My Creative Processes ~ Bob Goodwin

Today, I have guest writer Bob Goodwin, giving us some insights on how the creative process works for him. Thank you for sharing your writing journey Bob. And I agree, wine isn’t such a good influencer on writing, but coffee is!

 

My Creative Processes

by Bob Goodwin

Some writers have a regular highly organised routine. I know writers who cannot do anything between certain hours on certain days as this is exclusively their writing time. For me, I am disorganised – any day, anytime on different devices at any place I happen to be. I have lean periods when I write very little for weeks at a time, then I write every day for just as long.
I often like to walk around aimlessly when thinking about a plot twist or a new character. If anyone was watching they think I needed treatment!
I do have a few writing dislikes – no closed-up rooms – at the very least I want to see out a window. After 10 pm my creative brain wants to do some creative dreaming. TV must be off, but music can be on, not too loud, and this can at times be inspiring. While I enjoy a red wine from time to time, I know that alcohol and half-decent writing do not mix! On the other hand, a good coffee is always welcome.
My somewhat disturbed brain gets lots of ideas from different sources. My past 35 years in mental health has been a major contributor. People watching is something I find intriguing, and I find myself making up macabre stories as I look around. Looking at the ocean never tires me – this is uplifting and stimulating. As hinted to above, my dreams also aid my creativity. They can, at times, be very disturbed and gruesome – of nightmare quality. Yes, they do wake me up, which is good because I can then remember them. Over many years they have happened so much that I am now able to quickly reset my brain and settle back to sleep.

Bunya Mountains
This is my holiday house at the Bunya Mountains – great walks – amazing wildlife – wonderfully motivating

While I have written some drama and comedy, my main genre is suspense thriller fiction and I am currently editing novel number 5. The last are a trilogy. Finishing book 5 was quite an emotional experience, more so than any other. Farewelling characters that I have spent several years with was harder than expected!
I have also written many one act and short plays, screenplays and short stories. My website is http://storiesandplays.com/
A big thanks to Lilliana for inviting me to prattle along on her blog.

Bob Goodwin was born in Nottingham, England and moved to Australia when he was 7 years old. He has spent over 35 years working in various areas of mental health – including Psychiatric Institutions, Mental Health Inpatient Units, Community Mental Health Services, Mental Health Rehab & Residential facilities and Telephone services for Mental Health Triage.

Bob started writing in 1987 and, aside from his novels, he has written several One Act Plays, short plays, feature length screenplays and short stories. Bob is an independent author and has self-published 4 novels thus far – the 5th is just around the corner! Bob has an active family life with 7 children, 14 grand-children and one great granddaughter.

Importance of Tools

Often, I approach my creative projects with too much excitement and enthusiasm and simply jump in because I can’t wait to get started. Recently, while at the yarn shop I fell in love with some yellow yarn. I bought it home with a project in mind.

I didn’t get far into the project before I realised the yarn wasn’t right for the stitching I wanted to do. I’d not thought about that. I just figured all yarn would go with any type of stitch.

With enough projects on the go I returned the yarn, and bought some that would be better suited. I could’ve kept the yellow yarn, but really I have enough yarn in my house!

A small incident, but it reminded me of the importance of having the right tools for the project at hand. Sure I had yarn, the right sized hook, but not the right yarn for the stitch I wanted to learn. Not dissimilar to when I’m writing. I’m very particular about the pen I use, the notebook I have and where I sit and write. The tools used are important and while I know this, I hadn’t translated this across to my crocheting projects. I even know this when drawing and painting. I thought it would be simple.

Yarn + hook + stitch = pretty blanket.

But there was more to consider.

So now this is something I will think about when starting a new project. It was a good little lesson to learn or perhaps a good reminder to think of the importance of tools, and how they work together to produce a finished project.

Have you had a similar experience? Please share below in the comments below.

yellow yarn as a background

Frog It!

I’m getting into my crocheting crafts as a way to relax, learn, and make things which have practical value for me and to have some fun. start stitch blanket

edges dont align

 

When doing craft it’s not all fun though. I’ve learnt that a new stitch, star stitch, wasn’t turning out like I’d hoped. Rows were decreasing, and I unravelled hours of work but still couldn’t manage to get the rows to line up.

