Writer’s Notes: Creative Outlets

Sometimes, writing isn’t enough
of an outlet for my creativity (I know – blasphemous!). I love writing – more than just about
anything, but it’s not very visually or tactile-y (?)  stimulating.
Craftiness
runs in my family, and I don’t mean the sly, super-spy type (although
it would be really cool if that did too). My maternal grandparents are
both crafty sorts who have had many different hobbies throughout their
lives (quilting, leather working and wood working being top choices), my
paternal grandmother was a crocheter like myself, my dad isn’t
“crafty”, as per say, but he gets rather creative with computers, and my
mom does stained glass, but she’s also had a myriad of hobbies ever
since I was young. It’s really not all that surprising that I’ve got
that same “urge to create”…although oddly enough, my sister seems to
have escaped it for the most part. My husband likes woodworking, as well
as coming up with new Halloween props and infrastructure, which is a
lot of fun too.
Over the years I’ve done quite a few crafts
myself – embroidery, scrap dolls, soap making and crochet. I don’t care
much at all for embroidery – I don’t have the patience for it, and the
scrap dolls were fun, but tedious after awhile. I hate to sew, so I
don’t quilt or do any kind of fabric work (including hemming my dress
pants, of which one leg has been “hemmed” with safety pins for nearly a
year now).
But I do really love to crochet…I
can’t even begin to tell you how much I love the feel of different yarn
textures running through my fingers and the motion of stitching with a
hook. I had to stop when I started writing seriously, due to a lack of
time, but I’ve been wanting to start again for quite awhile now. I think
if I do get to start again, it will have to be a weekend project,
considering how full my evenings are already. Still, I can’t make myself
get rid of my yarn and thread stash, so hopefully I’ll get back to it
soon.
I’ve also dabbled in some fimo clay
sculpting…just small projects for our Halloween party invitations, but
now I have a couple of much larger projects in mind. In my smurf
collection, I have several “sets” of themed smurfs, and I’d like to make
some clay houses and settings to stage them on/in for display, so
they’re not just sitting there on risers. Scenes from Smurf village, as
it were. I’ve tentatively planned out a beach/waterfront setting, a
baseball stadium, and a bar/concert hall to start, as well as a simple
residential area with mushroom houses and flowers and such.
You
would think that spending brain power on all of these “alternate”
creative projects would be draining, and take away energy that
could/should be spent writing, but for me, it actually helps to get away
from the stories for awhile and let my mind gnaw on something
completely different. When I engage in a more tactile art form (working
with yarn/thread or clay), it actually kind of infuses my thinking with
all of these new ideas, and at the same time, it takes the pressure off
my stories for a little while. And that’s when I get those “lightbulb”
moments that really add to whatever story I happen to be working on
subconsciously.

It’s true that writers never
really stop writing – it doesn’t matter what we’re actually doing, the
stories and characters are always in our heads. And I think that’s why
working on something else for awhile can be so beneficial…it helps
shift my perspective so I can see things in a way I might not have before.

Now that we’re all thinking about creating stuff…what do you like to create when you’re not reading or writing?


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