Elizabeth: Organizing Creativity

Yes, there is a chair hiding under that pile of fabric

As you’ve seen in recent posts, Jeanne is busy working away on her goal of releasing a trilogy of paranormal romances in the fall of 2018; Jilly is busy working away on her goal to publish her Alexis’s series this year, and Nancy is busy working away on so many projects it’s exhausting just thinking about it.  These Ladies are moving full steam ahead and I’m . . . not.

Now Jeanne and Jilly are fortunate to be writing full time, and Nancy seems to be the Energizer Bunny ™ in disguise, but lack of time isn’t really the problem.  Though my day job keeps evolving and expanding (despite my best efforts to remain invisible), I still have plenty of writing time available.

What I don’t seem to have are ideas – of any kind.  After several writing sessions this week that both began and ended with a big blank screen, I knew I was in trouble.  A search turned up neither hide nor hair of the Bats in the Belfry or the Girls in the Basement.  I found only their cleared out spaces – torched to leave no clue to their destination, though considering the current cold, rainy weather, I’m betting it’s somewhere warm.

Meeting my goal of finishing things this year is a bit of a challenge when Michael & Abigail are feigning deafness; Maddie & Sam are ignoring each other and me; and Cassie & Nicolai seem to have disappeared entirely.

What’s a writer to do?

In Loretta Chase’s Captives of the Night (my favorite book), Leila Beaumont is a painter.  After the death of her husband, she is unable to paint for a time out of respect for the dearly departed, swine that he was.

“All she had to do was keep busy, and she could do that even if she couldn’t produce anything of artistic value.  She’d had dry spells before.  She knew how to fill up the time.  She spent the afternoon building stretchers and the evening tacking canvas to them.  The next day she prepared rabbit-skin glue and coated the canvases with it.” ~ Captives of the Night

While I don’t have canvases to prepare, I too know how to keep busy.  Fortunately, my Finish goal has both a writing and a non-writing component for each month.  So, while my stories are going nowhere fast, my craft-center project is moving right along.  The current step is to organize the fabric stash that seems to have been multiplying like a cage of bunnies while my back was turned.  The photo above is just a portion of that stash.

There’s another similar stash that came from my mother’s house – she was a quilter and apparently never met a fabric she didn’t like.  Sorting through it all is a bit of a challenge, especially since there are a number of projects-in-progress.  It’s been like a treasure hunt, trying to find which fabrics belong with which project.  Not the most exciting task in the world, but I’ve always found that somewhat mindless tasks like this tend to lead to creative thinking.  During the McDaniel program I made two quits – one when Act1 was due and one for Act 2 – and credit them with my ability to meet my writing deadlines.

I may not have gotten any words on the page recently, but I have a new cabinet in the garage and four bins of color-coded fabric safely tucked away.  If this writing thing doesn’t work out, I could always start up an Etsy quilt shop.

It’s good to have a Plan B.

So, how are you and your creativity doing?  Full steam ahead or taking a little time to refresh and recharge?

p.s.  If you happen to pass my Bats or Girls tell them they better head home before I turn their room into another craft center.

3 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Organizing Creativity

  1. As far as inspiration for Book 2, I’m doing okay. I’m a little concerned that, although I know the premise for Book 3, I haven’t had that lightning flash that gives me the first scene. That usually comes several months before I’m ready to write a book, so I’m a little concerned, but not ready to outright panic yet.

    Maybe you need a good old fashioned brainstorming session to kickstart Michael and Abigail or Cassie and Sam or Cassie and Nicolai. Jlly and I have found Skype an invaluable tool for that. Let me know if you want to schedule a chat–we might even be able to conference in multiple Ladies.

  2. I’m decluttering, too. In my case, it’s cleaning out the teaching supplies that have accumulated, and trying to organize four bookcases worth of paperbacks onto three bookcases in alphabetical order. I am making some progress (-:. I may see my desk by Mardi Gras if I stick to my fifteen minutes a day regime . . . .

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