IWSG: Writing and a creative life

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to the IWSG page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! If it links to Google+, be sure your blog is listed there. Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
November's awesome co-hosts:   Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman

And this month's optional question: How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

I like the question, so here goes a shot at an answer.

First off, I have been writing off and on all my life, so in some ways there is no "before." But for far too many years it was more "off" than "on," and the periods between bouts of working on a project were far too long; I'll count those years as "before." 

My more serious writing goes back far enough that it's hard to remember what life was like before. A little research on my computer suggests I wrote the first Ninja Librarian story about March of 2010. I published the book at the end of 2011 or January 2012, IIRC, and some point in between is where I started writing seriously and doing it regularly. 

This evolution into being a writer came at the end of the period when raising my boys was a 100% sort of job. They were both out of grade school, and suddenly I had a lot more time for myself. So in some ways, I don't know if the changes were as much about writing as about shifts in other parts of my life. But this I know: I became a lot happier and more focused when I finally became what I'd always wanted to be. 

I think that during those years with two little kids at home I had pretty much quit everything creative in my life. I stopped doing much music--my oldest son, especially, didn't like me to play the piano, and I had no time to join any musical groups, as I had done before the boys were born. So music fell out of my life (and, sadly, has mostly stayed that way, though I occasionally turn to the piano for fun). I was learning photography, but doing it with the kids along played into my own lack of patience so nothing amazing was happening there. Somewhere in there I starting putzing around with watercolors, too. That has remained a happy outlet for creativity without judgement, since my paintings are, in a word, crappy, and show little sign of ever being anything else. Sometimes it's good to have no expectations.

But writing... a story turns out to be a great retreat, and the more I wrote, the more ideas came pouring in. I tell kids when I talk at schools that I think the imagination is a muscle, and like all muscles, the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. I firmly believe that. That's why it's harder to get going after a long period of not-writing, as I've had this year. Ignoring the ideas and sparks discourages them and they go away until you work out the muscle (the imagination muscle? surely not the imaginary muscle!) and it starts firing again. 

So, the short answer:  writing makes me a more creative person, and that makes me a happier person.

Can you remember a time before you were a writer? Do you think being creative makes you more creative? Leave a comment and let me know!

Hey! I'm also posting today on the IWSG Anthologies blog, so drop over there and say hi! 


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