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Authors: Find a Fun Hobby to Boost Your Writing!

Stepping Stone 001Stepping Stone 004Stepping Stone 006

I painted today.

If you are a serious author and you write, you should paint.

Let me rephrase that.

If you write, you need to find a hobby you can attack when your brain needs a rest from writing.

There is something about engaging that right brain that also engages the left. Since I have begun my painting spree, the words are flowing like water from an open spigot.

A few years ago, when I was trying to find my way as a writer, I read a book by Julia Cameron, called “The Artist’s Way.” I highly recommend this book if you feel frustration in your writing, and you need help unleashing the creative side of yourself. We all have this side, but most people never tap into it their entire lives. If you have always dreamt of being a writer, but were blocked from limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions, and other inhibiting forces, this book seeks to help you replace them with artistic confidence and productivity.

One of her recommendations is to get into the habit of writing what she aptly calls “Morning Pages.”

In other words, journaling.

Get out the journal first thing in the morning, and let it all hang out.

Write, write, write whatever is clogging up your little head. Write about the little tick you hear in the car, write about having to call your mom, write about feeling depressed or blue. This is what is called stream-of-consciousness writing. You are head dumping onto the page to clear out your mind for your more productive writing time. This was a totally new concept to me.

Not edit as I write? Shocking! 

I am a bug-a-boo about grammar and perfection.

You are not to worry about re-reading, or editing, or correcting. Leave it as is, and don’t even go back and read it right then. If you want to later on, fine. Just don’t do it in that one sitting. I have now been engaging in this practice for years, and I can’t believe how cathartic this process has become for me.

The other recommendation that brought me to the painting table?

An artist’s date.

A date with yourself that you are supposed to set for once a week.

You must honor this date as you would a date with your beloved that you would never consider breaking. You must get yourself out of the house, and go haunt the thrift stores, antique stores, art shows, or whatever. Take yourself someplace you’ve always wanted to go. Go sit on the beach and watch the sunrise or sunset.

Just go.

Writers tend to isolate themselves and sit for way too long (which is another subject for fitness), and we become like bumps on a log. We become stale and stagnant and well, you know what happens there. Our writing gets stale and stinky and we get writer’s block. Get out in the fresh air, treat yourself and don’t you dare not show up!

OK. So back to my painting date with myself.

Am I a master painter like Da Vinci or Dali? No way. I revived this fun little hobby from my youth when I noticed my little cat and dog garden figurines were looking a little shabby. I mentioned it to hubby and he searched high and low (at Walmart) for some multi-colored acrylic paints that I could use to paint to my heart’s content.

My projects began usually first thing in the morning (with coffee in hand, of course) on our wrought iron table out on the patio.

I had so much fun giving both a facelift that I moved on to the faded stepping stone. It needed a good rinsing off under some water, and once dry I got to task in the tropical sunshine, and our faded little stepping stone went from ugh to vrooomm! It is now gracing our garden with its new found beauty. I receive the feeling of satisfaction every time I glance its way—a satisfaction that only comes from knowing it is a job you have completed all by yourself!

Then I got on a tear.

A new thought wriggled its way into my subconscious mind. Hmmm….I can repaint all of the smaller garden decorations the same way–those little daisies and their leaves, the flying bird, spade and bucket and birdhouse. Well, you get the idea. Before you know it, I had repainted every last one of them. Hubby sprayed them with an acrylic to seal them and keep them looking pretty.

Now I’ve run out of things to paint.

Before I start on the furniture inside the house, I believe I will make a trip to Hobby Lobby to see what I can beautify for my Christmas presents and then I will go write some more!

Leave a comment and let me know what your hobbies are. Do you feel they help you to be a better writer?

PenelopeBTR2tiny
Penelope Silvers is founder of PhilosBooks.com,
where “Independent Authors are introduced to the World!”
She is a freelance writer, publisher, and radio host of
Penelope’s Book Chat on Blog Talk Radio.

 

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The Marshall Plan® – Where to Get Writing Ideas

See on Scoop.itWriting for Kindle

Writeanovelfast.com provides tips and ideas for writing and publishing your novel faster. Veteran book agents and writers Evan Marshall and Martha Jewett pull from three decades of experience working with writers.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

The age-old question for writers is: “Where in the world do you come up with all of your ideas?” My response: “In this world we live in–the ideas are ripe for the picking!”

This very excellent article dishes up some juicy tidbits on a silver platter to spark your writing juices. Here’s a couple I plucked from one of my favorite topic scouting sites: YAHOO.COM

MACY’S CEO DESCRIBES THE MOMENT HIS FRIEND MARTHA STEWART BETRAYED HIM  “I thought Martha and I were friends.”

THE MAN WHOSE IMPEACEMENT VOTE SAVED ANDREW JOHNSON -After being impeached, President Andrew Johnson survived his 1868 Senate trial by just one vote. And to this day, how that vote was cast remains shrouded in controversy.

ROBIN THE BOY WONDER KILLED! – NEW YORK — The story of Batman and Robin is about to change forever. That’s according to The New York Post…

There is a constant barrage of these types of headlines every minute of every hour of every day. See if you can’t come up with a list of your own go-to sites for your Kindle Writing ideas.

 

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”*****

 Link to the original article: http://writeanovelfast.com/wheretogetideas.htm#

 

 

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Thin Places–A Kick to the Gut

Thin PlacesThin Places by Mary E. DeMuth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever read a book that kicked you right in the gut? This was such a book. Mainly, the gut wrenching kick you will feel is from vividly experiencing the author’s harrowing childhood. All children should be loved, protected and cherished. No small child should ever have to suffer the way she did, and all the neglect, sorrow, and abuse was front and center with nothing held back. I also appreciated the skillful way the author wove the love of God into her story, and how this love saved her. She wrote beautifully and poignantly, and held me rapt all the way through to the end. I felt as if I had made a new friend, and didn’t want to leave her as I turned the last page. You will never be the same after reading Mary’s story. I am now on a search for more books by this author.

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