On Exploring Creativity
At a recent workshop, one woman commented, “Everything you’ve suggested sounds great, but what if you’re not naturally creative. What happens then?” Several other participants nodded in agreement and looked to me for answers.
I didn’t want to get into a lengthy discussion about whether or not creativity was an innate trait. Instead, I suggested that it was never too late to explore creativity and launch second, third, and fourth acts in life. I then shared three strategies that have helped me on my writing journey.
Listen to the God (or Goddess) nudges in your life.
If we choose to stay open, we will receive messages from the universe. I’m not referring only to angels, butterflies, and other winged messengers. There are clues in our lives that point to what will bring us joy. My first nudge came from a friend, who suggested I send a travel essay to a local newspaper. I followed her advice and, to my delight, the newspaper featured my essay and pictures in a two-page spread. When I attended readings and workshops within a 60-mile radius, I learned about local and regional opportunities for budding writers.
I have also acquired the habit of reading notices on bulletin boards and the Events sections in newspapers. Anything that catches my interest is worth pursuing. I also find inspiration on social media, in particular, Twitter and Pinterest. In November of 2012, I noticed a tweet from a small publisher on my Twitter feed. I took action and sent a query letter. The editor responded, and I had a book contract by the end of January.
Listen to Your Inner Critic
I realize this is contrary to all the advice that’s out there. But there is something to be gained by analyzing the selected thoughts of our inner critic and taking action.
How can you distinguish those selected thoughts? Very simply, take note of all sentences that start with “Someone should…”
Here are some examples:
“Someone should write a letter to the editor about that issue. It’s bugging me.”
“Someone should organize an arts festival that showcases the talents of boomer artists, artisans, musicians, and writers in our county.”
“Someone should put her name forward for an executive position on that board. We need new blood.”
“Someone should design and create clothes that fit and flatter women over fifty.”
“Someone should offer decorating services for seniors, who are moving into assisted living, retirement and nursing homes, or downsizing to a condo.”
“Someone should run for mayor.”
Once you have identified your favorite “Someone should,” it’s time to…
Take action…any action
Entering the political arena, assuming an executive role in a non-profit organization, organizing an arts festival, writing a novel…these are all goals that can be accomplished but probably not within the immediate future. Why not set small, move-the-needle steps for the season in which you are in. These small steps will lead to larger ones, and subsequent steps will always be within your grasp.
You could start by attending an information meeting, offering to help with an established arts festival, signing up for an online or offline course, joining a local writing group, or listening to a webinar. Don’t worry if certain steps don’t work out. Keep moving forward and course-correct along the way.
Blurb for A DIFFERENT KIND OF REUNION
While not usually a big deal, one overlooked email would haunt teacher Gilda Greco. Had she read it, former student Sarah McHenry might still be alive.
Suspecting foul play, Constable Leo Mulligan plays on Gilda’s guilt and persuades her to participate in a séance facilitated by one of Canada’s best-known psychics. Six former students also agree to participate. At first cooperative and willing, their camaraderie is short-lived as old grudges and rivalries emerge. The séance is a bust.
Determined to solve Sarah’s murder, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers shocking revelations that could put several lives—including her own—in danger. Can Gilda and the psychic solve this case before the killer strikes again?
Excerpt for A DIFFERENT KIND OF REUNION
“Gilda, could you drop by tomorrow?” Constable Mulligan said, his voice cracking. “I’d like to wrap up this investigation as soon as possible. Give her parents some closure.”
Did he think he could wrap it up in a day? And what on earth could I contribute to the investigation? It didn’t make any sense at all. “Uh…I’m sorry. I’m having trouble with all of this. I don’t know—”
He cleared his throat. “We could meet for lunch at Trapper’s Choice Restaurant. They have fresh pickerel on Fridays.”
SIGN UP FOR STACY’S NEWSLETTER! http://eepurl.com/bG0HZD
WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR STACY HOFF:
HOTTER THAN THE CARIBBEAN – In the Caribbean, the secrets, sex, and scandals are hotter!
NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT! http://bit.ly/2GZxfx9
Kindle version: http://amzn.to/2xW3WtJ
BETTING ON LOVE IN VEGAS (BUILDING LOVE series, #1)
NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT: https://www.amazon.com/Betting-Love-Vegas-Stacy-Hoff/dp/1682913422/
Kindle version: http://amzn.to/2kAgBvK
JOCKEYING FOR YOU print version http://amzn.to/2eanq2o
JOCKEYING FOR YOU Kindle version http://amzn.to/2c8Hi5t
DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC print version http://amzn.to/2cubwCf
DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC kindle version http://amzn.to/1KjfP9V
DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES print version http://amzn.to/2dXO1zV
DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES Kindle version http://amzn.to/1YEseie
LAWFULLY YOURS print version http://amzn.to/2e6Ug8k
LAWFULLY YOURS Kindle version http://amzn.to/1Ky5CZm