Inquisitve Minds


apple-tree-image

 Writer’s are innately curious, you do understand that, right?  It’s an insatiable drive that urges us onward constantly asking why. If your child is asking you questions like “What did little red riding hood have in her basket? Did she forget her glasses that she couldn’t see that it was a wolf instead of Grandma?  How did Peter fit his wife in the pumpkin shell? Was she a fairy?”

My mother quit reading me fairy tales quite early, relegating that task to my sisters. I was a wiz at reciting my nursery rhymes just like I was taught.

Little Boy Blue,
Come blow your horn,
The sheep’s in the meadow,
The cow’s in the corn;
But where is the boy
Who looks after the sheep?
He’s under a haystack,
with little bo peep! 

Wait, that isn’t how you learned it?  Yeah, my sister’s had a wicked sense of humor. When I started asking questions of why, my mother deferred me to my siblings who are much older than me. They were quite creative in their answers and the more inquisitive I was in a line of questioning, the more abstract the answer would become until it satisfied my mind. At times I was slow to catch on because as a child I was naive and trusting.

I learned rather quickly that the things I had been taught, the answers I was given were rarely the correct ones. I also learned cynicism and sarcasm at an early age as well.

Why is the sky blue? Because God ran out of green after painting all the trees.

Why don’t apples grow in the garden like cucumbers? Because if they did, the rabbits would get fat. 

Why do fish eat worms? Because they like their insides tickled. 

Seriously, who does this to a child??  The thing is, most of the population accepts things on blind faith. Creatives, on the other hand, question everything. My mother had little tolerance for questions of any sort. The most common answer was ‘because I said so that’s why’.

In this vein, I made a point to answer my kid’s question to the best of my ability.

So what does this have to do with anything? It has everything to do with writing. If the person can’t ask questions,  they will never come up with original story ideas. You have to know facts before you can deviate from them. For instance,  gravity makes everything fall down towards the earth. So, if some alternate force were to be in effect, then objects would either float in the air or accelerate towards the sky.

From asking why is how abstract thinkers get strange, unique ideas for science fiction and fantasy. Romance writers have a different angle in their creativity. We have to come up with relational issues, not alternate laws of physics. Any writer takes the opportunity to ask what if, creating chaos for their characters.

Which leads me to my current WIP, Roxy Sings the Blues. Originally posted on Storytime Trysts as Oral Dilemma, I’ve been revising that hot mess to be something a little more substantial than serial posts to fill a time slot. I’m fairly pleased with some of the scenes as I hope you will be also.

Last year, I participated in a snippet share on Sundays with some blogger friends. I decided that on Tuesday I would share teasers from the WIP as those Sunday posts seemed to be a big hit but I am often not online on weekends. Here’s a little teaser for your pleasure:

“You’re up next Ms. Winters. Can I get you anything while you wait? A water with lemon? Hot tea?” David motioned a stagehand over towards us then instructed him to bring a chair for me while I waited. “Have a seat while Cameron finishes his set.”

I gladly took the offered seat, my legs were like jello in the platform heels. I was about to achieve a long time dream and to top it off, Devon was by my side. If I died today, I would die a happy woman.

What does all of that have to do with what I’m about to do now?

Everything! It’s not the string of bus stops along the route, it’s the entire journey. Allow me to share from the point where it really started.

I know, it’s just a teaser. Let me know what you think. Are you curious to read more? Would you like longer teasers? stick with short? Talk to me!

I’ve got a  schedule for release in my planner, a date that I am shooting for. I am really trying to focus on one project to completion this year. Hopefully, it won’t be too painful of a transition for me to actually be productive.

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

My Secret Garden


I have  been given the opportunity to take part in

The Creative Promoter’s 2nd Blog Carnival.

YAY!

Thank you Lisa Anne Wooley and Fred Charles!

 The theme: Places where we find creativity.

Quotidiandose does not own rights to this image.  All rights reserved to the artist.

Quotidiandose does not own rights to this image. All rights reserved to the artist.

