The Freedom To Be Creative

Yesterday, across the United States, people everywhere were celebrating a right and privilege we as a people declared on July 4th 1776. The war that followed to obtain that freedom would continue to play on for another seven years.

There is another freedom that we should be celebrating as well. The freedom of creativity. It’s a freedom that crosses over all nations and belief systems. Just like Albert Einstein says, “ Imagination is more important that knowledge.”

Two years ago when I started out on my most recent journey I was content, overjoyed even, to crawl into my writer’s hole and write all day long. I would start my day with a serious workout to get the blood pumping and the ideas rolling and then go, go, go.

Then something came along that changed everything. I lost my focus – and with it, the flow of my creativity.

I don’t know how you work, but I live my story and the story lives through me. Changing to think about other things makes it harder for me to work a story successfully.  Well, this is what happens to me when I am trying to work too many platforms.

Recently I have been overwhelmed with  things that I have told I should be doing – needed to be doing. But in doing these things I was no longer finding time for my true love – writing. That is, the writing of my stories – not blogs. My situation is very similar to Kristy K. James, and I don’t think I can say it any better than she has here:

  • You are a writer (artist), so write (create). Not for others, but for yourself. When you write (create) for yourself you will find there are others that think and feel as you do. That is where you will find your audience. – You Are A Writer by Jeff Groins
  • Stop trying to please everyone. It will get in the way of why you love creating so much.
  • Get back to living. If you lose yourself to blogging, social media and all the things you have been told you have to do in order to be successful and lose the quality time you had for yourself and family beforehand, you will see a reduction in your creativity. I know I did. When I gave time from exercise so that I could fit blogging into my day not only did I start to see the pounds creep back on, but I was less creative. Ideas pop into my mind while I’m actually punching the air during Kenpo.
  • Fast draft. This is my latest trial at writing. It gets the story moving and frees the mind. Be damned the internal editor. Just write your story and worry about the fine tuning later.  This may be difficult to start, but once you get the hang of it can be extremely liberating. You can pump out fifteen to twenty pages in just a few hours. How great is that?
  • When you feel stuck, write/work through the sludge. Don’t give in. Your creativity will return. It simply needs encouraging. Sometimes doing the mundane like folding the socks or washing the dishes helps in this process.
  • Get out and experience something new. The potential for ideas is limitless. Recently I have been inspired to write several children’s books. By this I mean picture books. A new adventure in camping with the kids recently inspired a few new ideas. You never know where they will come from.

No one gets better at their craft unless they practice is often. In the case of a writer, that means writing a lot. In order to write a lot one must make the time to do so and free their creativity. It all begins here…

What does this mean for me? I will be putting my exercise program back into my life. It’s a must for life, health and creativity. Writing my stories is at the top of my priority ladder, and getting out with my family and friends. I think we should all look at our priority list this way.

Visiting and supporting my blogging community is extremely important to me so I will be there. Don’t count me out! I’m just slowed down with kid schedules that are far too precious to miss. They are only this age once!

Now let’s all celebrate who we are and how imaginative we can be. Let’s nourish the mind and get to creating!

 ~oOo~

Remember: Send in your picture of your favorite vacation location Tell me what you are recommending for our readers and if you’d like, tell me why you are recommending it. If you posted something about your choice, send me the link. Send your picture to: Debra Kristi @ gmail . com (without the spaces).

~oOo~

Please know that I always appreciate your time, and love it when you stop by and take the time to comment. Huge thanks! If you enjoyed this post or any of my previous posts, I’d be delighted to have you follow by email or RSS for any future posts!
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About Debra Kristi

Debra Kristi is a mother, an author, a Pinterest addict, and sometimes DIY home decorator. Hang with her to organize your everyday and leave your mind open to the fantastical.
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48 Responses to The Freedom To Be Creative

  1. That was a great post today. I really enjoyed reading it very much. Thanks for sharing.

    If you enjoy writing go check out this writing site I signed up for months ago. It’s a very trusted site, and they are looking for writers!

    Have a great day.

    Enjoy Writing? Writers Wanted

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Thank you so much, Writers Wanted. I will check out the link. I’m glad you liked my post. The most passionate writing always comes from the heart.

  2. Hmm. I’d have been the first one to comment, except I lost my internet connection, briefly. But my son…who has a wireless connection to MY modem…didn’t. Oh well, weird stuff happens to me all the time.

