Thursday, March 12, 2020

Guest Post by Desiree Williams: 5 Unique Activities to Recharge Your Creative Flow

I'm so excited to welcome Desiree Williams to Lands Uncharted today! I connected with Desiree at a writers' conference several years ago, and she is such a fun, thoughtful, genuine person - plus, she writes amazing books! If you like a blend of sweet romance and cool fantasy world-building, you definitely need to check her out! Recently, Desiree put a new (GORGEOUS!!!) cover on her novel Illusionary, and she's celebrating with a blog tour! She stopped by to share with us about her inspiration behind her story and how she keeps up her creativity. 

So without further ado, here's Desiree!


Do you like banging your head against the wall?

Because, in all honesty, life can make us feel that’s all we do every … blessed … day.

Many people wear multiple hats on a given day, at a given time. Trying to juggle all the responsibilities leads to exhaustion—mentally and physically.

And for those who rely on their creative flow to craft for their business, that exhaustion can cause issues. Especially when deadlines are due and the blank screen becomes your mortal enemy.

What’s a writer to do?

For me … I keep busy doing all the things that have absolutely no value in moving my business forward. LOL.

I’m a huge procrastinator when overwhelmed and stressed. “Busy work” becomes my new BFF.

And while I have cultivated better habits over the last several months. There’s one particular day where running into a mental wall birthed out a story idea.


The Birth of Illusionary

Dishes overflowed in the sink. Laundry lay scattered all over the house. My child clamored for help with school. The phone wouldn’t shut up with its constant ringing. At any moment, tears would break past their barrier.

On and on it all went.

My chest hurt for its next breath as I shoved yet another load of laundry into the dryer. I longed for an escape from all the duties and responsibilities.

So desperate in fact, I wondered what would happen if a magical portal opened up in my dryer and whisked me away into another dimension.

Logically, that can’t happen. But I had a good laugh as I imagined my family’s reaction to discovering the dryer had eaten me. Ha!

However, the moment planted a crazy seed within my imagination. One God watered and bloomed into a full-fledged story idea.

I toyed a little with the daydream. Tweaking the details to be a young woman face-planting down the stairs—because dryers do not eat people. [just in case you were worried ;-) ]

And before I knew it, the story idea for Illusionary was born. *throws confetti*

HOWEVER … there are healthier ways of gathering story ideas!! Please don’t run yourself into the ground with stress just to grapple for the daydreams.


Learn From My Mistakes

Before we dive into the tips for creative flow, I’d love to chat quickly about how rest works.

No, I’m not a scientist. Nor do I have a degree in mental health. However, I have failed at a lot of things and learned many lessons the hard way. So this post is for inspiration. To help steer you in the direction to produce balance and more creative flow.

Rest is scriptural and foundational for healthy lives. We need to rest.

Yet, the type of rest we are doing can either recharge us or drain us further. Yep. I’m speaking truth here.

Two concepts to consider regarding rest:

1. If you exhaust yourself mentally/ emotionally during work, then you should rest with your hands.

2. If you exhaust yourself physically during work, then you should rest with your mind.

For writers—at least this writer—I’m constantly pouring myself out mentally and emotionally. Even if I’m writing while on my make-shift treadmill desk, I’m still exhausting most of my energy mentally.

Which means that to recharge, I need to rest with my hands, or in some sort of physical way that gives my mind a complete break.

With this concept in mind, here are my suggestions!!


5 Unique Activities to Recharge Your Creative Muscles

1. Beekeeping

I’m not joking! I promise this isn’t a gag suggestion. Beekeepers aren’t as rare as most people think. And the process is fascinating!

My family set up a hive last spring and the journey has been so rewarding.

[Disclaimer: obviously if you’re allergic to bees and such, then please proceed to another activity.]

I’d recommend poking around your local area and contacting a beekeeper who already has hives. Just to see if this is something you’d enjoy.

Learning about something new, and potentially outside the scope of normal, could be an awesome way to recharge the creative flow. Plus the active work you’d be doing with your hands would give your creative muscles a need break.


2. Abstract Painting

Anytime I mention painting or sketching, people’s first response is “I’m not talented” or “I don’t have the skill”.

But the better statement is “WHO CARES”. The purpose of these activities is to rest.

If you enjoy art in all sorts of mediums, then give painting a try.

I love using acrylics. Mostly because I find them easier to work with. Plus the paint dries faster, so I have a quicker sense of accomplishment. Watercolors hate me. LOL.

And there’s a purpose behind defining the artwork as “abstract”.

Resting has no room for perfection. Effective recharging means turning the logic and critical portions of the brain off.

Another thing to note about this tip: don’t create artwork with the mindset of using it for supplemental income.

Listen … I get the struggle a lot of authors have in regards to finding alternative streams of income. If you already sell your artwork, that’s one thing. But in terms of finding an activating for recharging purposes, don’t go into a project with the added weight and stress of needing to produce a product for income.


