Posts Tagged 'Writing'

Make a Creative Choice at the Bazaar

choose one

The exercise below is one of my recent Creative Bursts. The Creative Bursts are fun, 15-minute play breaks designed to help get your creativity flowing. They encompass writing, drawing, doodling, dancing, wordplay, singing and more. And they’re free! If you’re not receiving them yet, click here to sign up!

You are in an outdoor marketplace or bazaar that contains everything in the world. You can choose one quality or skill for yourself.  What do you choose, and what happens after you choose it? Write about this, or draw a picture reflecting the experience.

Here’s what people are saying about the Creative Bursts:

“Your Creative Bursts Rock! Love the creativity exercises. They are fantastic.”  ~Andrew, Brisbane, Australia

“Love these prompts!”  ~Sarah, California, USA

“Thank you for the Bursts, they are hopefully going to restore some sanity!”  ~Hannah, United Kingdom

“I LOVE your Creative Bursts! They really spark my imagination.”  ~Christopher, Maryland, USA

Click here to download your free Creative Bursts workbook and sign up for more Bursts in your inbox twice a week!

Visual Inspiration—Photo Prompt #69

Let this image engage your muse. Write a paragraph, a short story, a poem, a memory, a journal entry … or whatever you feel inspired to create. And share your creations in the comments if you’d like!

tree house heading for town

 

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Paddle Surfer Wisdom

Rerunning an old favorite today:

Last week on Kauai, my husband met a weathered paddle surfer who claims a he’e (octopus) helps him navigate the sometimes treacherous ocean waters.   I love stories like this. Whether you believe it literally or enjoy it as a colorful myth, the paddle surfer’s story also makes a wonderful metaphor.

paddle surfer

I’ve spent a lot of time here talking about my Muse.  But now I’m thinking about how the inspirational muse and the navigational octopus could work together in the creative process.

My Muse feels like an ethereal guest.  He’s pouty, he has ADHD and he owns a perpetually broken watch.  Though he drives me crazy, his dynamic personality and vivid tales color the room with brilliant imagery when he chooses to visit.

But do I have a creative he’e?  And if so, what purpose does she serve?

I imagine an ancient and wise creature living in the deep waters of my subconscious. Always there, silently watching.  Hers is the voice that bubbles up when I berate myself for not working on one of my unfinished novels.  That quietly whispers in my ear:  “No, Sandy.  You’re supposed to be writing about creativity now.”

octopus

My he’e knows which current flows smoothly in the direction I’m headed.  She nudges me away from the dangerous undertow that threatens to sweep me far from my center.  But this insightful octopus speaks softly, watching as I often do the exact opposite of what she’s suggested.

“The animals know things,” the paddle surfer told my husband.  “You just have to listen to them.”

I believe we all have a creative creature residing in our deep waters and steering us in the right direction. It’s the voice you hear in those small moments when you stop listening to all the other noise in your head. When you stop thinking and stop doing and allow yourself to simply be. And if you tap into the muse’s amazing bursts of inspiration while still hearing the quiet wisdom of the he’e, the two together might help you reach amazing creative heights.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

 

Let Your Imagination Roam the World

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” ~Albert Einstein

“Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.” ~W. Somerset Maugham

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” ~Vincent van Gogh

“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.”

~William Shakespeare, Mid-Summer Night’s Dream

“They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.” ~Francis Bacon

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” ~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

“The Possible’s slow fuse is lit
By the Imagination.”
~Emily Dickinson

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.” ~Pablo Picasso

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Visual Inspiration—Photo Prompt #68

Let this image engage your muse. Write a paragraph, a short story, a poem, a memory, a journal entry … or whatever you feel inspired to create. And share your creations in the comments if you’d like!

hello

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Create a Quirky Character

Sick person

The exercise below is one of my recent Creative Bursts. The Creative Bursts are fun, 15-minute play breaks designed to help get your creativity flowing. They encompass writing, drawing, doodling, dancing, wordplay, singing and more. And they’re free! If you’re not receiving them yet, click here to sign up!

