Friday, May 21, 2010

The Power of Creative Hobbies

We've talked about creativity a lot on this blog and ways to break a writing block by using other forms to spark ideas for your story. But what is creativity and why do some of us feel a huge pull to be creative every day where others don't seem to have a creative bone in their body?

I looked up the definition of creativity today to see if it gives any insight. This is the definition from for creativity:

The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts.

The definition isn't very helpful, but I think there is one key word in it: imagination. Kids are raised in different environments across the world, some lending more to creative ideas and imagination. Although my family isn't very creative or artistic, I was always encouraged to find games to play or things to invent when I was bored.

As far back as I remember,
my free time was spent drawing, coloring and making things out of virtually nothing. I would take pieces of notebook paper and glue, tape and staple them together to make clothes like vests, shoes and hats so that I could dress up like a character I had invented. I would build tents and forts out of household items and despite my mom not being all too thrilled that I would sometimes use her good sheets and towels, instead of making me stop, she would give me old items she had that I could keep using.

Books fueled that creativity later into paintings and drawings leading me to an art degree in college. Many parents would not approve of their child going to college to earn an art degree, but my mom was the one that suggested it when I didn't know what to major in during the application process. I would have never thought it was even an option, because honestly, what do you do with an art degree? Now at 30, I have made, as well as my husband, a decent living out of my art degree.

Even today, I still feel that pull to be creative. Sometimes it's my downfall, leading me to too many hobbies and activities that I don't have time for.
My creative hobbies give me an escape that I need to stay sane in this crazy world. Unfortunately I don't draw or paint anymore, but I turned the time I would have spent now writing. I use words to paint my pictures instead of oil and acrylic paint. That's not to say that I will feel the will to pick up a paint brush once again at some point, but right now I don't feel the need.

I recently felt the need to start another creative hobby, even though it doesn't seem like I have the time to. One day back in December, I woke up and realized that I wanted to learn how to crochet. My mom tried to teach me a few years back, but just couldn't understand. I'm left-handed, she right-handed and her tutorial just ended in frustration on both our parts. I searched on Youtube and found amazing videos for left-handed crochet, went to my local craft store and purchased yarn and hooks. I haven't stopped since. I now spend any free time I have when I'm not writing, at work or reading making little amigurumi. I have a blast doing it, and it keeps my hands busy when watching tv or movies at home. It has scratched the itch I had been feeling to be more creative, and even helps my mind relax and solve issues with my writing that don't seem plausible. I know that this won't be the last creative hobby I pick up, but right now it makes me happy. I'm even starting a blog to show off my new hobby, but it's not ready to share yet! When it is, I'll be sure to post the link for anyone that is interested.

I want to know, what are some of your creative hobbies that keep you happy? Do you feel the creative itch when your other hobbies aren't filling a void?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Vlogging the NYC Tour

Well, kids, only four more sleeps until I jump on the plane bound for NYC! Wowza, this has been almost a year in the making and I can’t believe it’s finally this close, this real. I’ve packed and repacked. Even loaded up stuff I still need to survive – hello – you can’t pack your CHI a week before your trip…duh….

Kitty and I will be rooming together and taking NYC by storm. Along with the most awesome, Tami, we've been critique partners for over two years, but this will the first time we meet in person. While Tami won't be joining us, we're working on a writers retreat in the future and hopefully the YAedge crit crew can meet as well.

Since my hubbie has to work, my sister – and wonderful champion in all that I do – has agreed to join us on this adventure. Thanks, Brynn!! She’s our honorary Wolfy Chick and has agreed to help us document our BEA/NYC experiences by manning the video camera.

At the end of each day, we’ll compile our video / still pictures and create vlogs of the amazing, odd or fantastical moments. You’ll get an insider view of what it’s like for newbie authors as we do our Class of 2k10 events - book signings / panel discussions.

I'll be posting the vlogs to both the Wolfy Chicks blog and YAedge since I think YAedgers will get something out of the BEA footage. Look for our first vlog on Saturday, May 22nd!