Starting Again

The tangle of yarn in the photo is the result of un-doing my current crocheting project. Sometimes, even with a plan or instructions to follow things don’t always turn out right.

There’s nothing wrong with unpicking, unraveling or deleting words in your creative project. It’s part of the process, but it’s just not seen in the final product. Which is why I’m putting up this photo. It’s a reminder of the true creative process. The bits that have gone wrong and need to be fixed. Things that don’t need to be feared or to weigh me down or stop further progress.

This isn’t quite the back to the drawing board sort situation, but there’s a big pile of yarn waiting to be crocheted again. This will take a good few hours in the afternoon to catch up to where I was. It’s all worth it, especially as I think if the final product. And that’s part of the key when having to re-do part of the creative project. Not to think of what’s lost, but what will be gained and the finished project.

Going backwards is sometimes just part of the creative process of going forward!

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

The Heart of 2018

Once again thanks to A Blissful Existence I’m using the colouring of a mandala and crystals to connect with the new year and set positive focus for the months ahead.

I do find this process relaxing and powerful. It helps me to set my intention and goals for the new year.

There are so many layers of meaning here for me which flows naturally, the colours used, the shapes identified, helps me to set a clear path into the new year in a symbolic ritualistic way.

Through this process I have the affirmation, follow your heart, to guide me through the unknown of the year ahead. By having such an affirmation, I have a sort of compass that’s internal to remind me of what type of paths I want to tread this new year.

And now I’m ready for 2018!

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

Summer Solstice

From dear friend Anna Hood from Guiding Light Psychics has written about the summer solstice.

Another perspective of celebration at this time of year. I’m feeling very thankful, and looking to cooking up a storm with my family tomorrow and sharing quality time with them.

From Anna:

Summer Solstice blessings everyone!

While traditionally celebrated on December 21st, astrologically, in Australia 2017, December 22nd (tomorrow) is the longest day of the year. The Sun is then at its highest and brightest, and this marks Summer Solstice or Litha.

While it is Yule or Winter Solstice in the Northern hemisphere (on which the Christian festival of Christmas is based), here in the Southern hemisphere, it is our harvest festival.

Summer Solstice is a time of abundance: of enjoying and connecting with nature, and certainly of celebrating and receiving the Earth’s bounty. So the practice of feasting and gift giving as we do at Christmas in Australia is not out of step with the season!

This is a time to be thankful, and to enjoy and to share abundance with all. Feast and be merry, give and receive freely.

Blessings to all!

Flower treat

A treat for myself for getting through my presentation at the AAWP conference today. I had minimal notes and just spoke for 20min taking a storytelling approach. Nothing like pushing oneself! And I survived question time after. I think the audience was kind to me!

I really enjoyed sharing my journey writing about my memories from my great grandma who was a homesteader of the prairies.

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.

The Art Within

I’m about to discover my artistic style when drawing and painting. blank canvas

Driving home from art class I had an insight to my art journey. I’m learning about drawing and painting, and while I’ve attempted to do this over the years, very much amateur-like, I’ve not established or discovered my style.

I realised it’s a little like unwrapping a gift when you have no idea what’s inside. So far there are hints my art will be bold and colourful (which would match my personality), but maybe other aspects will shine through. A softer side? A darker side? A funny side? It’s certainly an exciting position to be in.

What makes this even more exciting is that I never thought I had any real artistic talent in terms of painting, and definitely not with drawing. This is because of a few reasons. Mainly from the wrong comments, and a little too much criticism, by well meaning people when I was young. I then continued to keep these comments alive in my mind by saying them to myself every time I drew or painted.

Also it’s easy to compare yourself with others starting at a young age. This self-perception is within naturally. There’s always someone better than you, especially if you look negatively at your own work. It can be a block. Once I realised this, I address these feelings so they wouldn’t stop me from expressing myself artistically. A big part of this process is not looking at other people’s work, if I do it is only with admiration.

I’ve gone through this process with writing. I’m more practised at observing how I feel and I notice the resistance coming up. I know I’d rather go stand in the corner and cry than do the art classes. But this is me. No one else is causing this and I can face my fear, which leads me out of my comfort zone so I’m growing and discovering new things about myself. The difference is also now I’m ready to discover my style and I’m willing to explore an undiscovered part of myself. cube sphere painted

To find the new artistic skill within me and coax it out into life is fun. Instead of being fearful, or anxious, I am excited to discover what might develop and allow my style to be released. It’s exhilarating. A mix of excitement, nerves, anticipation, expectation, and wonder. All from simply drawing and painting in class.

The result is I’m on the edge of discovering my style of expression, and to allow the art that has been locked inside of me for so long out.

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.