Creativity  is something that comes from within.  The art of creating something, whether a craft project,  a painting, woodworking,  writing, music – they are all expressions of inner creativity.  When I first read the theme for this project,  I read it as inspiration, or the places that inspire creativity.

There is something magical that happens when  the spark ignites a Creative’s passions.  I can find  no pattern,  no specific  commonality to what  will  ignite that spark.  It has varied from sitting on my sofa flipping through a  home improvement magazine, to walking behind a push mower, to  planting seedlings in my garden.  I’ve been inspired while riding in the passenger’s seat of a car and even while I was driving alone with the radio blaring.

Turbulent skies

Turbulent skies

While some people say that the beach inspires them,  I feel that a beach setting in a tropical paradise does more to bring peace, calm and  relaxation  to my normal stressed state of existence. Some are inspired by mountains but while I admire the beauty and majesty of them,  I don’t feel particularly inspired in a creative way.

The settings that  inspire my creative nature are varied,  but if there is a commonality to them  it would be  something out of the ordinary. Here are just a few:

  • An old abandoned house that has fallen in disrepair that at one time must have been a statement of status.  (Inspired Arturo’s Treasure; mystery intrigue tale of pirates, buried treasure, betrayal, and  romance that spans generations. [Watch for it in 2016])
  • An eerie boggy creek bend that  has recently flooded and is alive with insect noises that  gives an audible  hum in the air. (Inspired Blight Creek;  a zombie tale of a different nature. [Watch for it in 2016])
  • The dressing room of a bridal shop where my daughter tried on Prom dresses. (Inspired Death by Design; Haute Couture styles to die for! [Watch for it in 2017])
Abandoned  estate home in St. Louis.

Abandoned estate home in St. Louis.

I think more than any setting or place that inspires my imagination is the magical game of ‘What if’?  While sitting in a restaurant that my husband and I frequented in our dating years we observed a young man get on his knees and propose.  It was a heartwarming sentimental moment that  brought a tear to my eye.

It sparked conversation between my husband and myself of our beginnings, and as I mulled that over and over in my mind  it sparked What if? in the scene we had witnessed.  What if the couple were perfect for one another,  but his ex decides she  isn’t through?  What if there is a tragic accident?   What if she goes to jail?  (Red Wine & Roses scheduled for release in 2015!) (Oral Dilemma, scheduled for fall of 2015)

I know people who play the ‘what if’ game in their own lives,  constantly worrying about things that will never happen.  Worry is such a useless time waster. The majority of the times those things we worry about never happen.  But in the fiction world, anything and everything can happen.  We can throw our characters into  the fire,  into the next fire,  into the impending disaster,  into and out of relationships, give them an incurable disease,  poison them,  shoot them, and basically wreak havoc in their  fictional lives to play out the scenarios that would send  ordinary folks to the nut house.

It sounds disturbing when you  summarize it concisely like that,  but it’s  the game  many writer’s play  to create some of the best fiction out there.

Once the ideas begin to form, I create a file for them in my ideal garden.  I have a cheap spiral  journal  that I picked up on clearance that I jot down ideas.  In this journal are some sketches of  characters,  sketches of objects from a story idea, and notes about a particular story or character.  Some are all on one page,  some are spread over several pages.  If there is any one  place for my collective creativity, it would probably be this journal. I also have files on my computer and  external hard drive  with  the information once I piece a few things together.

Last summer my daughter was helping me clean  in the basement.  She picked up this journal and tossed it into the trash bin.  I about came unglued. I yelled, screamed, ranted, scooped up my precious journal and ran upstairs to hide it away for safe keeping.  When I was alone with it later,  I opened it, reliving each moment of excitement when I  initially had these inspirations and  gained a new refreshed zeal for a few ideas that had  sat unattended for a while.

Don’t judge me!

It’s funny, my secret garden journal sat in that stack for  a couple of months forgotten while life decided  there were other things to demand my attention.  My rediscovery of this treasured object that looks like a dime store  worthless  notebook reignited my passion like it was  rocket fuel.  Just like in a natural garden,  you leave the seeds covered with dirt for a time, hidden away they begin to germinate. So in a sense another place that I was inspired was a musty cobwebbed basement. Weird, I know.

