Category Archives: Creative Life

Monday Morning Wisdom #103

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Monday Morning Wisdom #103

“I did stand-up comedy for 18 years. Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four years were spent in wild success. I was seeking comic originality, and fame fell on me as a byproduct. The course was more plodding than heroic.”~Steve MartinMMW

Photo of Steve Martin by Joella Marano.

From the Creator’s Heart #99

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From the Creator’s Heart #99

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited (Romans 12: 15-16 NIV).

In the Meme Time: When You Feel Like a Failure

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In the Meme Time: When You Feel Like a Failure

When you feel like a failure

Video of the Week #98: Deconstructing Standup

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Video of the Week #98: Deconstructing Standup

Monday Morning Wisdom #102

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Monday Morning Wisdom #102

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~Scott Adams.MMW

Photo of Scott Adams by Tricia (cropped).

Creative Juice #41

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Creative Juice #41

A dozen expressions of rampant creativity.

In the Meme Time: Hang On

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In the Meme Time: Hang On

Hang On

In the Meme Time: Laughter

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In the Meme Time: Laughter

Laughing (photo by nosha)

Guest Post: How To Make A Collage To Inspire Your Work-In-Progress

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This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.

Finding yourself at a loss for words? Unable to chip away at your writer’s block? You’re stuck in the winter doldrums—what you need is some writing inspiration!

One of the most effective ways to spark creativity is to try something new, and we have the answer: Make a collage. Creating a collage can be a great help to writers of all genres—books…short prose…and even poetry, which can be a very visual medium. Once you’ve prepared your collage, hang it above your writing desk and let it inspire you while you’re working!

Elements To Include When Making A Collage To Boost Your Writing Creativity

Colors and textures that set the mood of your writing. Is the piece you want to write exuberant and uplifting? Try bright, bold colors! Is it more sad, scary, or mysterious? Dark hues and shadows might be better to set the tone. Be creative and search until you find the right colors to match the tone of your piece.

And don’t forget to consider texture: Rich velvets, rough tree bark, and smooth plastics all offer their own unique inspiration.

Images of people who resemble your characters. As writers, we can usually picture our characters using our imaginations. But if you’re stumped, or you’re unsure of how to bring the image in your mind to life, search for photos of people who look like the character you’re trying to create. Drawings or paintings of people who embody the look you’re going for can help too—and if you can’t find any, why not try to draw them yourself? Visualizing your character’s physical appearance will help you write him or her more convincingly. 

Photos or items that remind you of your setting. Photos, paintings, or even a leaf or a pressed flower can help you focus on your setting and more accurately describe it. Ask yourself: Is your writing set in the present or past? Where does it take place? Even if you’re writing a fantasy piece and trying to create a new world—finding images can still help! You can be as broad as searching for pictures of your character’s country, or as specific as looking for pictures of her or his home. 

Quotes—or even single words!—that fit with your theme. If you’re writing a romance, you may find the words of Nicholas Sparks inspiring: Romance is thinking about your significant other when you are supposed to be thinking about something else. For a short story filled with action and adventure, you may find Gandalf’s words to Frodo will help set the mood: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. There’s a quote to suit every genre!

Making a collage can get your creativity flowing, and looking at your finished artwork can continue to inspire your writing. If you’re having trouble making a collage that’s specific to the piece you’re writing, consider making a more general collage filled with motivational quotes to help get you started. Pinterest is a great resource.

Here are some collages you can check out to get you started:

 

And if you like the idea of making art to inspire your writing, consider making a dream board, keeping a reading journal, or checking out some visual writing prompts!

Writer Questions

QUESTION: If you were making a collage of pictures to help with your writing, where would you start?

Review: The Story of With by Allen Arnold

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Review: The Story of With by Allen Arnold

In January, I attended a writers’ mini-conference given by Christian Writers of the West. The guest speaker was Allen Arnold, former fiction editor for Thomas Nelson. He spoke at length about inspiration and creativity and how the desire to create comes to us from God as an invitation to closer intimacy with Him.

Arnold’s presentation was so refreshing and invigorating and so full of ideas I wanted to explore further, that I bought two copies of his book, The Story of With: A Better Way to Live, Love, and Create. One was for myself, and the other for my friend Tom, who is struggling to finish writing a very important book. I gave it to him a few days later.the story of WITH

In the meantime, I began reading it.

A large part of The Story of With is an allegory, the story of Mia, a girl whose father disappeared long ago. I found the allegory kind of hokey.  Each chapter ended with an explanation of that part of the allegory, which was necessary—I wouldn’t have understood the allegory without the author’s commentary. Which made me wonder—why would Arnold devote so much time and energy to the allegory if it didn’t clarify his premise (and instead required him to interpret it for the reader)? I regretted giving Tom the book before reading it myself.

But before I finished the book, I saw Tom again, and he shared that he had read the book straight through, moved to tears because it affected him so deeply. When I mentioned my disappointment with the allegory, he said for him, it didn’t detract from the message.

These passages from The Story of With especially resonated with me:

  • [God’s] motive in giving you specific talents isn’t primarily so you’ll be productive…It is so your desires can find their fulfillment in Him…God doesn’t need your help as much as He wants your heart (page 120).

  • The door will find you when you are ready (page 205).

  • True success means you create with the Creator, in fellowship with others, as you engage with the community your creation serves. With. With. With (page 213).

  • Living like this ushers in an atmosphere of abundance and freedom. There’s no longer a need to try and control your Story. You know God has even bigger plans than you for what’s ahead. So you are content to ride with Him wherever the path may lead (page 243).

I recommend this book for creative people, but with two caveats. First, if you have no use for God, The Story of With will make no sense to you; it will just be jibberish. (But if you are searching for God, you can find Him here.) Second, if you are looking for the way to make lots of money or fame from your creations, that goal is not addressed here. But if you desire freedom, high quality of creative life, and intimacy with God, you must read this.

Have you already read The Story of With? What is your opinion of it? Share in the comments below. And if you read the book later, come back and let us know what you think.