Write a character description using one of these prompts: 

He was a gunslinger and a gymnast…

She was a flapper with an unquenched thirst for perfect grammar…

They were tourists with a wicked sense of perspective…

It was a kiss with a surprisingly whimsical sense of self…

Here’s what people are saying about the Creative Bursts:

“Your Creative Bursts Rock! Love the creativity exercises. They are fantastic.”  ~Andrew, Brisbane, Australia

“Love these prompts!”  ~Sarah, California, USA

“Thank you for the Bursts, they are hopefully going to restore some sanity!”  ~Hannah, United Kingdom

“I LOVE your Creative Bursts! They really spark my imagination.”  ~Christopher, Maryland, USA

Click here to download your free Creative Bursts workbook and sign up for more Bursts in your inbox twice a week!

Finding Your Voice

I used to live in the desert and drink from the Well of Right Words. One day, I walked until I found an unexpected oasis. Now I sip phrases from succulent fruit and inhale ideas carried by a wind that blows from beyond imagination.     ~Sandy Ackers

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

People often talk about writers “finding their voice,” as if it’s a lost pet that ran out the door when someone carelessly left it open. We all have a voice, right? We speak. People understand us. But finding your voice as a writer can be a daunting task. You write a short story in the same way you talk, and it falls flat. You create a poem about your lost love and it sounds like a million others you’ve read.

There’s lots of advice out there for tapping into your unique writer’s voice. I just did a Google search on the subject and found many helpful tips: read a lot, imitate writers you admire, write the way you speak, be willing to write badly, don’t censor yourself, write about what you’re passionate about, write about what you’re afraid of…the list goes on.

Though I believe we’re all different and each have our own journey, I want to share my experience here. For me, finding my voice was simply a matter of writing. And writing. Then writing some more. I wrote all the time. I learned to write from my heart. I went where my writing took me, even when it seemed stupid or pulled me in the opposite direction I’d been intending to go. I did massive amounts of freewriting. I took classes and joined workshops. I wrote fiction, poetry, essays, experimental pieces, journal entries and more. I read authors I admired and noticed how they put words together in ways I found interesting.

And then I wrote some more.

Finally, one day, I knew I’d found my voice. I just knew it, the way you always know the most profound things in your life, if you let yourself. I felt it deep inside.

How did you find your voice as a writer? Or what are you doing to find it?

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Visual Inspiration—Photo Prompt #67

Let this image engage your muse. Write a paragraph, a short story, a poem, a memory, a journal entry … or whatever you feel inspired to create. And share your creations in the comments if you’d like!

book of fantasy stories

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

10 Resolutions for a Creative New Year


I’ve posted this before, but these are still my creativity resolutions, for this and every year. I hope some—or all—of them resonate with you! What are your creativity resolutions for this year?

  1. Do something creatively inspiring every day, even if only for 5 minutes.
  2. Forgive yourself if you miss a day—and then get right back on the creativity horse.
  3. Cultivate an attitude of play when you’re writing, painting, singing or creating in any way.
  4. Let go of your inner perfectionist.
  5. Don’t blow off your muse, even if he/she starts tugging on your arm at an inopportune time.
  6. Share your creativity with people who appreciate it.
  7. Don’t listen to people who discourage you (including your inner critic).
  8. Believe you deserve to take time for your creativity, in spite of all the demands in your life.
  9. Enjoy the creative journey instead of focusing only on the destination.
  10. Realize that every time you make space in your life for creativity—even if it’s just a sliver of space—you’re making yourself a better person and the world a better place.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Keep Your Writing Flowing

I’m on vacation until the end of the year. If you’re looking for a little creative fuel, check out these writing exercises I’ve created for this blog in the past. Most of them can be done in 15 minutes—or take longer if you’re inspired!

