Tag Archive | creativity

Creativity Goals Check-In August 9, 2020

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Goals from Last Week – How Did I Do?

Writing

  • journal about Moonchild (memoir) project at least once – DONE.
  • collect all relevant old notebooks from storage and bring them up into my apartment – nope, didn’t do it, still want to.
  • start constructing Nick timeline (the timeline for a relationship that figures prominently in my memoir project, explained in the reflections section of last week’s check-in) – find all existing references in Moonchild – I did technically start this but barely worked on it, and think I need a more concrete goal for this going forward.
  • work on blog at least 5 days – DONE.
  • journal about blog at least once – DONE.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – yeah no, I did four – I’ve been practicing every day, with very few exceptions, since early mid-April, so this drop-off is out of character for recent months
  • get up through song 83 of book one of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – DONE – even though I didn’t do the amount of practice sessions I thought I would, I still did go forward since the previous lesson was the Em chord, which I was very familiar with already.
  • seven keyboard practice sessions – yeah even more of a no here, I only did three (and two of those were today) – like with guitar I’ve been doing keyboard pretty much every day for months, so this does have a falling off the wagon type feeling.
  • get up through page 52 in my Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book – also no, I’m up to page 50 and have some catching up to do.

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 140 nights, aka 20 weeks, in a row – DONE – 20 weeks, baby!
  • read through page 226 in All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – DONE – this book is sooooo good; not easy but good.
  • write Morning Pages every day – I wrote them 6 of the 7 days – I couldn’t exactly write a big post about them, and then not write them.

Reflections on the Week

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – The Basic Tools: Morning Pages

MPsIn The Artist’s Way, aka AW, a book I’m blogging about weekly, one of the first thing that the author, Julia Cameron, introduces is the practice of Morning Pages. As far as I know, this is also true for subsequent spin-offs and sequels. Morning Pages are the cornerstone of all her work on discovering, recovering, and reconnecting with creativity.

So, that raises (not begs) the question of what are they and why are they so important. Morning Pages are simple at face value. When you wake up, you’re supposed to write three pages of long-hand writing, about anything you damn well please. The keys are that they’re supposed to be in the morning, they’re supposed to be long-hand and they’re supposed to be private–even you yourself aren’t supposed to look at them for awhile.

The morning part of it is to clear your head, dump out all your little thoughts and worries and random tidbits floating in your head that otherwise could nag at you for the rest of the day. And morning because maybe when we’re still groggy, there’s less self-censorship. That’s part of the privacy aspect, that they’re never to be shown to anyone because once they are, the other person’s judgements come in, and so do your own.

To that point, though this is probably a story for another day, I did once have a boyfriend who told me, drunk off his ass when we were in a fight, that he’d read mine and then made fun of me for things I’d written. Fun freakin’ times.

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Creativity Goals Check-In August 2, 2020

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Goals from Last Week – How Did I Do?

Writing

  • read and take notes on the final chapter of my old version of Moonchild – DONE – this was a pretty easy, one-time thing that I did Monday morning.
  • journal every morning, contemplate what I want to do with Moonchild and where I want to go writing-wise, from here – Did 6 mornings (all except Monday, when I did the first goal) and it was more fruitful than I thought it might be. More below.
  • work on blog at least five days – this doesn’t mean I’m going to post five times, more just wanting to find chunks of time to work on this site – DONE

Music

  • practice guitar every day – DONE
  • get up through song 78 of book one of my guitar book – DONE but struggled with the new material a lot (alternate strumming)
  • practice piano every day – sorta done? I skipped one day but made up for it the next
  • get up through page 47 in my piano book – DONE

Lifestyle

  • sleep without my phone (this will put me at 133 nights in a row) – DONE but it was a struggle
  • read parts One and Two in All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which I’m reading for the NOAH (National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation)’s PWA Book Club – DONE and I’m really loving the book!
  • write Morning Pages every day – yeah no. I only wrote them 4 days, and two of those were were “evening pages” where I wrote something at night to say I’d written something, so technically only 2 days of true Morning Pages

Reflections on the Week

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – My Origin Story

AW1This past March, I picked up The Artist’s Way again after many years away from this famous creativity book. It’s been an interesting ride since then–expansive, challenging, difficult, combative at times (I definitely don’t resonate with everything in there), illuminating. So, it’s one of the things I wanted to post about when jumping back into blogging and thinking a lot about creativity.

I went back to The Artist’s Way, or AW as it’s known in my journals and to-do lists and calendars, after some tough decisions that set off a real transition time for me that I reeeeeally want to write about but can’t right now. It had been awhile since I’d cracked the book, and it makes sense to talk about my origin story with this book.