As I poured over  each and every page, I saw that I had  more  than I thought I did when it was set aside. I saw connections that  I didn’t see before.  Like a Vining plant climbing a trellis, my notes had a thin thread of  the overall theme woven through them.  My true creative nature  flows when I have the pen in hand.  This is the incubator,  the hatching process.  Taking  raw materials – the  boggy creek,  the snooty sales clerk, the young couple – and  formulating my ‘what ifs’ into  a tale of mystery, romance or whatever.

The physical act of writing, pounding out the story on the keyboard  varies between two  stages.  Stage 1 is the driven compulsion to get the story out of my head, where the characters are playing out the scenes faster than I can type.  This is when I am in the flowstate,   when I am immersed in my fictional world. It’s a magical place, a mystical place that  real life demands summons me from too frequently.

Stage 2 sadly is where I have spent most of my writing time.  This is  the disjointed, interrupted, distracted part.  It’s difficult to get back into the flow state of writing when you’ve been distracted from your plan for  the umpteenth time.

Sadly, this is the state where I have to function  more effectively than I have because I don’t just have  ten hours in a day of uninterrupted time to  get things down  onto virtual paper, as is the case with most of the authors I know.  We have lives, families, obligations,  and jobs that demand our time.

Whatever inspires or sparks your creativity, make it a priority in your life.  Pursuit your dreams with passion, in whatever manner you find that works for you.

There is no one place or location that inspires me  to be creative.  Ideas come to me in some of the strangest places. My secret  garden, or inner sanctum’s outer expression would be my  journal.  I’d like to say that it was a nice leather-bound  journal resembling something of an ancient handwritten book,  or as fancy as the Book of Kells,  but alas it’s not.  It’s a meagher little dime store notebook but it works for me.

My Precious - the secret garden journal

My Precious – the secret garden journal

What inspires you?  What sparks your creativity?  Is there a special place that ignites your creative juices?

We are all different, inspired by different things, have different ideas  on how to execute that creativity. I for one am glad for the differences.  It would be pretty boring if we were all of the same hivemind.

Write on my friends, write on!

 Go to CARNIVAL, Lisa’s blog to find the links to other bloggers posts in this  series!

 

 

 

Interview with Author V.L. Locey


Well folks, today I have another guest in ” studio”.  Hmmm, that’s being rather liberal but it sounded better than ‘ hanging out in the kitchen’.  While I  offer up a pot of my best Black Silk, I got the chance to talk with my good friend Vicki Locey. 

I first met her  through Storytime Trysts.  She wrote several steamy stories for our readers on that blog.  Over time, we’ve developed a morning sprint group where we challenge and encourage each other. Some days we do better than others, but one thing that has held true for me – she is an encouragement.  Her example of diligence is motivating.  

With several books under her belt now, this fine lady shared some insight with me.

Do you consider yourself a creative?

I do now. There was a time that I didn`t consider myself creative or artistic. I assumed being artistic meant you painted, or that being creative meant you made something: knitting, needlepoint, pottery, sculpting, that sort of thing. It took me some time to come to terms with myself as an artist. Now I understand that I paint with words.

 Eloquently stated.  I agree, sometimes we tend to pigeonhole.  I thought for many years that since I can’t sing,  have no aptitude for painting or sculpting that I wasn’t an artist.  However, I’ve had many people tell me they loved this piece or that one, that I began changing my view which led me to research this topic of creatives. 

What  media do you use to express this?

Books.

 What  inspires you?  Discuss a specific time that inspiration struck.

My inspiration can come from anywhere or anything. A song on the radio. A severe thunderstorm. A comment made when having coffee with friends.

Oh cool!  Maybe something we talk about today will spark something.  At least you didn’t bring the zombie goo this time. *Vicki. levels  a look at me unsure that I’m joking*

Okay. So you want specifics, eh? I was having coffee with some fellow women authors. One, who is also a hockey fanatic, mentioned something about a rowdy game that she feared would roll out into the parking lot after the game. That tiny comment went home with me, nipping at the corners of my mind. By the next day, I had the idea and characters all worked out for my first M/M hockey novella. Boom. Just like that.

