Do you have a creative project that you want to do yet never seem to find the time to do it? Maybe it’s related to your business or maybe it’s something new that you’ve been wanting to try.
My creative project is writing children’s stories. Not exactly aligned with my business strategy work or my previous career as a corporate lawyer!
Yet I’m always making up stories, whether it’s for my nieces or other young friends or simply for me.
Will I ever publish the stories? Maybe. Perhaps only my nieces will read them or maybe I’ll self-publish. The end result isn’t so important to me, which is important is that I’m taking action on a dream I’ve had for years.
And I mean YEARS.
The idea for the story I’m currently working on first came to me as I was enjoying the beach at Amed in Bali . . . in 2015. I furiously scribbled down all of the idea that came to me.
In 2010 I left my last job in a law firm and I remember telling my fellow employees that I was going to take some time out and one of the things I was going to do was to write children’s stories.
In 2006 I was hiking in Courmayeur (at the base of Mont Blanc in France) when I had an idea for my first children’s story. During that day hike I pretty much wrote the story in my head.
From 2006 to 2017 I’ve writing parts of some stories, character descriptions for other stories yet I have never taken focused time out of my day to finish these stories until now.
And it’s all thanks to my laptop crashing . . .
During the week it took to figure out that I had to do a factory reset and completely wipe my laptop to fix it (make sure you have a good data back up people!) I had plenty of spare time on my hands.
I was in Victoria (Vancouver Island) for most of that week so I decided now was a good time to go buy a notebook and get writing. That’s right, with pen and paper. Old school for some of you, but the best way for my creativity to flow.
Every morning I’d head to a café and write the next part of the story. I had a new morning routine.
The way that my creative brain works is that the story comes first, then the writing. This means I’ll be wandering about while the characters are formulating what they’d like to get up to next. Once they’ve let me know I’ll record the next part of the story.
Sitting in front of a blank page and thinking up the next part of the story doesn’t usually work for me.
I’ve loved writing (and reading) since I was a kid.
I won my first writing prize when I was 11. Somewhere out there is a photo of me, taken by a local newspaper, sitting on the monument at the front of our school. I’m dressed in hand me down clothes (from the older sister of a boy I had a crush on. I always worried he would recognize the clothes but I forgot that 11 year old boys aren’t that observant), with a really bad haircut , proudly holding up the certificate announcing my win.
A vague memory comes to mind that I wrote about my Grandma. She was a writer too. She wrote stories for the New Zealand Herald (probably our largest newspaper back there).
After she had passed away I was lucky enough to be given a copy of the journals that she had kept which describe her new life in a tiny town called Kaukapakapa (the same town where I grew up) starting a new farming life on Jordan Island (she had immigrated from England).
That’s right my family has an island AND a road named after it. Kinda fancy huh.
This is a photo of my Grandma, Grandpa and all of their grandchildren (I was the youngest of the bunch so still in my nappies).
Now that my laptop is fixed I’ve had to be really discipled with my time as I still want to write in the morning which means no work and no getting distracted by social media or the cute dog that I’m now pet sitting.
I’ve blocked off the first hour of my work day in my diary. I take pen and paper outside to write and don’t turn on my laptop until after that hour.
What creative project do you have?
What have you been doing that hasn’t been working?
What could you change in your morning routine to turn this around?
I’d really like to know as I think we are all creative in one way or another yet we don’t always give ourselves a creative outlet.