Use a word pile to create something tasty

Combine a random image and a line of text to create a new writing prompt

Turn your life into a movie, a bubblegum card, a fortune cookie…

Use a clincher detail to create a vivid character in just one sentence

Gather words you find sprinkled throughout your day and turn them into something new

Try one of these five exercises to shake up your muse

Get creative with lists

Turn something old into a new piece of writing

Use the environment to reflect a significant change in a character’s life

Craft compelling first and last sentences

Create a sensory collage

Try one of these 10 ideas to get your muse out of neutral

Dream up some metaphors

Use this prompt as a launching pad into creativity

Compile a thesaurus of the senses

Create a thesaurus of memories

Turn found words and phrases into something new

Embrace your bad writing

Transform a creative block into a character (with another example here)

Write a haiku about creativity

Create a faux-history for a random item

Dive into this word pool to write about a physical, emotional or creative journey

For bloggers—create a poem using search engine terms

You’ll also find photo prompts here, and some 5-minute creative quickies here.

And, if you want to work on something larger, write the story of your life with a series of 6-word memoirs.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

10 Ways for Writers to Stay Creative During the Busy Holiday Season

  1. Redefine your idea of creativity. If you don’t have time to write for half an hour, spend that time making up stories with a child in your life while buying or wrapping presents.
  2. Use a tape recorder to write bits of dialogue and scenes while driving to and from errands.
  3. Write in the shower.
  4. If you’re working on a larger project — a novel, a screenplay or even a short story — take five or 10 minutes before bed every night to write the next paragraph or just the next sentence.  You’ll keep your momentum going even when you don’t have much time.
  5. Carry a few index cards with you wherever you go and make the commitment to fill one with something creative every day when you can find a few minutes.
  6. Write a prompt on an index card for each day you expect to be busy, and commit to freewriting for 10 minutes using that prompt.
  7. Enjoy some non-writing creativity. Make interesting holiday decorations, cards and presents. It all stimulates the muse!
  8. Schedule a writing appointment or two for yourself during the holidays. Put it on your calendar like any other appointment. Then go somewhere away from the madness of your life and keep that date.
  9. Turn your holiday stress into a character and write about him/her. You can find an example here.
  10. If all else fails, escape to the bathroom and write for a few minutes!

And the last word: don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t able to write as much as you planned. Enjoy your holidays and start fresh in the new year.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Visual Inspiration—Photo Prompt #66

Let this image engage your muse. Write a paragraph, a short story, a poem, a memory, a journal entry … or whatever you feel inspired to create. And share your creations in the comments if you’d like!

Fanciful elephant

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Blast Through Writers Block: Create a Sensory Collage


Here’s a good exercise to try if you’re stuck, blocked or ready to start a new piece but don’t know what to write:

Take a walk, and bring a notebook. Jot down things you see, hear, smell, feel, touch and experience. Use all your senses.

Include everything:

  • bits of conversation—not just the words but also the tone of the language and the postures of the speakers
  • neighborhood signs—their messages and their visual style
  • changing cloud formations and the things they bring to mind for you
  • the exact color of the sky
  • a crying or laughing baby—how it sounds and how it makes you feel
  • the scent, texture and color of blooming flowers
  • dogs checking each other out or chasing squirrels
  • traffic—the sound, smell and look of it
  • the sights, sounds and smells of trees you encounter
  • the color and texture of the hair of anyone you pass
  • the items people are holding or carrying

These are just a few ideas—be sure to include everything that catches your attention. And pay attention to everything around you as you walk.

Then find a place to sit such as a park bench, cafe, picnic table, the ground, your car … whatever works for you.

Now combine several of the sensory images you’ve gathered and use them to create a story, essay, poem or any other piece of writing. Play around with the images and try different things, just as you would if you were making a collage. If one combination doesn’t work, try something else. Write something silly or dark or absurd or uncharacteristic of you. Have fun as you fit the puzzle pieces together in different ways.

I like this exercise because it combines the physical activity of walking with the mental and emotional experience of collecting bits of what you experience. It gets you away from staring at a blank piece of paper. And combining things in new ways always engages the muse.

Let me know how you like this exercise, or share your creations!

