Friday, October 26, 2007

The Choices We Make

In my younger years - oh, say age five to around age 18 - I was quite a crafty person. I loved to dabble with my grandmother's craft stuff. I drew, painted, sewed, glued, latch-hooked, colored...you name it, I did it.

When I hit 6th grade and started to really focus on my writing, I didn't leave my crafting love behind and continued to do just as much as before. But during college, marriage, and a career, I abandoned it. I got into rubber stamping for awhile after I got married, but I haven't done much of anything with it for a long, long time.

The other day, my daughter and I went to Hobby Lobby again where they had pre-made wooden Christmas decorations on sale. So I selected a few a few, bought some acrylic paint and brushes, and headed home. Wednesday night I decided to not worry about the writing or the housework, and I just sat down to paint.

It was so much fun. I didn't have to worry about a character's motivation or if this particular plot point made sense, I just painted. All I had to worry about was what color I wanted to paint my snowman's scarf!

This led me to wonder at why I chose to pursue writing above my other creative endeavors. Why didn't I pursue art instead? I loved to draw in elementary and high school, but I haven't picked up a pencil to sketch in years. Drawing wasn't the easiest for me, but when I look back, I think it was a lot easier than trying to write a novel.

I guess there's only one answer for this - I had the passion for writing. Sure, I loved to draw and paint and hot glue, but it wasn't a consuming need. I did it because it was fun to do and I enjoyed it. It was a hobby, not a passion.

Writing is my passion. But I've also recognized that I need to take time to just sit and paint and let my mind be creative without being mentally exhausted afterwards. That is what triggered my burn-out. I was focusing on the work and not the fun. And let's not kid ourselves - writing is a lot of work. But it's also a lot of fun. When you lose the fun part, well, it's just a miserable existence.

What about you? Do you do any other creative activities besides write?

Happy Friday!

6 comments:

  1. Blimey ... I do loads. Knitting, cross stitch, embroidery, tinkering with music, interior design, card making ... I think we do, though. I know a lot of writers who also create something else.

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  2. I knit and I've done some other little things like some woodcrafts or christmas ornaments. Mostly knitting though.

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  3. I think I might like collage art...and I do have a dollhouse from childhood that I want to restore.

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  4. I am not crafty at all. I am the anti-craft. No skills whatsoever. But I'm very good at being lumpy. Does that count?

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  5. There's a lot of things I used to do...silk ribbon embroidery, quilting, knitting.

    I owe each of my children a winter quilt, so I can see I'll be dragging out my material sometime soon and I'll pick up the habit again. :)

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  6. I used to sew a lot, but not so much recently. Can't draw a straight line with a ruler, but I enjoy messing about with glitter and glue with my littlest.

    Like Diane, I mess about with music. I play the guitar and piano (not to a brilliant standard, but it's really relaxing).

    Oh, and does baking count? *g* I make good cakes and cookies. :o)

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