Creativity's Workshop

Taming and Training Your Creativity to Write Abundantly


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Announcing My New Book: De-Stress Your Writing Life

Title artwork for De-Stress Your Writing Life

I mentioned last week that I had bold plans for this year. Along with offering One-on-One Creative Coaching Sessions, I’ve got something else to share with you. A new book!

The truth is, I’ve had the book De-Stress Your Writing Life on the back burner since the beginning of last year but I’ve been too busy to get stuck into it. So this year I’m trying something different. I’m going to blog this book into existence.

That’s right, every Friday you can read the next instalment of De-Stress Your Writing Life for free right here on Creativity’s Workshop.

What’s It All About?

I regularly see writers who are stressed or struggling to write. They’re facing so many barriers to their Creativity that writing is no longer enjoyable. It breaks my heart to see that happen, so I’m doing something about it. But most of all, I’m writing a book that I need as a writer.

I’m one of those people who can stress a little more than necessary in my everyday life and that stress often bleeds over into my writing life. I’ve seen the negative effects this has on my writing and how it’s held me back from producing my best work; sometimes from producing any work at all.

When I follow the three aspects of a de-stressed writing life (relaxed mindset, regular practice and positive follow-through) then I’m able to prolifically follow my dreams. I want to record these elements in a book form for my own reference, and also for other writers who face the same frustrations and limitations with their writing. With that in mind, I scoped out the book De-Stress Your Writing Life.

How Is It All Going to Work?

You’ll be seeing this book take shape right here on this blog, one week at a time over the coming year. The posts may be written out of order and there will be a few extra features that will only appear in the finished book form, but most of the information will appear on the blog first.

I welcome your feedback and suggestions as I write. I love reading your comments and personal experiences so please add them to the discussion as we go. Your comments may help me realise areas that I have to cover more thoroughly or alter in some way to be more useful to others.

I’m also going to include a new aspect to my blog. I will be adding a donate button to the end of posts for De-Stress Your Writing LifeDuring 2014 I want to turn this site from a fun blog with creative writing tips to a site full of resources for writes to keep them relaxed and writing creatively. To do that, I’m gonna need a little help.

The donate button will only appear on posts for De-Stress Your Writing Life, and everyone who donates will receive a free electronic copy of the book once it has reached completion. If you’d like to help Creativity’s Workshop take to flight, then click the button and get on board!

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Starting from next week, I’ll be publishing this book one post at a time. Are you ready to start de-stressing your writing life?


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Need Perspective, Motivation and Encouragement? Check Out These Posts

A motivation sign post. Keep driving this way for writing motivation!

Image Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Over the past month I’ve been getting back into the routine of reading some of my favourite blogs (after months of traveling and what-not), and I really wanted to share the following posts with you. They’ve given me perspective, encouragement and motivation to keep writing. I’m sure they’ll do the same for you.

  • Freelancer’s Survival Guide: Illness by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. After I posted about writing with chronic illness I was very excited to see that Kris Rusch had also covered the topic. She’s got great advice on when to write and when to stop.
  • The Business Rusch: Perfection by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. This is a must read for anyone who has been writing for years but hasn’t had the confidence to send their work out into the world. If you’re not already following Rusch’s blog, then get started now. Her experience is unrivalled.
  • Writer, Author or Storyteller by Liz Michalski at Writer Unboxed. The subject of viewing yourself as a ‘storyteller’ rather than a ‘writer’ is one that Kris Rusch also recently covered and I think it’s worth thinking on. I definitely feel more comfortable with the title ‘storyteller’ and it inspires me when I sit down to the page.
  • How to Unlock Your Creativity and Stop Feeling Like a Failure at Positive Writer. I love the Positive Writer blog and could just spend hours reading through all the old posts. It’s the best place for a pick-me-up to feel good about yourself and your writing again. This post reminds us that we all have our personal brand of creativity.
  • 10,000 Words in a Day? Impossible! by Milli Thornton at Charlotte Rains Dixon’s blog. This is a motivating introduction to the 10k Day for Writers event. It shows how accomplishing that kind of word count is possible and invites you to give it a try. After all, how many of our limitations are actually self-imposed?

Those are my favourites from this month. Now what about you?

Have you come across any writing posts this month that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.


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Envisioning a Fresh Perspective on the Writing Life

A writer suddenly finds herself being handed a bunch of flowers from her laptop.

Image Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Are you embarrassed to identify yourself as a writer? Have you had family or friends express concern over your writerly tendancies?

By the end of this post I hope to have changed your mind, and theirs.

Shaping Your Life as a Writer

Today I’ve got a guest post on Sharon Lippincott’s blog The Heart and Craft of Life Writing. Over the past couple of weeks Sharon and I have been discussing the intriguing abilities a writer has to write their own life – either after the event or even before the event.

It all started with a post she published entitled Write Where the Juice Is. In it she wrote about how doing scandalous things in your life provides your descendants with something to talk about when you’re gone. This seemed to me a fascinating way to approach life.

In the comments to that post, Sharon presented an even more fascinating way to live as a writer: by shaping your life for the page. In other words, deliberately making choices in your life that will provide you with writing fodder down the track. (I mention the whole comment in my guest post if you’re interested in reading it.)

Sharon and I discussed the idea in more depth together, which led to her post Living to Write the Tale and my post Writing as Fertilizer for Memory Seeds. Both of them are practical posts which got me thinking about our view of the writing life.

The Old Concept of the Writing Life

Over the centuries, the clichés of the writing life have built up. They sound something like the following:

Writers are recluses, socially inept people who are introverts (and can even turn into hermits if they are not monitored).

They ponder on things deeply, making them boring party companions and even worse spouses. They earn little and spend most of their time battling with writer’s block.  They drink unhealthy amounts of coffee and while away their afternoons on park benches.

When things go badly, they become melancholic, turn to alcohol and eventually end up mentally unbalanced or contemplating suicide.

Perhaps I’m taking every negative thing ever said and rolling it into one, but you know you’ve heard this stereotype before.

This concept of the writing life leads friends and family writers to fear for their loved one’s mental and emotional safety. They envision a life stunted of excitement and career growth. They may even believe that to be a writer is equivalent to throwing one’s life away.

Surely in this day and age we can envision a fresh concept.

The New Concept of the Writing Life

What if we began to view the writing life like this:

A writer is a person who embraces life – who seeks to experience it in all its colours, complexities and inconsistencies in order to capture it on paper. They absorb information through all their senses, and constantly search for fresh sources of inspiration.

They make wonderful party companions because they seek to understand other people’s points of view. They enrich the lives of those they are close to by earning people’s friendship and respect. They spend most of their time jotting down ideas and words – after which they reward themselves with chocolate and walks in the park.

When things go badly, they find fresh perspectives and turn negatives into positives. They are hardy people, who make the world a better place with their words.

This describes the writers I have met. Does it describe you?

Why not make the writing life into something joyous, something we can aspire to? Something that will promise a lifetime of promise rather than inevitable demise?

Instead of portraying ourselves as hard done by, ruled by the page and wracked with writer’s block, why not release ourselves into a lifelong journey of wonder as we search for the experiences and places that will eventually lead to words and stories?

Let your life as a writer create a compelling vision of enjoyment and a lifetime of fascination with the world and people around you.

You are a writer. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Grab the title with both hands and live your life like a writer!