Plan B

Having to drive over the other side of town for an appointment, I thought a I could combine the trip and then go to one of my favourite cafés. I had to drive past the café on the way to the appointment, and it was closed. And not a closed for today, or opening late today sort of closed. It had shut up shop. Forever. I had so been looking forward to being naughty and buying a cheeky lamington with my coffee, and spending a little time writing (or trying to write as bubs was with me).

What was I going to do now? Plan B wasn’t forming in my mind. Simply I needed another café. But where? And there’s always the risk of trying a new café and it let’s say, things don’t always work out. I was in a risk free mood, and yet, here I was having to do that. I wasn’t in the frame of mind to try something new or different to my routine or what I was used to.

Through the appointment all I could think of was where am I going to have my morning coffee where I can write? I wanted to go to a café where I could take a pram, and one where there was a bit of a rustic, organic vibe to help the creative flow. I wanted to soak up the atmosphere so the inspiration would stay with me for the rest of the day.

It took a lot of thinking, then I remembered a café down the road I had gone to earlier in the year. Relief! And it was the perfect solution. I had a lovely coffee, room with the pram and a few minutes to write. Beautiful organic vibes for me to absorb. Thank goodness! And I’ve got another café to add to my list to go and visit.

All wasn’t lost.

It’s obvious to think there’s not really any risk here, and that it’s simple just think of another café to go to. In a way it was. But it did take a bit of thought for me to work through this. And it reminded me of the process of problem solving. The chance to think on my feet. And to be flexible with the pre-made plans of the day. I also got to practice it for something simple, so when the big problems come along I’ll be ready.

So there’s a lot more than just plan B and having to go to a different café. It’s all about being willing to try something different, to change the plans – on the fly. And to remember that this can actually help the inspiration and lead to some creative progress.

I might just need to try a new café more regularly!

 

Surrounded by Creativity

I started the Georgia O’Keefe full-day workshop apprehensive, but I left inspired. Partly because I had a great art teacher, as well as keeping my mind open to learning. I also think a big part was due to being surrounded by like-minded people. This can be seen in the beautiful finished products by every single person in the class.

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To me, this reinforces the importance of surrounding myself with fellow artists, and being in an environment where we are all sharing (albeit quietly) the creative journey. This in itself helps to inspire, to fill the subconscious with creativity without even trying. All that needs to be done is to be present, and get creating.

I was nervous and tired at the start of the class. By the end I was energised and wanting to try another canvas using this technique. And when I look at the classes completed canvases I think it’s more to do with being in a shared space of creativity which has helped me feel uplifted and inspired.

As a writer, it’s important for me to remember this as I spend a lot of time creating alone as is the nature of being an author. It was insightful to be in an environment with other artists, sharing the same journey for a moment in time, and how this can positively, subtly influence my art as well as my well-being.

Have you ever experience starting a workshop apprehensive, but then finding quiet inspiration within the class by the end? Please share in the comments below.

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Swimming

As part of a series on journaling workshops I presented over winter, one of the activities centred around using a sentence to help start writing. Members in the group wrote down the first sentence to the beginning of a story then passed it around the group where all members continued the story with their own sentence.

Each story took unexpected twists and turns than the creator had. This is part of the magic that happens when creating, there are influences you don’t always have control over but it can be worth going with the flow and seeing where you end up.

This was true for the four sentences that were added to mine.

My first sentence was:

Fish swimming all in one direction without thought.

The sentence was inspired by the art work of fish on a canvas in the café where we met.

The photo shows where the others in my group took my story.

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The story went in a completely different place to what I was going to write about. I’m not sure exactly where I was going to take the story of swimming fish, it was going to be something about conformity.

I like how the other four group members influenced the direction of the story and how it changed with each direction taking me to a completely different place. Inspired by their words and influence on the story I decided to change what they had written into a poem (shown in the photo).

swimming poem draft one and two

This is the first draft, raw and messy, and in need of a few rounds of edits. But at least I have something to edit. By allowing myself to flow with this process I managed to write a poem without indenting to and tell a story I’d not otherwise thought of. Also by going though this process, and by going with the flow my logical mind was pushed into the background with all its should and should nots, allowing the process of creativity to unfold naturally.

Of course this process might not have worked. It’s always a risk when creating. By surrendering to the process and outside influences, I as the creator became absorbed in the journey instead of attempting to control every step as an observer. My writing benefits when I’m swimming in the journey and not sitting on the sidelines.

Thank you Carol, Lauren, Jeremy and Nikki for your sentences and influence on this poem. The final poem is in the image.

poem swim

 

Please share below your unexpected influences on your creative projects.

Thank you,

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

 

 

Balancing Act

I used to wish for time where I could write uninterrupted. Through life events I’d rather not have happened, I found myself able to take time out from a full time teaching job to write. It wasn’t quiet the romantic idea I had in mind, and as time went on, I needed to go back to work to earn money.

Then began a time of inner conflict as my job drained my energy. I found it difficult to have the time, and space I needed to find the inspiration to write. But slowly I began to adjust. I learnt to carve out time for my writing (this has taken two years to achieve) and find a balance between work (which I do enjoy) and also my writing (which I love).

It hasn’t been easy.

In the process, I’ve found some hidden benefits to not writing full time.

On the ground level, work has provided a chance for me to have a break from writing, and it takes me away from spending too much time alone. As much as I would love to, it’s not healthy for me to write all the time, spending long hours each day alone with my imagination. The real world calls me to be a part of it. Teaching primary school children is a big reality check.

When at school I’m listening to student’s stories, usually about how they are so excited and proud to have a loose tooth. I’m reminded how when five I used to show off my wobbly teeth to adults. I see now from watching students my finger was in the way, and no one saw my tooth, but not once did they let on, just as I don’t now. While working, I’m also interacting with adults, sharing stories, ideas, and teaching practices, which stirs up emotions, memories, just like a wobbly tooth.

At work, I’m interacting with a lot of people, I’m talking and listening, and while this doesn’t feed directly into my writing it helps me to feel part of life. Meeting people at work provides an outside influence, it draws me out of my head and into the real world, and it stirs up sparks of creativity within my mind. It also gives me a chance to help others and provides further purpose to my life.

It’s a complicated relationship between work and writing. I express myself differently at both places. But by realising these two areas of my life can work together in harmony is freeing.

I never thought work and writing could find a balance. But now, my ideas flow just as much whether I’m teaching or not and that’s a good position to be in.