    Now back on track.

    Good for you, Debra! You know that I agree 100% with your plans…and I’m excited for you. As you get more comfortable slipping back into your ‘old’ way of doing things…exercising, writing, and being with family…you’re just going to feel better and better.

    I can tell you with complete honesty, that just making the decision to cut back and spend more time doing what I love was like this weight being lifted. NOW I’m excited about blogging again, but I’m more excited to be writing again. I think it was getting priorities out of whack that burned me out. I think that’s what’s burning out so many other writers, too. Maybe we’ll be trendsetters. 🙂

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Sorry to hear that happened Kristy. Maybe something with your router? Well, as you can see I am sticking to it as I haven’t been as been around as much these past few weeks. I have gotten a lot more editing done and close to 30,000 words written this week! 😀 Maybe at some point I’ll get the blog in better shape. I need to get moving on the “move” and talk to Laird.

  3. Coleen Patrick says:

    I know the feeling Debra!
    I love the days when all I had to do with my writing was climb into my “cave” and write. This marketing stuff has been a major adjustment and I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process. The biggest thing? That I still love the writing, the creating first and foremost. It’s a struggle to prioritize, because of course, like you said there is family and health waiting for our attention too. With me I find myself continually reminding myself the order of importance!! 🙂

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Indeed. I suspect it will get easier as my children get older and demand less of my attention. Until then, I will do what I must to push through. I don’t want to another five to ten years to finish any of my books. It will drive me mad. 😀 And health, that has become a big one for me lately. We aren’t getting any younger. And unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on how you look at it), I’m not immortal. – Or am I? 😉

  4. Well said Debra – you gotta put you and your priorities first – always! Here’s to your continued growth and uber success!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Thank you Natalie. It’s all about the priorities. I don’t want to see anyone else suffering their health; physically, mentally, or creatively in these conditions. I think some of us may push ourselves too long under too stressful of a schedule. Every personality is different. Some of us can work it all better than others. I’m one of the other. LOL.

  5. Lovely, upbeat post after my art/artist-loving heart. 🙂 Honing our craft takes repetition and commitment for sure. Thanks for the reminders!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Thank you, August. That was my hope, to keep it upbeat. I’m in a good place about it. Stepping away for a while has really helped. Finally making headway on my MS after all this time has made the biggest difference. Time and what we do with it directly affects our mental state of being.

  6. Good on you for doing what you need to do for YOU. Write well, my friend.

  7. Oh yeah, I can relate! I haven’t written any significant amount of new material in almost three years! And yes, blogging and all that goes with it is part of the reason, albeit fun. Good luck finding a balance that works for you while I try to do the same!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      I will cheer you on in finding your balance. I think I’m getting closer. I think you know it when it feels right. I’m finding time to both write and read. Two things I haven’t been able to fit into my schedule in a VERY long time. It feels great. I hope the same for you.

  8. CC MacKenzie says:

    This is just wonderful, Debra,

    I’ve written more creative content in the last three months than I have in the last three years and that’s because I don’t ‘do’ what I’m ‘supposed’ to do as far as social networking is concerned. I was a basket case trying to blog three times a week and tweet and facebook and…..

    Strangely enough, the person who found this post is my DH who’s helping me deal with the administrative side of the business and he thought this post is simply awesome and that it reflected exactly the issue we’ve been dealing with over the last two+ years. The writing comes first. And the work we do when our mind and hearts are engaged is the writing we need to work on. Nothing else. And it’s all coming together!

    Something I’d add to the video is that when all looks hopeless and you’re tired and exhausted and empty is when magic happens, every single time. So don’t give up and keep going!

    Love this.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Christine, you have been an inspiration to me. Watching you pull out the material has made me realize it can be done with the right prioritizing. I want the same for myself. It’s wonderful that your DH has been on this journey with you. It’s my DH that has been telling me for some time that I needed to listen to my story and back off the blogging. I’ve come to believe, as I believe you do, that we each have to evaluate our own situation as it applies to ourselves. Some people can make it work, but for some the schedule is simply too taxing on the family and the person, at the cost of the writing. The advice we received is great advice, but it shouldn’t be taken as a must. More as a guideline that we can flex to fit without stressing over.

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. 🙂

      • CC MacKenzie says:

        I think every single person in our group has something to give. We’re all at a different stage in the journey and that’s a great thing, because the ones who are rocking ahead are helping us reach our goals. Becoming overwhelmed with the different parts of the journey is only to be expected. We’re emotional human beings, not machines. And that means that the learning curve is different for each of us too.