I realised my skill set needed a project that was simpler. I had to do more practise and get experience before going back to the star stitch. Having to unravelled the stitches left me feeling heavy and disillusioned.

frog it

I did some searches online, watched a few YouTube videos and found what I thought was an easier project. A new project naturally called for different yarn and so a trip to the shops was in order.

With new yarn in hand and the recommended crochet hook I settled down to begin learning how to do the stitch, waffle weave. It was fine, I could do it. The problem was the yarn I’d chosen wasn’t right for the stitch and I needed a bigger hook.

waffle weave

 

This time, I wasn’t as disillusioned because I’d come across a new term.

I frogged it!

Rip it, rip it, rip it up!

frog it for waffle weave

Frog it sounds much better than undoing, or unravelling. It even makes me laugh when I’m undoing all my hours of hard work, which helps ease the frustration of having to start a project again or redo a section.

 

The language used makes a big difference. If I’m saying I’m unravelling or undoing, or deleting or unpicking depending on the creative project, then these terms have a heaviness to them, they weigh down my already deflated mood. Whereas frog it, because I’m saying ‘rip it’ over and over quickly sounds like a frog. This makes light of the situation and I don’t feel so frustrated at having to go back a few steps or start again from scratch. I can even have a giggle at the use of the term which lightens my mood and helps me to be motivated to get back into the project.

It didn’t stop there. With new yarn, I started again. But the hook wasn’t big enough, so once more I frogged it.

By going back with a bigger sized hook, and starting again I felt much happier with the forming blanket because I was creating a project to the best of my ability which helped to generate the feeling of satisfaction, progress, and achievement.

Creative projects, like any project can go off track, but with the use of some fun words it can be turned around. And creative projects largely have the purpose of not just of creative expression but also of undergoing a journey, giving a feeling of satisfaction, a chance to learn, exploration and provide a sense of achievement.

And are fun.

When the project doesn’t go to plan why not think of a frog, laugh and get back to it? It’s a more positive mindset that leads to more creativity and fun.

Was there a time when you’ve used positive, or fun words to help you go back and fix up a creative project? Please share below in the comments.

Lilliana

Special Valentine’s Day Memory

Valentine’s Day isn’t big in Australia, well not so much when I was growing up. It has become more commercial over the years and is something I’m more aware of.

I first learnt about Valentine’s Day in my early years at school. I thought it was specific between girls and boys or women and men, and was something to do with true love (even though I didn’t know that was).

When I got a Valentine’s card from a female cousin in America who was coming to visit us downunder in a few months, I was a bit confused because she wasn’t my girlfriend (I only wanted love cards from guys!). In Australia this was a very different cultural thing for me to have experienced.

Mum sat me down and explained it wasn’t that sort of love, but a true friendship love which doesn’t matter if it’s from a boy or a girl. And that this was part of the American culture to give cards to people who were meaningful in your life and someone you loved. I’m not sure I really understood (I was under ten years old at the time).

Mum then started to buy us (me and my sisters) inexpensive gifts each year for Valentine’s Day, partly because some of my ancestry is linked to America and I believe this was mum’s subtle way to open my mind.

One year, much later when I was in my early 20s mum gave me (and my sisters) a purse-sized packet of tissues with love hearts on it. I wasn’t impressed. Even though it only costs a few backs, I told mum it was a waste of money, as it was tissues. She was hurt and upset of course. It was just some fun, something little. Something I realised much later after she passed that required some thought to find something practical and without spending much money. And I was sad. I’d not received the gift graciously. Over time this has turned into the most cherished memories of mine for Valentine’s Day much better than any gifts from guys I’d been dating or in relationships at the time, (including a dozen roses) and a hell of a lot more meaningful than any gift I’d received from a man ~ who was supposedly in love with me at the time!

The gift giving has also been a tradition between me and my sisters each year on Valentine’s Day. My aim is to be thoughtful in the gifts bought and not spend much money. It’s hard to do. It reminds me of the effort mum put in to her gifts to me. How I was ungrateful but also how I learnt (finally) the deeper meaning of giving on this day, beyond convention, commercialism, to connect to the spirit of giving and recognising those who matter in my life, those who stay by my side no matter what. I might not be able to tell mum this. At least I can continue the celebration in her memory.

What special Valentine’s Day memories do you have? Feel free to share them below.

heart clipart

 

Lilliana Rose rose clipart

www.lillianarose.com