In honor of the coming Valentine’s Day and creativity, what do you love? Be that you write, or paint, or toil at a trade, whatever you do that defines who you are… what do you love about it? What keeps you coming back to it? What keeps you committed (even during the dark times)?
I love my characters. From my novel, Seam Keepers, Ashton and Mason are friends I wish I knew. They are joyful, bantering, feisty souls who make me want to revisit my completed chapters again and again. I look forward to writing them into new situations in my second book, Dream Keepers. And the thought of the story ending there is painful to think about. I know I will miss them in unexplainable ways.
I’ve created two new characters, Mire and Trill, in an entirely new story that isn’t completely planned out yet. It doesn’t matter though, because these two have so much spirit, the story will probably write itself. I can’t wait to fully meet them, but my first few experiences with them make my heart sing. As you can see, for me, it’s my characters.
It’s difficult with poetry, because each poem I write is a part of me, like a secret I’m sharing. But, I would have to say, it’s the circular poems. The ones that round back up to their beginnings. I don’t know why I like them so much, but I do. They swirl me into their rhythm and leave me fulfilled when I’m through.
What do you love about your work?
If you are a creator, what is your favorite part of what you do? Have you ever thought about it? If you were asked to choose one aspect of your work to teach or share with others in your field, what area would it be?
Now, I’m not saying I’m an expert in characterization. But I can say, without a doubt, when I’m writing in my character’s personalities through dialogue and descriptions, I’m usually smiling. My heart beat is typically skipping. I’m happy. And for my poetry, it pours out of me almost every day. It’s like wearing my favorite t-shirt, the one I’ve had for years and refuse to get rid of. It’s become a second skin.
My Valentine’s wish for you is to explore your heart and mind when you’re working. Tap into yourself when you’re creating the work that you do. Perhaps a little analysis of where your heart is while you’re working might bring about some surprising discoveries. And I know first hand the hardships and self-doubt that go along with any creating out there. It’s easy to feel down about not being where you dream to be… yet. Hopefully, in your exploration, you might find a few things to feel good about. Those positive feelings just might multiply and give you the kickstart you need.
If you’re committing your personal time to create; to write, or paint, or toil… it’s probably best you fall in love with it. Think about the parts where your heart swoons the most – and do more of that. Hopefully those parts will help you during the times you need to attend to the parts you might not care for… because we all know that’s a reality. But, that’s another post, for another day.
For now, Happy Valentine’s Day!
Writing Advice: Metacogni-Love
As a teacher, I work with my students to think metacognitively. I want them to discover the magic of their brains as they acquire new learning. I want them to think about how they think, and to notice when they notice themselves doing it. Now if that doesn’t sound confusing… but let me tell you, when they finally understand, it’s beautiful.
If you’ve never tracked your thoughts when you’re thinking, give it a try. Talk out what you’re working on aloud. You might wait until you’re alone, to save some humiliation (or confirmation of your level of craze). I say that with love. But, I think it might lead you to discover what moves you. What makes you tick. What makes your heart pitter-patter. It also might shine light on the areas that frustrate you. It might elevate an area you need to seek outside resources to resolve. And it’s entirely possible that the area you are struggling in could very well be the area that makes you smile. It all depends on you. Just identify it so you can duplicate it, so you can recreate it… so you can improve it.
Take the time to think about how you think – and fall in love with your work today.
Categories: Thoughts on writing...
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