Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Renew your Creativity

East Coast of Tasmania (Available from Desktop Pictures).

Jeff Vandermeer has done a post on Revitalising your Creativity in your Private Booklife. This is particularly applicable for me right now. I’ve been working all day marking assignments, then I’ve come home and worked late into the night on the edits of my KRK books. Over the weekend I had a 2am session and a 1am session to get the work done.

This is not good for me as a writer or as a mother/wife/person. If I were my own mother, I would say, It is time to take a step back, Rowena, and reassess your commitments.

Thank goodness, I’m headed off on a holiday for 8 days. My (long suffering) husband and I are going on a driving tour of Tasmania. That’s the little island at the bottom of Australia. It has a population of around 500,000 and almost a million people visit it every year. So that means if you meet 3 people, 2 of them are tourists. I can’t imagine how this works.

I’m hoping that the time in Tassie will allow me to finish the book I’ve been trying to write since January. I’ve only got another 140 pages to go. LOL. I’m also hoping it will give me a chance to think clearly about my work load, commitments and what I really want out of life.

I love writing, I enjoy editing, I can do promotion. Since my publisher thrust me in front of a microphone 10 years ago, I’ve learnt how to speak off the top of my head while on a panel and I can run a fun, informative workshop on writing.

Jeff Vandermeer’s done a post on the value of acknowledging constraints when it comes to Book Promotion. He makes some valid points. One of my good writing friends, Richard Harland is about to set off on a tour of the US and the UK to promote his steampunk book, Worldshaker.

He’s a real performer and loves to do readings. I shudder at the thought of readings. For me, books are meant to be read in the privacy of our heads. If they were meant to be read aloud, they’d be performance poetry or a play. I have to admire anyone who can make them entertaining, like Richard.

Amanda has very kindly agreed to put up my Tuesday post next week. I’ll be back on the Thursday, hopefully refreshed and renewed, ready to be creative!

Meanwhile, what do you do, when you need a break from life?


Anonymous said...

Half-crazed workaholic writers, unite! We must stop allowing our spouses to drag us out to do something fun! Museum tours cannot possibly be time well spent. Movies? Complete waste of time! Dinner out? Ridiculous expense and I'm sure I can work out the spices and reproduce it.

Plant a garden . . . Oh, now you're talking about good healthy exercise in the sunshine. Thank god for gardens, mine is a source of self inflicted sanity. Small daily doses strongly recommended.

C Kelsey said...

When it's time to take a break I rarely recognize the fact that it's time to take a break. Yesterday I ended up actually taking a break from most work-related things. For me that meant time to go to my favorite restaurant and actually do some writing. I got something like 5 pages of a new short story done. Yay.

Funny that matapam mentions the garden thing. I'm in an apartment and don't have a place to garden. Lately however I've been thinking about taking a big planting box and setting it on the patio. Maybe try my hand at growing something. I've never done it before. Perhaps it will be fun.

Jim McCoy said...

I'm right there with you Rowena. With working full time, going to school full time and watching my daughter while my wife is at work, I've got a pretty full schedule myself. Thank god I get to go on a vacation of my own in a little less than three weeks.

One of my favorite things to do between semesters, or between schools as I just finished my bachelors and (hopefully) start my masters this fall, is to hang out and do things with my four year old daughter on my days off. We do a lot of museums, kids movies, trips to the zoo, etc. One of the best passages I've ever written (in my opinion at least) was inspired on one of these trips by a painting at an art museum. Having my daughter with me forces me to keep moving and not settle in one spot focusing on one thing for too long.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Matapam, I have felt guilty because I've been out to dinner with my husband and he's said, 'Your mind is in your book, isn't it?' And i realised I'd been distracted tot eh point of ignoring him.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Chris, gardening is good. I mow the yard. The mower is so loud the children keep away from me and I can think. Besides if I mow the yard it stays mowed, unlike tidying the house.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Jim, enjoy your daughter while you can. 4 is a wonderful age. My kids range in age from 15 to 25 now and I miss those early years.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

This is hello - goodbye. The taxi to the airport is booked in 20 minutes.


(For 8 days).

Anonymous said...

Have fun!

Chris McMahon said...

My remedy is usually sleep (since I usually don't get enough), nature, and escapism - books, movies. I seem to need to always be in motion either mentally or physically, so I walk for the nature experience and watch movies or read for a physical rest. Works for me, Rowena. Enjoy the rest!

Brendan said...

Mtapam, have you tried thinking of all the excursions as research? It isn't fun, it's future book fodder!

Dave Freer said...

I've always found large sums of money (ie -stopping having to worry about same) refeshed my creativity enormously;-)! And Matapam - I am so with you on the dining out! Otherwise I like to do things which are so absorbing - requiring my entire concentration to stay alive - which also put the perspective back on disasters/real life. Rock climbing is good for this. Gardening and cooking I just go on thinking about problems/book.