The other day, I was feeling a little overwhelmed with the “business” side of writing. I was trying to negotiate prices, dates and times for a Creative Writing Club I’ll be teaching later this winter. The negotiating process was involving a lot of back and forth emailing as well as a lot of fiddling with numbers, hour and planning costs. I was also updating my website to include my romance novellas and fiddling with formats and links.
If you haven’t taken a peak lately, stop by and visit my home page. You’ll be able to see the covers for all my romance novellas as well as my two young adult novels on the home page. When you click on any of the book covers, you’ll be led to a separate page with more information.
At the same time as I was updating my website and negotiation teaching prices, I was also doing edits for my Christmas Romance Novella, LOVE’S CHRISTMAS GIFT, which will be out in the next couple weeks. It’s the third in my sailor romance novella series and will be published in both a single title short story for all types of ereaders as well as in a Christmas Anthology with four other BooksToGoNow romance authors. I got to see the anthology when I was proofing my story and it looks fabulous! I can’t wait to read the other stories in the collection. I will post when the book is available to buy!
Needless to say, all of that business work makes me a little brain dead for creative work–something I couldn’t afford to be right now as I was just asked to write a story for one of Musa’s YA Anthologies which will be released in February or March. Musa is publishing two YA short story anthologies. One is about Outsiders and Outcasts and one about First Experiences. My story will be included in the First Experience anthology.
I was just at the point of going into a serious writer’s block when I remembered the best way for me to shrug off the business side of writing and get back to the creative side is to find some form of creative play. And for me, the best form of creative play is mixed-media collage and art journaling. So, I headed into my craft room, pulled out some of my art journal books and notes and got busy making a Junk Journal. A Junk Journal is something I learned in one of Carla Sonheim’s classes. The idea is to collect a lot of junk mail such as all those great election mailers that slammed my mail the last couple weeks. Next, you paint over the junk mail with a couple different color coats of watercolor paint. Then, you do some doodling and drawing based on what you see in the water color blobs. Finally, you Gesso the blobs you have doodled. Each of these steps takes about ten-fifteen minutes to do with a drying period in-between, and the idea is that it’s not supposed to BE anything at all. It’s just play. And that was exactly what I needed to free me from the business side of writing. After each session, I was ready to get to my computer and write.
And that short story I had to write? Done. Finished and sent off to the editor. I am now working on a Valentine’s Day romance short story. (I have to admit, these holiday stories are a little tricky. In order to release near the holiday, they have to be written and submitted way in advance of the holiday. I wrote two Christmas stories in June. Now, when it’s Thanksgiving, I’m working on Valentine’s Day!)
While I was in my exploration for play, I noticed that Carla Sonheim has a new book out called, THE ART OF SILLINESS, and it’s exactly what the title says. Quick exercises in being silly–a perfect does of medicine for those of us who work in the arts and at times can get too bogged down in the business of being an artist!
You can find THE ART OF SILLINESS at all your favorite bookstores. And this writer has it on her holiday Amazon wishlist!