Today is the perfect day to start

I hadn’t planned to be writing in a new notebook today, but it was a joy to open up my handbag and to see the new notebook ready for me to write in. Especially this notebook, with the words “today is the perfect day to start something.’

It certainly was the perfect day to start something. heart clipart

 

Lilliana Rose

coffee clip art steam

www.lillianarose.com

Love Letter to Myself

I’ve made it back to the local markets for some letter writing to myself and some food shopping for Christmas 🎄I’m feeling organised for Christmas, but I’m sure there’s something I’ve forgotten to do! Fortunately I have a few days to remember before Christmas.

Writing love letters isn’t easy, and it’s not something I’ve done much in my life, especially to myself. But it was a fun exercise to do and challenging. It was an effort to sit and write what I love about me, without letting my logical mind edit before the words were written. It was slow going. The words didn’t flow at times. But I persisted and wrote a love letter to myself. At the end of the letter, I felt more in tune with myself, more at peace, and I’m sure this is something I could do more often.

I look forward to reading my the letter in a year’s time! And to see if I’ve developed more wats to love myself.

Lilliana Rose 🌹

www.lillianarose.com

Doorways

Looking through doorways before some journaling and wondering where they may take me in my imagination.

An inspiring environment to do some journaling.

Where to Start?

Where to start a story may seem a stupid question to ask. Of course you need to start at the beginning when telling or writing a story. It’s important because this is when you hook your audience. The problem is, the beginning may not always be clear, or there could be multiple places where a story can start.

Writing isn’t like drawing or painting, where you can start at the top, middle or bottom of the canvas. On a canvas, you can see where you are going, and the space to be creatively filled is clearly defined. It doesn’t work like that with writing. With a story, there’s the start, middle and end, and you can begin at any of these points and write out of order. Sure, writers usually start writing at the top left hand side of a page, moving across to the right (when writing in English) then down to the next line and so on. But this top of the page could be in the middle of a story, or a new scene, or the start of a chapter. There are so many more choices when constructing a story, many which are hidden. The writer is working with the unknown, and may have an idea where to go, but there could be multiple ways to get there.

At some point, the only decision that can be made is to choose a point in the story and write. The structure will become clear the more that is written. Like all good travellers, the writer might get lost, have to back track and take another path. I’ve thrown away 30-40,000 words before in a story and re-written those words, and now I’m planning on doing a complete re-write of these 70,000 words. What a waste?! Not really. I needed to write in order to find the start and I was learning about my writing style that was best suited for this particular story (I have a different one for each story). It had to be done. This is going with the flow, my inner creative flow, and writing to see what takes shape. If the story ends up not going in a direction I feel is suitable for the story or characters, then I change. I may even abandon the story for a while to retrieve later, or use some parts in a different story.

That’s writing, a lot of hard work, persistence, trying new approaches, changing direction and not giving up. There can be times to persevere, but if it begins to feel like a block then I might jump ahead to another scene, or write another story, or take time to journal, or have a break. I never know what creative paths I’ll end up going down if I let go (just a little) and relax, trust myself that I’ll find a creative solution.

The more I write, the more I become aware of my journey, what is working, what isn’t and then I can adjust accordingly. Some loose suggestion of where to start will involve emotion, action, and a hook to draw in the reader. Once I’m writing, then I’ll begin to connect to the setting, characters, and emotion, then I will have a better idea of the direction the story is going in. At this point, I can reflect if this is the best place for the start, or if there’s somewhere else. The story can be re-structured when editing, but first there needs to be words on the page.

Finding the best start to a new story becomes a matter of jumping in, get writing, stop thinking of the outcome, and don’t question yourself. And that in itself is a very good place to begin a story.

Running Out of Ink

I’m particular about the pen I use and the journal I write in, so when I’m mid-sentence or heaven help me, mid-word, and my pen runs out of ink it’s more than an inconvenience. I might only have half a sentence written on the page, the remainder of the thought is then etched into the paper in a desperate attempt not to lose it. That is only part of the problem. Before losing the incomplete thought, and the next one blossoming in my mind, I need to get another pen and quick (would you believe my pen just ran out! Not only did I have to stop to find another pen from my handbag as naturally I’m writing in a café, I had to take a photo for proof! And to irritate me a little further I’m now having to write in black ink, not blue, and it feels all wrong.)

ink running out

It’s not as simple as the ink running out, the result is a series of distractions. I’ve now got to stop, and pick up the trail I was following or decide on the new one which is now presenting itself for me.

To prevent the annoyance of having a pen run out of ink, I might have about five pens in my handbag as insurance to ensure I keep on writing, especially if I’ve just been struck by inspiration, but it’s not really a safe guard.

I have pens stashed around my home so that if an idea spontaneously bursts into my mind I don’t have to reach far for a pen to write it down and capture the idea permanently. The fear of losing an idea motivates me to keep an over stock of pens. I want to be ready when an idea comes and I want the pen to be full of ink because partial ideas are of no use. No matter how organised I am and how much planning I’ve done, there’s no escaping an interruption like this. Unless when I think a pen is low on ink and I throw it out. But that is wasteful, plus if I keep stopping to look at the pen to see the ink level I won’t write. Distractions need to be minimised when writing.

When I’m forced to stop it’s like I was following my own yellow brick road in my head, skipping along, chasing an unfolding idea, next thing I stumble and wham, no road to follow, and instead I’ve got to stop and make choices. All forced on me by the process of running out of ink.

While frustrating at the time it’s something that unexpectedly influences my writing and redirects my creative expression, like when the wind changes direction, in the back of your mind you know it will happen you just don’t know exactly when or the changes it might bring. I could be in the flow of writing, capturing the creativity in the moment, being forced to stop is almost like some divine intervention and not just ink running out. The resulting direction changes the thoughts, or unfolding ideas, or the speed of creative flow, or completely sends me down another road in search for ideas, this is all part of the process of creative expression I’ve learnt to embrace.

So may your ink flow and sometimes may it also run out.

 

A Thing for Journals

It could be said that you can never have too many blank journals ready to be written in but I suspect I would be an exception.

I can’t walk past a new journal – crisp untouched pages, a cute image on the front, inspiring messages scattered throughout, glitter on the cover. The blank pages call out to me wanting to be written on and I can’t refuse the call. Ideas already pop into my head demanding to be written, right then and there. It becomes almost like if I don’t buy the journal the ideas will abandon me and be lost forever. Not quite but the joy that sparks through me when looking at a new journal is delightful.

journalsStanding there in the shop holding it in my hand it becomes a conduit for my creative writing. A new potential seeds in my mind and begins to take root and its like this new journal, still yet unopened, is the fertiliser, water, soil and sun all rolled into one and the perfect balance to help this idea grow and blossom. I want to do everything possible to nurture this idea so it reaches its full potential.

When writing it’s more than sitting down churning out the words, there is also fun and play as part of my process. Buying journals is just that, it’s my fun, its my play and it’s a magical time when my imagination can open new doors because I’m not actually looking for ideas or inspiration.

I use these journal to write poetry, to journal through my thoughts or events in life, to plan stories, to write first drafts but more importantly I use these journals to play with ideas, to try new story lines to have fun exploring what I might discover if I’ve set myself a writing exercise – to have fun with words.

This is what the journals provide for me and so I cherish them, even before I’ve written in them – right then those blank pages are reminding me of my potential and what I could do on their pages if I dare.

And so I buy another journal.journal