amassed to us.]
  • “Do not, for the vanity of intellectual publications, turn away from what you are—the material within you which makes you individual, and therefore indispensable to others.”  [For me, this requires a daily pep talk. Sometimes, I’m all in. Other times, out of resistance, I drift toward other projects.]
  • “To feed your Muse, then, you should always have been hungry about life since you were a child. If not, it is a little late to start. Better late than never, of course. Do you feel up to it?” [I think Ray would suggest you dive into your closet of notebooks and half-finished works and see what is inches away from being revived.]

I hope a few of Ray Bradbury’s thoughts speak to you as a writer/creator.

Added on September 4, 2018:

Here is blackwings666’s post about Ray Bradbury.

Be open to inspiration. Write on!

Curation Saturday: Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing

From Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You

Excerpt 1:

“I needed that approval. We all need someone higher, wiser, older to tell us we’re not crazy after all, that what we’re doing is all right. All right, hell, fine!”

Yep, I guess that, along with the daily accountability, is why the My 500 Words Facebook group is one I’ve stuck with and visited daily.

These folks are in the trenches with me, many/most of us writing to explore, writing to reflect, writing to release, and sure, some folks are writing to publish, which is certainly just as valid and definitely exciting.

And so Ray B [easier to type than ‘Bradbury’…I think it’s the combination/sequence of the letters] found that validation from a revered 89-year-old art historian, Bernard Berenson.

While I’m not a famed art historian, I hope that my comments and content can provide some validation to fellow writers.

Excerpt 2:

“But it is easy to doubt yourself, because you look around at a community of notions held by other writers, other intellectuals, and they make you blush with guilt. Writing is supposed to be difficult, agonizing, a dreadful exercise, a terrible occupation.”

With this excerpt, Ray B draws the contrast between himself [“I believe one thing holds it all together. Everything I’ve ever done, I’ve done with excitement, because I wanted to do it, because I loved doing it.”] and many other writers.

As I write this post, as I consider my age, as I think about how I am not overly enthused by rewriting, followed by rewriting, followed by rewriting…and then marketing, I wonder if I’ll ever get anything published. This is not a ‘woe is me’ proposition. It’s just a moment of self-reflection, of revisiting [probably daily] what is more important to me when it comes to writing.

More from this book next week when Ray B addresses the muse…