Wow!  That’s Impressive.  I usually don’t get the entire story that quickly, just a basic idea.  Do you ever struggle for inspiration?

Not generally. I seem to struggle to contain all the ideas. Sifting through the chaff to find the good ideas is always hard. They all seem brilliant when they flare to life.

“Oh. My. God. A book about zombie cats who ride Harleys! Yes! YES!”

Uhm. No, Vicki. Let`s not and say we did.

Sounds like some of my ideas when I am sleep deprived.  LOL!

 OOH!  I know, I’ll write a story about a zombie dog that infects the other dogs at the pound!  Right,  a french poodle, a mutt, and a chihuahua!  Yeah, It will be funny!  * shakes head sadly*

 Ok, moving on – Which is more daunting, beginning or the perseverance to finish,  or cutting the “umbilical cord”?

I don`t have any real issues with starting, or finishing.

Cutting the cord? Sometimes, but not usually. If I know that it`s done, then it`s done. I`ve polished it the best I can. Time to submit it and see if the publisher agrees. Sometimes they don`t. Sometimes they do.

I love that about you!  The fact that you don’t get riled up, or stressed out over  it. I’m trying to  learn from your example on that one,  I get all wound up over just the idea that they might reject my work.  Yeah,  I know I have issues. 

Describe your process from inception of an idea to conclusion of your work.

I start with the idea. Then I begin to masticate it, like a new stick of gum. Chewing it over and over, tasting the flavor on my tongue. If it tastes like a winner, then I open a file. In that file are two Word documents. One for the manuscript itself, the other one that I title Odds & Ends. The Odds & Ends document will have my character bios, supporting characters, any information that is relevant to the book, and images of the cast if I can find pictures that I think fit.

OMG – I do that too!  I look online for  people that “fit” the look I am going for  on my characters,  then  put them on the character index cards for easy reference.  I know I need to  move to the modern age and go digital, but I like my cards. 

Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt.  Please continue. 
 
I do not do long involved plot skeletons. I do a beginning, middle, and end. That`s it. I have learned that for me, meticulous plotting silences my muse. She has already written that story and will not rewrite it. So, yeah, Madame Pantser here pretty much leaps on her bike and freewheels through her books. So far it seems to be working out okay.

 Hmm,  I will have to think about what you just said as I’ve fought with my muse numerous times to  get the story written, and she points to my outline and shrugs. 
Of the characteristics of a creative, which category most describes you?  Which one least fits you?
Probably Passions best describes me. The one that least fits I would say is Head Games. I see my traits scattered throughout the categories so it`s really hard to choose just one.

Do you struggle with discouragement, distractions,  or lack of motivation?
Online distractions, yes, at times. I’ve learned to simply turn off Facebook or Pinterest when it`s time to work.

Lack of motivation isn’t a problem of mine.

Discouragement? Sure. There are times I wonder if anyone cares, if anyone is reading my work, if I should just give it up. Then, something seems to come along, a pleasant review or a teenager that hugs me because she has never seen LGBT novels in our county before. Yeah, that lifts me back up. It makes me want to write more.

How do you fund your  lifestyle, and  how would you describe your lifestyle?
Well, my lifestyle isn’t really anything that needs a lot of funding. I`m an author, so I stay at home. I`m still trying to break even on the self-published books I had printed. If you`re looking to get rich, be a doctor or a hockey player. Trust me on that one. The majority of us are maybe making enough to pay for editing on our next books if they’re indie.

Yeah,  I know a lot of people that think if they write A book,  one book that they will be the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling.  Right,  like it’s sooo easy.  They never think of  people like Mark Twain that lived close to poverty even though he was a world recognized author.  Agatha Christie wrote fantastic tales yet she didn’t live in the lap of luxury. For every  rich author, there are hundreds that earn a decent income and still another hundred that  make just enough to keep the lights on.  Sorry, pet peeve there.  * Sips coffee and offers a refill to Vicki*

Tell me about two of your works that you are most proud of.
Of Gods & Goats. It was my first book, and although I`ve learned so much since it went into print, it still symbolizes how brave I was to enter a new career at 50. I`m quite proud of all my works, but perhaps my To Love a Wildcat series is, at the moment, the one I`m feeling the most pride about. Of course, that will probably change when the next series begins, but this one is special. The non-conformity to the size two, perky blonde, white, twenty-year-old cookie cutter romantic leading lady is the reason I`m so proud of my Wildcats stories.