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Visual Inspiration—Photo Prompt #65

Let this image engage your muse. Write a paragraph, a short story, a poem, a memory, a journal entry … or whatever you feel inspired to create. And share your creations in the comments if you’d like!

Apeldoorn The Netherlands Large Phone Sculpture

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Your Wrinkled Creativity

abstract

The exercise below is one of my recent Creative Bursts. The Creative Bursts are fun, 15-minute play breaks designed to help get your creativity flowing. They encompass writing, drawing, doodling, dancing, wordplay, singing and more. And they’re free! If you’re not receiving them yet, click here to sign up!

You’ve shoved your Creativity into the back of a closet for a while, and when you pull it out, it’s very wrinkled. How will you straighten it out? Will you iron it with words? Steam it out with colors? Or do you like it wrinkled? What quality does your wrinkled Creativity have? Write about this.

Here’s what people are saying about the Creative Bursts:

“Your Creative Bursts Rock! Love the creativity exercises. They are fantastic.”  ~Andrew, Brisbane, Australia

“Love these prompts!”  ~Sarah, California, USA

“Thank you for the Bursts, they are hopefully going to restore some sanity!”  ~Hannah, United Kingdom

“I LOVE your Creative Bursts! They really spark my imagination.”  ~Christopher, Maryland, USA

Click here to download your free Creative Bursts workbook and sign up for more Bursts in your inbox twice a week!

Great Tool for Daily Writing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI recently discovered 750 Words. It’s a great little website that makes it easy for you to write 750 words a day. The creator was inspired by the idea of morning pages that Julia Cameron discusses in The Artist’s Way, which is the practice of doing three pages of freewriting first thing every morning. 750 Words gives you a blank page to write on every day — and, rest assured, what you write will be private.

The site makes things fun by giving you a monthly scorecard. You get points for writing anything at all, more points for writing 750 words, and even more points for writing two or more days in a row. You also get little badges for various writing accomplishments. Racking up the points and badges can be a real motivator to keep you going! If you want to learn more, check it out here.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Visual Inspiration—Photo Prompt #64

Let this image engage your muse. Write a paragraph, a short story, a poem, a memory, a journal entry…or whatever you feel inspired to create. And share your creations in the comments if you’d like!

zebras

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Where Do You Like to Write?

writing planets

This fun article from Writer’s Digest discusses interesting and quirky places famous writers wrote. Some wrote during their work commutes on foot (Wallace Stevens) or by train (John le Carré). Others wrote in a parked Model T Ford (Gertrude Stein), a bathtub (Agatha Christie) and in bed (Edith Wharton, Marcel Proust and James Joyce). Sir Walter Scott wrote his bestselling epic poem “Marmion” while galloping on horseback, and Dame Edith Sitwell reclined in an open coffin to write!

I’ve written in lots of places over the years: at my desk; in a comfy chair; in bed; in cafes; on trains, planes and buses; in the park; on the beach; at work; in hotel rooms; on a ship. I’m not sure if I have one favorite place to write. It depends on my mood and my circumstances — although most of my writing has taken place at home.

Where do you like to write? Is there a special place that helps bring out your creativity?

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Visual Inspiration—Photo Prompt #63

Let this image engage your muse. Write a paragraph, a short story, a poem, a memory, a journal entry…or whatever you feel inspired to create. And share your creations in the comments if you’d like!

crow on stop sign

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Your Extrasensory Love Affair in a Lush Garden

botanic gardens

The exercise below is one of my recent Creative Bursts. The Creative Bursts are fun, 15-minute play breaks designed to help get your creativity flowing. They encompass writing, drawing, doodling, dancing, wordplay, singing and more. And they’re free! If you’re not receiving them yet, click here to sign up!