        It’s a case of juggling lots of balls in the air and making sure we only drop the ones that bounce rather than the glass balls. I think I said that somewhere else on a blog, but it bears repeating. Beating ourselves up over what we think we’re not doing is a lesson in futility and we need to cut ourselves a break. I understand that when the creativity is flowing and you can’t get the words down because of constant human interruptions and demands can make us crazy. But learning to pace ourselves is all a part of learning the craft too. As you can see by the marvellous comments, we all feel for you and totally ‘get’ how demented a writer becomes at times of stress and strain and it all feels overwhelming. But I cannot tell you how times I’ve shrieked, ‘That’s it! I’ve had enough and I’m not bloody doing this anymore!’ And bugger me if the very next day my creativity revvs its engine like a formula one racing car on the starting line. Every time.

        This too shall pass, darling. We’re not going on a ship to Mars, unless WANA’s are beamed up by aliens, we’re all here. Put your focus on looking after yourself because if you’re cooking on gas the rest of the family and your DH will be as happy as clams and everything else will slot into place too.

        • Debra Kristi says:

          I completely agree that there are WANA’s at all different stages. It is a wonderful thing! If you are reading this like I am bothered or going mad, I am not. Just reminding people to allow time for the things that opened their creativity in the first place. When I stepped away from the computer and returned to my routine of exercise and whatnot, I was amazed at the creative flow. We need to be good to both our body and our soul in this process. Sometimes we need to be reminded of that.

  9. Emma says:

    I think we all feel pressure to make sure we have an online presence. I know I spend many hours each week on Twitter, Facebook, writing my blog posts and visiting other blogs when I really should be working on my WIP. It’s hard to find a balance so I wish you luck.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Thank you, Emma. I just need to finish this trilogy first. That would make all the difference. If I had a dollar for every time I was interrupted when I sat down in front of my computer I could take us all out to dinner. 😀 Finishing this comment is a bear, much less a post or a book. LOL!

  10. Karen McFarland says:

    Oh Debra, I so relate to how you feel. Every now and then, I need to take a break from social media and the blogging. So the last two weeks, I’ve let it go. I’ll be back next week, but I needed to catch my breath. I find that in order to keep my sanity, I can only visit you all once a week. It’s really all I can do. But always know that you have my support. It’s just that I too have struggled with the creativity. So that has to be my focus and then of course my hubby. He’s due for more surgery soon. So if I’m MIA, you’ll know why. Enjoy your summer with your family and best wishes with fast draft! 🙂

    • Debra Kristi says:

      I am right there with you Karen. No worries. And your poor hubby! You need to be there for him. So do what you need to do. But I have to tell you, fast draft is totally addicting and you may want to give it a try. 🙂 Thanks for swinging by when you can. I swing by less often as well, so I understand. We can only do so much. We’d all spend all day visiting blogs. I also visit and don’t comment. I do that as well.

  11. Karen McFarland says:

    Oh, FYI, you won a book. Go check it out. It’s on my site! Katherine Owen will be getting in touch with you! Enjoy! 🙂

  12. Hi Debra

    A lot of what you said rings bells with me. I particularly find exercise, sleep and reading help my creativity. The video was very good, it makes a good point in that we often start something because we are able to appreciate it (to have good taste) but learning to create something takes a lot of work. In engineering, it’s often said that experts only arise after 5-10 years of answering a new question in their subject everyday. I think its similar in all other fields. Edison has some good quotes on the subject:

    “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

    “Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.”

    “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”

    … And I better get to work, because I’ve got plenty of junk 🙂

    Cheers!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Thank you for the great quotes! I love those. Isn’t it so true. It is a never ending process of learning and polishing of our craft. I also have a great pile of junk and I am anxious to put it to good use.

      Cheers!

  13. I definitely need to throw myself into the fast draft track of things. my internal editor is great at slowing me down…but it’s so haaaaaaard not to stop and edit..LOL Thanks for a great kick in the pants post! I hear ya on the kid stuff too; doing a lot of working around getting baby stuff ready and trying to get the twins to be civilized instead of getting away with their good looks.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Even before I was on the fast track of drafting I would refuse to get heavy into editing until I finished one book. You need to commit yourself to that way of thinking that way you can say, “Yay! I finished.” Then turn back to editing. I finished book one in 2010, but I’m still editing. Ugh!!!! Maybe I am editing it to death, I don’t know. But I think it’s only getting better and I’m giving the other books a chance to get loser to completion.