3. Landscape Photography

This activity might feel like it’s still using your brain. However, I’d like to steer it in the direction of using your hands and your senses, rather than mental energy.

Think about it …

Let’s say you take a walk down to a local creek to snap random shots. And like the tip regarding abstract art, you’re not focused on producing content for income. You’re just out for a bit of exploring and some relaxing rest.

At the creek, you notice the light reflecting off the water. The birds singing. The wind dancing through the trees. All items your brain is subconsciously cataloging while you’re glancing around for different angles to snap a pretty picture.

With your senses kicking up to catalog your surroundings, you’re not focused on using mental energy to craft stories or tacking those business problems pilling up on your desk.

You’re just focused on the moment and the elements of nature around you—hence, a brain break.

Plus the fresh air and sunshine will refresh you on a physical level as well.

Oh, and you do not need a fancy camera.

The camera on your phone will work just fine. Or any type of camera you happen to have access to.

I have a “fancy” camera. But that simply because I’m investing more into photography as I truly enjoy it and want to strengthen my skills.


4. Cake Decorating/ Baking

Mmmm, cake.

Just do this one, and thank me later.

My daughter inspired this suggestion. She adores baking and decorating her creations. And being the awesome mom that I am *wink*, I help her with orders that come in. [Yep, my skilled girl has an unofficial business!]

I love helping her because her joy creates such a fun atmosphere. Yes, we’re decorating. But we’re mixing colors, exploring different piping techniques, and laughing. Lots and lots of laughter.

And the repetitive act of piping flowers, lines, or dots, forces my mental thought-trains to click off and chill for a bit.

This activity does more than recharge the brain. It’s a great time for family bonding and building lasting memories!


5. Legos!

I’m chuckling at this one, but I had to include it! If you could see the sets of Lego creations filling my house. Ha!

Playing with Legos may seem childish, but honestly … that’s the purpose.

Adulting is hard. Life is complicated. Why not bring a sense of nostalgia back into the mix?

Why not tap into our inner youth and remember what it was like to create people and places with our hands? To construct wacky buildings, ships, or space crafts?

Our lives can flash by in a blink.

Let’s not forget the joy of our youth.


Allow Yourself to Breathe and Daydream

Those are a few of my suggestions to rest and recharge those creative muscles.

Ultimately it’s about finding activities that allow you to breathe and step away from your computer. To focus on being present in the moment.

Life will always be busy. The to-do list will continue to grow and multiply.

Don’t be so focused on pushing the business forward that you forget to invest back into yourself and your creativity.

Daydream. Live. Explore!


Oh, and I’d love to hear what activities you enjoy doing! =D

Feel free to drop them in the comments, or hit me up via email or social media.

Special shout out to Laurie for allowing me to swing by and share a bit of my heart today. It’s been a blast! *tackle hugs*


Blessings,
Desiree


Thank you so much for sharing with us, Desiree! I definitely need the reminder to take a break and rest, and I just love the idea of a portal opening up in your drier :)

Here's a little more about this lovely author:

Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.com. You can also connect with Desiree on her Blog, FacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsNewsletter.





And here's more about Illusionary (which is a fabulous book, if you haven't had a chance to read it yet!):

Dorothy got sucked into a tornado.

Alice fell down a hole.

Wendy flew to Neverland.

Kamryn? She tripped down the stairs.

Now, Kamryn Kensington finds herself in a strange new world. Within minutes of her arrival, she dodges an archer’s arrow and avoids getting sliced up by a cosplay reject holding a dagger to her throat. And that’s before the storyteller’s breath brings stories to life.

Home is the mission—to return to her family and pursue her life’s dream of art and travel. Yet the longer she’s in the Land of Ur, the harder it is not to feel for the people she meets. Even her artistic side can’t help but breathe in the beautiful wonder and magic of this new world. So when the Oracle hands her a different quest, she takes it on the condition he sends her home afterward.

No one thought to warn her of a jealous queen and her dragon minions. Or that, by helping her, the cute storyteller would go crazy. Or that her heart would rip in two when she left. Those would’ve been great facts to know ahead of time.

Considering that nothing in Ur is what it seems, the mission proves to be more than she ever imagined. But more than her own future will be in jeopardy if Kamryn doesn’t succeed.


You can find Illusionary on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks

Thanks again for joining us today, Desiree!

2 comments:

  1. So many good ideas for recharging! I've recently started completing diamond painting kits (like cross-stitch but with beads & a sticky canvas instead of thread.) But since I'm always looking for new things to try, I'll check your list! ☺

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooooh, I love the idea of diamond painting! That sounds fun! And hopefully something on the list inspires a fun--recharging--activity for you. =D

    ReplyDelete

Please note that your comment hasn't gone through unless you see the notice: "Your comment will be visible after approval." We apologize for any difficulties posting comments or delays in moderation.