Write a poem or a paragraph or two using some (or all) of these words and phrases:

love affair, shadowy forest, Persian rug, ship, anguish, black leather gloves, extrasensory, purple, on the floor, lush garden, shard

Here’s what people are saying about the Creative Bursts:

“Your Creative Bursts Rock! Love the creativity exercises. They are fantastic.”  ~Andrew, Brisbane, Australia

“Love these prompts!”  ~Sarah, California, USA

“Thank you for the Bursts, they are hopefully going to restore some sanity!”  ~Hannah, United Kingdom

“I LOVE your Creative Bursts! They really spark my imagination.”  ~Christopher, Maryland, USA

Click here to download your free Creative Bursts workbook and sign up for more Bursts in your inbox twice a week!

Visual Inspiration—Photo Prompt #62

Let this image engage your muse. Write a paragraph, a short story, a poem, a memory, a journal entry…or whatever you feel inspired to create. And share your creations in the comments if you’d like!

living room on a cloud

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Visual Inspiration—Photo Prompt #61

Let this image engage your muse. Write a paragraph, a short story, a poem, a memory, a journal entry…or whatever you feel inspired to create. And share your creations in the comments if you’d like!

elephant in eggshell

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Get Creative With This Random Art Prompt Generator

colorful mask

If you’re looking for some artistic inspiration, this Random Art Prompt Generator might be just what you need! You can choose either a simple or an elaborate prompt, and they’re pretty creative. These are for all types of artists. If you want a writing prompt, the simple prompts will work, and sometimes the elaborate ones will as well.  (But some of the elaborate prompts are more focused on visual art.)

Here are some of the random prompts I got when I played around with this:

SIMPLE:

  • Your prompt is: a scar on the face.
  • Your prompt is: unicorns.
  • Your prompt is: a harem.
  • Your prompt is: a medieval society.
  • Your prompt is: dissonance.

ELABORATE:

  • Within one piece, express the qualities of deviousness, greed, and dignity. Subjects need not be human.
  • Create a realistic portrait of a cartoon character. Prompt: the forests of the night.
  • Do a series of pictures of a traveler, experimenting with changing the light and shadows. Theme: and all things sweet.
  • Theme: mask. It should contain opium dreams or a black leather trenchcoat, and use primarily complementary colors.
  • Portray a sense of weariness with a leather jacket and worn blue jeans.

Click here to try it out and get creative!

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

 

Visual Inspiration—Photo Prompt #60

Let this image engage your muse. Write a paragraph, a short story, a poem, a memory, a journal entry…or whatever you feel inspired to create. And share your creations in the comments if you’d like!

hanging out

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Some Fuel for Your Creativity Tank

creativity

Once again, I’ve compiled some of the writing exercises I’ve created for this blog in the past. If you’re looking for a little creative fuel, check them out. Most of them can be done in 15 minutes—or take longer if you’re inspired!

Use a word pile to create something tasty

Combine a random image and a line of text to create a new writing prompt

Turn your life into a movie, a bubblegum card, a fortune cookie…

Use a clincher detail to create a vivid character in just one sentence

Gather words you find sprinkled throughout your day and turn them into something new

Try one of these five exercises to shake up your muse

Get creative with lists

Turn something old into a new piece of writing

Use the environment to reflect a significant change in a character’s life

Craft compelling first and last sentences

Create a sensory collage

Try one of these 10 ideas to get your muse out of neutral

Dream up some metaphors

Use this prompt as a launching pad into creativity

Compile a thesaurus of the senses

Create a thesaurus of memories

Turn found words and phrases into something new

Embrace your bad writing

Transform a creative block into a character (with another example here)

Write a haiku about creativity

Create a faux-history for a random item

Dive into this word pool to write about a physical, emotional or creative journey

For bloggers—create a poem using search engine terms

You’ll also find photo prompts here, and some 5-minute creative quickies here.

And, if you want to work on something larger, write the story of your life with a series of 6-word memoirs.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)


Download a Free E-Book! Click on the Cover Below for your Creative Bursts Workbook

And get fun 15-minute creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week

About Sandy Ackers

Sandy

Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and Writer.

To learn more about Sandy, click here: About Sandy

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Meet My Muse

Click here to read the post discussing my relationship with my somewhat pesky male muse.

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