Sorry for the hiatus last week! I was traveling, visiting family, and thought I could record on the road. Obviously that didn’t happen. But I’m back this week with seven new words to help you write something that surprises you!
The Writing Promptcast is the podcast you listen to while you write. It is a series of word prompts, each separated by several minutes of silence. Let your imagination run wild!
I thought I would be able to podcast and post while traveling with a toddler and visiting family, but that’s turning out to be harder than I thought. With that in mind, there will be a brief hiatus here on The Writing Promptcast. I should be back next week with a new podcast, but in the meantime, please go back and try repeating one you’ve already done. See if you get a different story!
Episode 24 – 10 minute writing practice using word prompts
“Creativity requires faith. Faith requires that we relinquish control (p 193).”
“All too often, we try to push, pull, outline, and control our ideas instead of letting them grow organically. The creative process is a process of surrender, not control (p 195).”
Let’s talk pantsers vs. plotters. If you’re not familiar with the terms, here’s the breakdown.
There are writers knows as Plotters. They plot. They outline. They figure out each scene and what happens before they begin actually writing. They know the story they want to write.
There are writers known as Pantsers. They write “by the seat of their pants.” They don’t know what the next scene or the next sentence will be. They don’t know what their characters will say or do next. Each scene is a surprise, even to them. They may have a vague idea of where the story is going, but they let it unfold and let it surprise them.
Obviously, Cameron is an advocate of pantsing. Which is okay by me – a pantser. 🙂
“As creative channels, we need to trust the darkness. We need to learn to gently mull instead of churning away like a little engine…(p 195).”
I spent a lot of time while living abroad wanting desperately to write, and not doing so. I spent a lot of time stewing on my story, trying to follow threads to see if I liked a storyline. I did a lot of mulling, and I felt really bad about it, because I had nothing to show for it.
But that’s one of the hidden parts of writing. No matter how much you might hear, “Writers write,” writing isn’t just about the physical act of writing. It includes that mulling process. That puttering around while thinking. That, what seems, fallow period.
We need to let go of the idea that creativity must necessarily produce something. Sometimes creativity is that little puppet show going on inside your head.
“Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise (p 195).”
This is what The Writing Promptcast is all about! The mystery and surprise of where a single word can take the story. It’s what I love about it. You don’t have to know the story – just let it unfold in front of you.
Confession time: I haven’t been doing my morning pages in over a week. I just couldn’t stomach them anymore. I needed a break. Cameron would be so upset with me, I’m sure. I am going to try them again next week, and I’ll see if I notice a difference. Maybe I get more out of morning pages than I think I do. We’ll see.
I did do my Artist Date, though. I went to an exhibit on woodturning which was really interesting. Many gorgeous pieces of wood, bowls, cups, vases, and more. The thing about wood, though, is that it’s warm, and as such it calls out to be touched. Unfortunately, no touching allowed for these pieces. When I remarked to one man about this, he let me handle one of his pieces, and we got to talking. I ended up buying a small bowl from him. A little keepsake for my desk.
So, have you gotten through all 12 weeks of The Artist’s Way? Do you feel more creative, more energetic, happier? Next week, I’ll post about the Epilogue and Appendices, as well as recap the book and share some final thoughts.
Episode 23 – 15 minute writing practice using word prompts
“…a moving meditation…. The goal is to connect to a world outside of us, to lose the obsessive self-focus of self-exploration and, simply, explore. One quickly notes that when the mind is focused on other , the self often comes into a far more accurate focus (p 185).”
I’ve never been great at meditation. Sitting still in silence and emptying my mind is beyond me. I can’t do yoga on my own, I have to go to a class. Like Martha on p 187, “I am able to meditate more in motion than sitting still.” That being said, I’ve always hated walking. It bores me. Like with meditating or yoga, I can’t shut off my brain. I get so focused on what’s inside my head I start to go a little crazy.
Running, on the other hand, silences all those little voices in my head, calms me, let’s me relax. My mind goes blissfully blank, in a way I usually desperately need. Unfortunately, years ago, I hurt my knee, and I’ve been unable to keep running regularly. What happens is, I decide I want to run, I run several times fine, then my knee screams at me and I stop running again for another year. I’m currently in my “starting to run again” phase, two weeks in, actually. We’ll see how long it is until I get hurt.
What I really want to do is swim. I think swimming would be wonderful physical meditation. I love this: “Babitz swims in order to direct the traffic flow of her own overcrowded mind (p 186).” This is what I want, what I lust after. Focusing my monkey mind.
I’m working on getting access to some sort of pool…
In the tasks, Cameron asks us to inventory the ways we’ve changed since Week 4. The thing is, I’ve never really done that “It’s okay” thing, at least with myself. I don’t feel any different than I did in Week 4, or even Week 1. I don’t feel the morning pages have performed “spiritual chiropractic,” unless the goal was to get me bent out of shape having to do them. In fact, I had a break with the morning pages this week. I still hate them. Most days I get nothing out of them, although yes, some days I have. I have about a 5% success rate. All they do is piss me off. And I don’t think a 5% success rate is worth being pissed off 95% of the time. So this week, I just stopped. I’ll get back to it, finish out the course, but I just needed a break. And you know what? I feel okay. Not “okay,” but really okay.
I’ve always been true to myself. I know who I am, I know what I want to do. I’ve known all along. It’s just the doing it that’s hard these days. I don’t need help finding out who I am, I need help building a time machine so I can stop time and get everything accomplished in the day.
“Creativity is oxygen for our souls. Cutting off our creativity makes us savage. We react like we are being choked. There is a real rage that surfaces when we are interfered with… (p 181)” Having had a few days of rage just before reading this, I’m quite familiar with the rage, the feeling of being choked. It’s an accurate description.
How are you doing with the book? Have you changed since Week 4? What is your moving meditation? I’d love to hear from you!
Up Next, The Artist’s Way Week 12: Recovering a Sense of Faith
Episode 22 – 10 minute writing practice using word prompts
The Writing Promptcast is the podcast you listen to while you write. Do not listen to it while driving, or while out for your morning run, or while cleaning the house. This podcast does not offer writing advice or feature interviews with authors. This podcast functions as a writing practice, using word prompts to fuel your creativity.
Here’s how it works. You should be ready to write, whether that’s with a computer or pen and paper. I will start you off with a word prompt, and then you will hear several minutes of silence. Then I will give you another prompt, followed by more silence. And so on and so forth.
What you do with each word is up to you.
How does the Writing Promptcast work? Find out here.