      With kids you need to write any chance you get. I keep a journal with me for when the the ideas pop in my head and just invested in the neo. I can’t imagine trying to do that when my kids when that little. I feel for you. It’s hard enough with a six-year-old. But if you aren’t trying any of that already, that’s something you can attempt. Also, try dictating your thoughts when moving about your chores.

      • Yep, I’m hoping to get waaay better at just plowing through and not thinking about what I just wrote. But, I’ve also had to accept that most days it’s just gonna be 100 -500 words in a day, between naptimes, meals. etc. I think the most important thing is to always be working no matter how much you’re getting done. I always tell myself that if I quit now, there was no point in me even starting. The time’s gonna pass anyway. I’m determined to have something to show for it. And now to go extract a child from my back…

  14. Melinda says:

    Great post, Debra. I needed this today. Trudging through sludge today, and very overwhelmed. I’m back on the Fast Draft horse in the morning though!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Hope you got your fast drafting in! You have accomplished some amazing work with the revisions. I know you will be just as fabulous in fast draft.

  15. lynetteburrows says:

    Great post, Debra. So many of us are realizing similar things right now . . . I can’t do it all, I doubt that anyone can. I’ve put a note on my computer: WIP FIRST! email, then blog, FB and Twitter. (This morning, not sticking with the plan very well, but this is my last blog I’m reading until later, promise!) Good for you to assess what you need and making a plan. Do what you love. And somehow everything else will fall into place.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Oh my. Guess I should add email to my list? LOL. It’s so out of control it’s taken on a mind of its own. Pretty soon I will have a live monster hiding amongst all the messages. Maybe I already do!!! I love that you have your list posted. I should pull mine out of my head and put it up on the computer. It used to be there, but disappeared. Hmm.

  16. Amen, Sista!!

    Live, breathe, create.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  17. Debra, I’ve been trying to do exactly what you’re doing. I love social media, but to protect the writer within us, we must do what’s good for our creative self. Some people are great at doing it all. For the rest of us, we stumble though, try new things, keep some, discard others. The best thing we can do for our writing is discover where our limits are, then not be afraid to travel our own individual path. May you write much and be happy. 🙂

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Thank you, Sheila! I wish the same for you. I am so blessed to have connected with wonderful writers such as yourself. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by.

  18. susielindau says:

    Such great advice and that is why I am just now checking on all the blog posts that I missed!
    I have to enjoy my summer too. When I am out and about, ideas for my story pop into my head. It is a process and one that I can’t rush.
    Great post!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      I am always so impressed by all that you manage to work into your daily life. Your blog title so fits you! 😀 Don’t rush the process. Let it happen naturally. I’ve experienced the same thing with the ideas. Do you keep an journal with you or write the ideas in your phone so that you don’t lose them?

  19. Debra, I’m in the exact same boat. There have been so many demands on my time and attention that my poor little creative spark has withered, so my goal for the next few weeks is to get it burning brightly once more. Good luck with renewing your writing regimen!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Lena, I really hope you get them burning bright again. I’m sure you will. It’s just a matter of getting back to what feels natural. I’ll be here cheering you on! Thanks for your support.

  20. Family time and excercise are the best fuel for creativity. Good luck with Fast Draft. I’m going down the same path of reducing blogging time. And I added the Ira Glass video to my YouTube favourites. I need the reminder about the Gap when I get discouraged with my work.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Thanks, Reetta! I’m switching gears to revision hell now. But I’ll be back to the Fast Draft method soon. I have more to do there. I completely agree with you. I’m glad you liked Ira’s video. It really is great, isn’t it.

  21. HI Debra,
    I am experiencing the same thing–so much time spent, and I really enjoy my blogging community, but it comes out of my time for exercise, garden work and the writing that I actually get paid for. I need to find a better balance. Greap post. Good luck with your writing.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Thank you, Naomi! I think we all experience that at all some point. Sorry for the delay. I was at the RWA Conference. Just got home a couple of hours ago. SO much information crammed into my brain. I need to go sleep for a day or two in order to recover! But I believe there is a balance out there to be found. I think it may be different for each one of us. You need to find the one that feels right for you.

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