Ha!  I hear you there!  I am all about the nonconformity of my characters, even though I was recently chastised for writing  the overused themes, the damsel in distress thing –  I honestly don’t think I have any damsel in distress in any of my writings.  OK maybe in VAlkyrie’s Curse, I’ll have to look at that one again.  It’s on  the back burner anyway. 

 

What life titles do you hold?  ( mother, brother, sister, dad, uncle, editor, artist, graphic designer, nurse, husband, etc.)

 

Mother, sister, wife, author, chicken herder, hater of commas, reader, hockey fan.

Would you be willing to share a picture of your workspace?

It`s my kitchen table. Someday, maybe, I might have a desk, but until that day all the smutty magic happens here:

 

Vicki's workspace

Have you ever jotted down your idea on a napkin, torn bag, wrapper, or sketched a quick drawing of an item on any of the above?

For sure. Many times! I`ve also leaped out of the shower, repeating an idea or a line of dialog over and over until I can find a towel and a pen and paper.

 

What  piece of advice would you offer other creative?

 

Never let others determine your destiny. Don`t let family and friends tell you that you`re too old, too young, too fat, too skinny, too white, too black, too rich or too poor to pursue your dreams.

 

 That is great advice!  I wish I’d heard it many years ago.  Thank you for coming by and sharing  coffee with me, and for allowing me to pick your brain for my readers.

Vicki Locey
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, anything romantic, Greek mythology, New York Rangers hockey,  comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a steer named after a famous N.H.L. goalie,  a pig named after an American President, and a flock of assorted domestic fowl. When not writing romantic tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand, writing, or cheering on her beloved New York Rangers. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads.

I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/VL-Locey/124405447678452

Twitter- https://twitter.com/vllocey

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807700.V_L_Locey

My blog- http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/

On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=V.L.%20Locey&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank 

Write on my friends, and go read a good book!

 

 

Head Games


connect the dots

I felt these characteristics were different in nature than the ones I put in ‘Mentalist’.

The ones I categorized there were taking in your surroundings and processing them.  External cues that are observed, processed and translated into a unique output.  However, these characteristics are more about internal processes.

The ones I am calling Head Games are the kitchen. This is where the  raw materials are processed or cooked into a savory masterpiece.  When a Creative processes, it’s the difference between the homemade muffins we bake weekly for our family, and the gourmet muffins that we would serve for a holiday gathering.

The logical rational minded person buys the box mix of lemon poppy seed muffins off the shelf for convenience as much as hunger.  I’ve bought the box mix before and they aren’t  terrible.  However,  to really create something,  it’s made from scratch.  The homemade muffins using  fresh lemons and lemon zest,  poppy seeds from the spice section and a dash of that special liqueur that really makes them “pop”.  Presentation matters but it doesn’t matter as much as the taste. If your guests were to bite into that  box mix muffin they would probably be cordial and  choke it down, depending on how hungry they are.  But, if you take the time to really put some effort into what you are serving and making sure the presentation is appealing as well, your guest will be wowed and  the compliments and groans of satisfaction will be evident.

I know,  you’re thinking what does ‘Creative’ have to do with baking? Either that or you’re thinking ‘Stop it! You’re making me hungry.’    Being a creative is not confined to being an artist, writer, singer, or song writer.  Watch an episode of Master Chef, those people create masterpieces with food.  Edible art! I’m a pretty darn good cook, but I would never consider myself a chef.  I watch what those people  dream up with a few ingredients and I am mesmerized.  In that same vein,  those fashion designer competitions  highlight the quick-thinking minds and creative minds of  the competitors. Sometimes  the ‘creation’  is a flop.  Sometimes it is a success, but someone else’s creation was preferable.  Sometimes the creation is far and above anything  that the others came up with.

