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.

Culling 1.5k words

I’m not sure how I’ve managed this, but for the academic paper I’m writing I’ve somehow gone over the word count by 1.5k!

Kimba home from the vets.JPG

This is after a hectic weekend with a very sick dog (and going to the emergency vets twice and having poor Kimba stay in over 24hours. He’s finally recovered now thank goodness), hurting my hand so it’s difficult to type, crocheting a shawl, and mentoring two writing students. Oh, and I’m heavily preggers. I must have had a lot to say or something on the matter of the relationship between history and fiction despite all of these distractions being thrown at me! Either that or I’ve somehow turned into super woman! 😉 And I’ve got extra powers to get through everything… if only! 😉

virus shawl completed.JPG

Anyway, this morning’s job is to cull 1.5k words, so this paper can be submitted tomorrow. What better way to do this than at a cafe, and of course outside in the beautiful autumn weather. I can soak up the sunshine and use it to help as motivation 🙂 It’s the simple things that can help you keep going after a busy time. heart clipartAnd looking on the bright side of life. I’m not sure how I’ve managed this, but I have, perhaps because I have lots of support from friends and family, so while I did this alone, I wasn’t alone. With one step at a time, I’ve gotten through the life’s challenges.

Now, back to culling some words…

Lilliana

Final Farewell to 2017

To assit in saying farewell to 2017, I’ve been working through the booklet by my friend at A Blissful Existence.

I’ve coloured in the mandala, and then arranged crystals over it as a way to release the past year. I find this process is a gentle, yet powerful way to release the emotions and events that shaped 2017 for me. By answering a series of questions I can focus on how I’m feeling about the past year, in a conscious process so that sneaky emotions don’t slip past without processing. mandala release 2017

It’s also a meditative process colouring in the manadal, with a scented candle burning, and relaxing music playing. It helps me to honour the year that was in all aspects not just the good, and then to say farewell. This is my little party to celebrate the past year and to welcome in the new year.

This might look like simple colouring in, but to me, this is much more. The colours chosen tell me something about the hidden thoughts in my mind, and how I’ve coloured the shapes  tells me that there are things in my life which have previously been hidden but are now coming to the surface. This allows me to look at parts of my life which perhaps I’ve not given enough attention, perfect timing as I make way for the new year.

This makes room for the new year, which is very exciting!

Happy New Year! How have you farewelled 2017?

Lilliana Rose heart clipart

www.lillianarose.com

coffee clip art steam

Let it be

I have a Moth Orchid sitting on the corner of my kitchen bench. It flowered ages ago, sometime at the start of the year. I bought it spontaneously as a treat for myself. I kept it because I liked the large green leaves and the white round pot it was in. I’d occasionally empty the dribble of water left in my water bottle at the end of the day after work. I can’t remember when I last watered the plant. It gets no direct sunlight and I doubt any indirect rays either. I was thinking maybe the time had come for me to dispose of the plant for it’s unlikely to flower again – especially since I’d been ignoring it.

I went to pick it up. Then noticed two new stems full of little buds. Instead of throwing it out, I gave it some water, and left it to stand on my kitchen bench. I can watch the buds bloom and be reminded of how I was too quick to ride-off the plant when nature was doing it’s thing and the orchid was blooming where it was planted, and making the best of the situation it was in. A situation not as bleak or as final as I had thought.

buds-on-a-stem.jpg
moth orchid buds

It just goes to show the importance of not giving up, and how by taking a step back, providing some space, the flow of life, and of nature, are able to do their thing more productively. I can’t help think there are numerous aspects in my life where I could benefit by taking a step back. For example with my writing. By taking a back step, I allow my mind the space it needs in particular my sub-conscious to come up with new story lines, characters and ideas. Like the plant, my art work needs space to breathe, to grow, to bloom. When painting a still life, I often step back to look at the still life and what I’m painting from a greater distance to see if I need to adjust my perspective and approach.

the wrong vase painted
the wrong vase painted

It’s hard to do, risky even because there’s a chance I might no come up with new ideas to write, or I realise I’ve painted the vase completely wrong (which I have done, and is the photo here). But it’s not the end of the world. No new ideas? Well I can write a different story, or have a break, the ideas will come in time. And so what if the vase is wrong, it looks fine in the painting. The Moth Orchid could’ve died. It didn’t. It thrived.

Sometimes nature and life flow need to be given space in order to have influence. I’m learning that sometimes it’s best to let things be so they can develop in their own time.

What times have you left things alone, and repeat the unexpected benefits? Please share them below in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by,

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

Forget the To Do List

After years and years of making lists, I’ve come to the realisation that I’m not a list person. While that’s the advice given and share in the motivational world, make a list get it out of your head, it doesn’t work for me. I prefer to keep it all in my head.

I might forget particular jobs this way but even with a list I’ve let some projects go unattended, especially since I have so many lists each for the different areas of my life.

Blank to do list
blank planner

By not making a written list, I can adjust the order of the jobs as I need to in my mind depending on other priorities that might come up during that day. By having this flexibility it means I can allow my intuition influence over what gets done as suited for the day, my mood, and what else is happening in my life. It’s a more harmonious approach, my anxiety levels are reduced, and I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself to get things done or that I’m weighed down by shoulds and should nots. This way my mind can rearrange the to-do list in a flexible and intuitive way, the way I like to approach life.

Of course my ego protests. It voices its doubt, and that there’s no way this creative approach will work. I’ll never finish projects or make progress and it will, as in my life, will be a mess. This is life. A mess. For sure, there are times when lists are helpful. But when my life is just as productive and less stressful when I take a more fluid approach, I notice that maybe these goal driven approaches aren’t for me.

While I do have a strong logical brain, I also have an equally strong creative brain. Based on how unpredictable life can be, how chaotic it is, and how one is really not in control, it makes sense to be able to switch between the two, and give the creativity, the intuitive side just as much value as the logical and planned side.

My dad always kept the details of the farm and breeding of the sheep in his head. There were a few notes in the dusty Elders notebooks in the ute. Your mind is good at remembering what’s important but it’s not usually a finite situation. There’s a limit for how much can be remembered at one time, maybe this can be extended or maybe not. But this is the amount of memory space you have to work with. Over loading it will only lead to a form of shut down. So by working with what you’ve got can actually be expansive. It’s a more feminine approach. Women do it all the time, and no it’s not necessarily about multi-tasking. But more understanding what you’ve got to work with, head space, time, personal energy, environment, other people and then making the best of that in an extraordinary fluid balance that may change without warning or throughout the day multiple times.

It’s not surprising I’m finding I work better this way. After all a big tell tale sign is how I approach my writing. There’s two main ways, connected by a spectrum, pantser or plotter. I’m a pantser. I fly by the seat of my pants when I write the story and characters all come out organically and I don’t plan (like a plotter). It means I often think of plot twists and points on the fly, and come up with ideas spontaneously rather than getting weighed up in the planning. This style isn’t for everyone. What’s important is to recognise what works for you, and then go with that. There are times when you need to switch between the two approaches left or right, logical or creative, planned or unplanned, or maybe even straight ahead in the unique balance which works for you.

the to do list
writing the daily list

Are you a list maker? Does it improve your approach to getting jobs done, and reduce stress levels? Or do you find it easier to have the mental fluid list and do just fine that way? Let me know if lists work for you or not in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by,

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com