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(Overdue) Writing Update: Publication in Aerial

screen-shot-2019-07-24-at-11-45-40-pmI was away for a long time, and in that time, I had some writing news and updates that I’m overdue in sharing here.

One of those is that my piece “Living the Dream?” was published in Aerial, the art and literary magazine from OHSU’s School of Medicine.

Knowing that such a magazine existed was one of the many things that drew me to OHSU as a school. I wanted to be somewhere that valued writing and the arts along with all the science-y, clinical-y stuff I love. Since starting school there, I’ve found a good group of people, not only the people who run Aerial, but also a lot of people involved in narrative medicine, humanities in medicine, live storytelling, and so forth.

In fact, this piece came from the final assignment in a Narrative Medicine elective class I took last winter, taught by Dr. Elizabeth Lahti, who is THE narrative medicine, medical humanities person at OHSU. The assignment was to write “25 Things I Know About…” something. The assignment was based on the short story “25 Things I know About My Husband’s Mother” by Louise Aronson from her book A History of the Present Illness. We read this and other stories from this book in our class, and I highly recommend.

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Creativity Goals Check-In July 26, 2020

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This is a column I’m going to start doing weekly on Sunday nights (or thereabouts depending on circumstances). I’m going to check in on how I did that past week, and post what my creativity goals are for the coming week.

I wrote about this a bit in my recent re-entry post “Jumping Back into the Blogging Ring” – I’m really motivated by goals and plans, and I’ve found myself relying on that more and more in our corona times. I spend a lot of time thinking about goals and planning, and figured I’d share.

With today being the first one, I thought it made sense to start out by talking about what I’m working on. I really struggled to come up with a cohesive goal list or plan for the year even before everything went upside-down and I still feel like week to week and sometimes day by day is how I’m taking things. I’ll try to write something for August that’s a more overarching plan for the month, so hopefully I’ll come up with that in the next couple of days.

But for now here are the main things I’m working on:

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Jumping Back into the Blogging Ring

IMG_0349When I started posting again in April, as April, I thought I’d come back quickly to regular blogging. Yeeeeeah, about that. Clearly that wasn’t the case.

I’m going through some major life upheavals, and though I won’t go into it now, I plan on posting about it on here at a later time. Right now, a lot of it is still under wraps, kept off of here and off of my social media, but as things move forward that will start to shift.

There’s just a lot to work out and through and I’m really in the shit right now.

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It’s Been Awhile

writingI just thought I’d give a quick update.

I originally started this blog to write about writing, and TV, and disability issues, and science, and music but I also struggle with blogging. Sometimes it feels more like a duty than something I enjoy doing. That’s especially true when I’m so busy with school and my job, and just trying to find time to write is a real challenge.

This year, I set a goal to write at least 4 days a week for at least an hour. That doesn’t add up to a lot, just 4 hours a week, and yet it’s still been difficult to find that time. Most weeks, I’ve met that goal, but there’ve been a few weeks I didn’t. There have been lots of weeks, like this last one, where I spent as much time writing as I would on a full-time job.

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Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

For anyone who writes stories, makes music or does any sort of creative art, this has to be one of the most common questions you are asked, and one of the most common questions you want to ask others.

Dreaming

It’s a mysterious thing. I think so many people are curious about it, even people who themselves are involved in the creative arts, because it’s not always concrete and logical (those aspects do come into play, of course). Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly where that first seed or flash or image or idea originated.

Sometimes you know. The idea for Total Eclipse of the Heart, which I wrote originally as a short story and am now having fun working into a screenplay, came to me pretty much fully-formed in a dream, including some of the dialogue. Actually in the dream I was taking a screenwriting class (which at that point in time I had never done in real life) and struggling with writers block, then came up with this idea for the story and in the dream I was reworking it and molding it. There were so many details, so many subplots and so much complexity for a story that came from a dream.

That has never happened before or since but it was pretty cool when it did. It kinda made me feel like I had to write the story.

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I Work So Much Better When I’m Working

busyimagesIt’s a proven fact in my life: I get more done creatively when I’m working. I work at a YMCA camp, doing dishes and prep cook stuff. The days when I’m scheduled to go in, I get up, put in some hours on my book, take care of errands, and go in for my evening shift.

On the days that I don’t have work, I take naps, go on instant messenger, do nothing, tell myself I’ll get to my book later. I think the downtime is good for sure, and that my mind, heart, body and spirit need the rest and relaxation. I just find it a bit odd that I get my best creative work done when I’m also working.

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