Saturday, January 03, 2009

Does Creativity Beget Creativity?

(Picture of a magnificent lion at Chatsworth, England)

Yesterday was filled with creativity. I started the day with a good work-out (always helpful to get the brain cells moving), then came home and tackled my embroidery. I was immensely proud of myself for learning how to do the Lazy Daisy stitch, which I needed to know for the project I'm working on, and I spent an hour or so with that. Then I decided to get out my quill pen and ink and write a few letters.

A trip to Barnes and Noble and browsing the aisles full of wondrous books only made me eager to get my own book on the shelf, and I bought a desk calendar (50% off!) to help me get organized for the year. I came home, ate some supper, read a book, and then picked up my embroidery again. I can completely get sucked into it, and I love listening to music or old radio shows while I do it.

And after the embroidery came the writing. I was worried that the words might be a bit hard to come by like they were the previous day, but thankfully, they were not. In fact, my fingers were flying across the keyboard, ideas and images and dialogue springing to life underneath my fingertips. I wrote and wrote and pretty soon, I had written 2,000 words. And this time, they were 2,000 good words.

So it got me to thinking. Did my day-long creativity beget more creativity where my writing was concerned? Or was it just that I was in the creative mindset all day long and it was a natural leap to the writing?

I'd like to think that the more creative things you do, the stronger your creative muscle gets and the easier it is to write, to embroider, to knit, to paint, to draw. Maybe that's why it's harder for me to write sometimes after work during the weekdays because I have been stuck in "work mode" all day instead of "creative mode."

I know I won't be able to be creative all day, every day, but on the days when I can, I plan to make the most of it. :-)


  1. Ha! You did go to B&N! ;)

    I'm with you, I'd like to think it's the latter; that the creative muscle bulks up and becomes more able the more it's used. Great job!

    I made some progress last night... though only about 200 words. :( However, I got up early and am crafting a query letter for my first novel, which I'll be sending off to a new agent this morning. I'm praying!

  2. Woohoo! I think creativity does spawn more. Like you, I love jumping from one pursuit to the next. It's almost like it sets you on fire. Maybe bizzy brains produce better that way intstead of hunkering over one thing for long stretches?

    WTG, Janna, also! You're doing great on TJWC. Will add an agent prayer for ya.

  3. I think too that sometimes creativity has to be nurtured, which it sounds like you did - physical workout, bookstore browsing & envisioning your own book, embroidery & music. A little pampering of your creative side works wonders!

  4. You did a lot of positive things yesterday, each of them giving you a certain amount of pleasure. I think you also gave yourself permission to do a bunch of stuff you usually feel too harried to do on a daily basis. All that positive energy creates a great writing mindset. So yes, creativity does beget creativity.

  5. Thanks, Angie!!

    Boy, it's quiet in Bloggerland today...

    Melissa, I came back to ask if you've ever read Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene? I read it in the sixth grade - LOVED it - and it remains one of my favorites today. Look it up; I think you'd love it!

  6. I think you're right. Sometimes, when I get stuck for words, or I'm just not "feeling" it, I'll break out a sketch pad and some pencils and draw for awhile.

    It almost always helps me with my writing to have other creative things to do. :)

    P.S. I just finished reading The Book Thief and I LOVED it...thanks so much for mentioning it. :)

  7. I think what you did all day-relaxing and enjoying things you like to do probably helped loosen those words up--your mind was ready to write!
    I love that you embroider! I used to too--back in the day!


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