TERI: I had been thinking about a creativity blog for a long time. With Yeasty, I want to celebrate the creativity in every one of us, even in those who swear they don't have a creative bone in their bodies. We are ALL creative in our own ways, whether it's coming up with a new plot for a mystery novel, deciding what to paint on a blank canvas or choosing which bowl to serve peas in for your next dinner party.
Finding the name Yeasty actually was a serendipitous thing. I happened upon the definition for "yeasty" -- after all the bread references -- that said the word meant exuberantly creative. Loved that!
HALLIE: Yeasty is a very energizing blog, full of wonderful creative tips on how to charge and recharge your creativity. Teri, please, share some of your tips with us.
Teri: I would love to. Some of my favorite creativity tips are:
- Love the List: Want to write a short story about the cabin you used to visit as a child? Make a list beginning each sentence with "I remember. . ." Write down whatever comes into your head, and don't edit. You can do that later. Even if it doesn't make sense, write it down. After a few minutes, when you are done, you will have several fresh prompts to begin with when you return to your story. Prompts like "I remember being so scared that the old dock would collapse under our feet as we stood there, fishing poles in hand.. . "
- Journal Writing: Thanks to Julia Cameron and her philosophy of "morning pages", I try to write three pages of long-hand journal entries every day. While my mind is engaged in jotting down "to dos", I often enjoy a flash of creativity. These creative moments don't happen every time I journal, but when they do, it's magic. For example, I was writing about having talked to my aunt who has moved to Florida. I kept trying to think of ways to stay better in touch with her, and by writing my concerns down, I came up with the idea of mailing her occasional small gifts. Voila! That idea became a favorite Yeasty blog for me and something I have done for others.
- Fish out of Water: Sometimes the old adages work best, which is why they are adages, I'll bet. Try a new perspective on an old idea, juxtaposing two ideas/characters/quotes that you don't think belong together. One way to do this is to make your own Clue game with flash cards listing each of your story's characters, each of the locations in your story and a potential situation that will appear in the story. You can also make up a stack of cards with quotes on each. Mix the cards up and pick three different cards out of the bunch you have chosen. Try to work up a scene or chapter with that combo. You may never use it, but it will jumpstart your creative juices.
- Zen Out: When you do hit a creativity dry spell, sometimes the best thing to do is do nothing -- at least for a little while. When that happens, I go for a walk, sit and watch the birds feeding outside my window -- or shut down all of the techie devices I use every day, just letting my mind rest. Think about anything but your writing problem when you lay down to sleep and an idea might bubble to the surface, ready to be acknowledged. Write it down and see if it makes sense in the morning.
I also read a lot to help me be more creative, as I'm sure you do. I keep a shelf of books on the subject in my office. I am a sucker for any new title on the subject.
Some creativity books at home now in my office:
The Creative Habit: Twyla Tharp
The Write-Brain: Bonnie Neubauer
A Writer's Book of Days: Judy Reeves
. . . a bunch of books by Julia Cameron (Artist's Way, the Vein of Gold, The Right to Write), as mentioned above, and by SARK
. . .and two I haven't cracked opened yet: Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko and Kick-Ass Creativity by Mary Beth Maziarz
HALLIE: Thanks for sharing so many great ideas and resources! Now if I could just get a shot of creativity that would catapult me from page 100 to page 150, I'd be ever so grateful.
Teri will be checking in today -- join the conversation and share your creativity tips.