How to take the same ingredients and come up with a completely different dish is the challenge.  For  those that agreed to contribute to my little series here I gave a couple of options.  There are the interviews because we want to know the process.  How did they get from A to Z,  or was it from Arundel to Zandros? The next option was to include an excerpt or sample of their work.  The last was to contribute a piece from the same  prompt.  This mainly works with writers and song writers.

For most of the population if you have eggs, milk and bread you come up with French toast.  But for the creative chef, you may end up with a souffle, Southern-style bread pudding, or Savory herb strata.

Stop with the food!  I’m hungry! 

I know, I am too and I  need to buy groceries because all I have is peanut butter and crackers.

Alright, moving on before my tummy rumbling  makes the neighbor think there are wild beasts on the loose,  let’s get to these characteristics and you can process for yourself how they translate into art, music, dance or whatever form of creation the Creative mind can dream up.

Characteristics of the Creative’s Head games:

a)      They take time for solitude:  Creatives value alone time.  They understand that being alone doesn’t necessarily mean being lonely.

“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone,” was stated by existential psychologist Rollo May.

Artists are often stereotyped as being loners. Solitude can be the key to producing their best work. For Kaufman, this links back to daydreaming – “we need to give ourselves the time alone to simply allow our minds to wander.”

“You need to get in touch with that inner monolog to be able to express it,” he says. “It’s hard to find that inner creative voice if you’re … not getting in touch with yourself and reflecting on yourself.”

They understand the difference between solitude and isolation.  Even though the two may overlap at times,  there is a distinct difference.  A creative may isolate themselves completely.  My father would go fishing. Just him and the fish out on the lake. It gave him time to think, time to collect his thoughts, time to sort his feelings and emotions. It wasn’t that he had to do it alone, I was often his fishing buddy.  If it wasn’t me,  there was always someone else willing to go even on those early, early mornings when any self-respecting person would be tucked away in dreamland. My father expressed his creativity in woodworking.  He was a master carpenter, cabinet maker.  He made some interesting and unique pieces over the years.  He would  think about the need, then create something that would be astounding in its simplicity yet profound in  it’s ingenious. To him, those times of self-isolation were seeking solitude.

A creative soul understands this need to step back from the rat race,  for solitude – to examine things and sort the thoughts and jumble of demands on our lives, and assess their options.  Many sort things at this  time like  that book I read about men being like waffles.  The creative  mind operates more like the spaghetti strung across the plate, but whether they physically touch the spaghetti, or mentally touch the spaghetti, they are able to see how  each strand fits together to make the whole.  After all, it wouldn’t be a plate of spaghetti  if they were all laid across the plate in the same linear fashion as they are in the box.  That would just be weird!

b)      They are solo travelers, lone wolves    AWOO!  As I mentioned above, the artistic soul is often called lone wolves. I think for the mere fact that we do tend to seek solitude.  Another factor is creative tend to be self-sufficient, and not codependent.  A creative marches to their own drum and are less likely to be lemmings. When the crowd is following the marching band down the middle of the street, and the creative has a different tune playing, it’s easy to not follow the crowd.  Besides, parades can be bad.  Remember what happened in Animal House? Yeah, stick to the side roads and stay away from the main street parade.

Creatives tend to not care as much about peer pressure as the general populace.  Ever notice that the art students, the geek squad, the band geeks, bookworms, eggheads, goth/emo, the nerd society –really don’t care what other people think?  Please don’t take offense by my terms – I’ve been called  all of them at one time or other except emo – it’s hard to be called emo when you are  the hyper one accused of being ADHD, and chronically happy. (And we all know that isn’t truthful cause when I get down I really get down.)

