All posts tagged: Creative Process

A man with tape stuck all over his face.

Stuck? Try This

A few weeks ago, while working on my novel, I got stuck. I’d come up with a story-within-my-story to explain my shapeshifters’ origins. It was interesting and clever, but it explained nothing.  Also, the chronology was f$%^ed. My struggles left me wondering if I was a fraud and full of shit. Aren’t I supposed to be an expert on creative blocks? How could I be having one? Why it’s OK to be stuck Because Creative Unblocking isn’t about never running into obstacles; it’s about knowing how to get around them. You don’t master it once and forever, either. It’s a practise, like yoga. That’s why I sometimes find it useful to re-read my own book. We all have wise and unwise parts of ourselves. My wisest self wrote Creative Unblocking. My unwise self authors my doubts. In her novel Medicine Song, my sister Celeste Lovick calls her heroine’s wisest self her “Inner Peace Chief”. An easy trick One way I’ve found to access mine is to write down a question before I go to bed and trust I’ll …

A long bookshelf stacked high.

3 Keys to Creative Longevity: Holly Lisle

Novelist Holly Lisle is no stranger to creative setbacks.

The worst came after she discovered her ex-husband was a child molester and she went on medication to deal with the resulting depression. “Prozac completely killed my ability to write,” she remembers. The publishing industry wasn’t particularly kind, either. Photo by Alextype, Adobe Stock.

Twice the Work, Half the Effort

“Lack of time” is a common excuse for avoiding creative projects.

While our schedules are often scapegoats for the real problem (crippling self-doubt), it’s also true that many of us are too tired and overwhelmed most of the time to do the work that calls to us most deeply.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

4 Ways to be Original: Manjula Selvam

My introduction to Manjula Selvam’s work came in the form of chaos on the front porch, where I found her folding fan after meticulous paper fan from old magazine pages.

A day or two later, I glimpsed her daughter prancing through her living room in a gorgeous silver ballgown sewn from old refrigerator insulation.

3 Ways to Work Around Your Ego

I’ve lost a lot of writing contests lately. Well, I didn’t lose them, exactly, but I definitely didn’t win anything. I’ve gotten a lot of plain old standard-issue rejection letters, too. It’s been a great opportunity to reflect on how my ego slithers into my creative work. Ultimately, the ego causes all my creative blocks, and probably yours too. It’s what tells me I’m a worthless human if people don’t like my writing, which is the thought underlying every other thought that stops me, thoughts like, But I can’t write until I’ve checked my email. It’s what tells me to write what’ll make me look good instead of what’s true. It’s what stops me from sharing what I’ve written. It pulls my attention to the reception of my work, and away from my real reasons for creating: to touch people, to make them laugh, to show them they’re not alone, to take them for awhile off their mental hamster wheels (we’ve all got them), and to give what I can. Still, I’ve made stuff and shared it. Luckily, we don’t have to lose …