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?
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