We can function alone.  We don’t pine for the crowd’s approval. Parents may notice early on that their child can sit and entertain themselves.  They are content to play with their toys whether it’s a Barbie fashion show, or a matchbox race of the century featuring Racer X, Mario Spaghetti, and his longtime rival Lex Lugnut.  Sorry, I digress. But you get the idea.  These are the children for whom the parents didn’t have to arrange play dates.  Heck, back in my day there wasn’t any such thing and when you grow up in the country if you didn’t have an imagination,   you were destined to be put to work.  Seriously, if I ever expressed “ I’m bored”,  my dad had a list of chores longer than his arm that needed to be attended to.

c)       They ask the big questions – Creative people are insatiably curious.  They generally opt to live the examined life and somehow maintain a sense of curiosity about the world around them.  They are always learning new things, always curious about how things are done, how they are made, why they are made, why did someone do it that way, what prompted the idea.  These are not ones that tend to take life for granted, or be content with the daily grind.  Creatives want to LIVE life every day.  Whether it’s through deep conversation or letting their minds wander during their times of solitude, creatives want to know why and how it is the way it is.

d)      They get outside of their own head – Kaufman states that daydreaming serves another purpose, to help us to get outside of our own limited perspective and examine other ways of thinking.

“Daydreaming has evolved to allow us to let go of the present,” says Kaufman. “The same brain network associated with daydreaming is the brain network associated with a theory of mind — I like calling it the ‘imagination brain network’ — it allows you to imagine your future self, but it also allows you to imagine what someone else is thinking.”

Getting outside your own head is a key element for writers.  Some seem to instinctively know how to elicit the desired response from their readers.  Others need to work on this as they practice their craft.

e)      They make time for mindfulness – I know, this seems ironic given the above states of getting outside of their own mind. However, getting focused is essential to tapping those creative juices inside us.

Creatives understand the power of a clear and focused mind.  Ever see a movie where the hero goes off and trains, getting ready to kick some serious butt, and part of his training is meditative.  Then he looks up into the camera with “the look” and you know he’s ready.  Yeah, it’s kind of like that.  Whether you call it channeling your energies, collecting your chai, soothing your karma, praying or getting your head on straight – you know when you’ve reached the point of clarity.

Many artists, entrepreneurs, and other creatives turn to meditation as a tool for harnessing their most creative state of mind.

Science backs up this idea.  Mindfulness can boost your brain power in numerous ways.  In a study from 2012, their findings suggest that certain meditative techniques promote creative thinking. Mental clarity leads to mental acuity, which leads to witty and ingenious ideas.  It also suggests that mindfulness  improves memory and focus, emotional well-being, reduces stress and lowers blood pressure.

I don’t know about you, but I think that is reason right there to do whatever juju it is that works for you to get your head on straight.  Sounds like a perfect recipe for a happy healthy life!

f)       They connect the dots – this is something that distinguishing the creative from the non-creative.  The ability to make connections where others don’t. Using a different word to describe – vision.  The visionaries of the world are creative.  The entrepreneurial mind makes connections and has vision.  Kevin Bacon’s 6 degrees of separation?   Genius.  However, when he is asked about it, he says it’s simply connecting the dots.

In the words of Steve Jobs:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

f)       Can see different POV’s – they are able to see the other side of the coin.   One of the problems with this leads to difficulty making up their minds about things because they can see different perspectives.  As an artist, they look at something from a different angle, and suddenly the light bulb goes off.  A writer thinks about what his characters will be thinking and what their perspective is.  They are often able to distinguish that one view isn’t right or wrong, just different whereas the logical mind tends to go to the “I’m right you’re wrong” mode.

In the aforementioned 2012 study, researchers found that “psychological distance” – in other words, looking at things from a different perspective, or thinking about it from different circumstances can boost creative thinking.

Most of these traits can be learned but for the creative, they are instinctual.  They come naturally and don’t even have to think about it.  When   they are asked to analyze it, that’s when the cogs start to clunk and grind because it disrupts their natural flow.

Do any of these traits sound familiar about yourself, your friends, or a family member?

Tune in next week and we will cover the next group, the Entrepreneurs.

For previous posts in this series see:

1. The Creative Mind  (https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/)

2. A Mentalist (https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/)

3. Time Bandits (https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/)

4. Expressions http:// quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2014/6/11/)

Write on my friends, write on!