I credit Problogger Cyndi Lavin as being the one who returned me to writing on a regular basis. Due to her encouragement, I started to publish guest posts on blogs, including her own, and various articles to online jewelry magazines. I am proud to feature her writing space here on No Wasted Ink.
I don’t really remember there ever being a time when I wasn’t making something, even if it was just making a mess as a small child! I credit my mother, RuthAnn Lavin, with encouraging and modeling everyday creativity for me. I was always making, and sometimes selling, small things as a child, but I discovered along the way that what I really like most is helping other people figure stuff out too. Creativity has too narrow a definition in some peoples’ worlds, and I really believe that if you find the form of creativity that you were designed by your Creator to express, you’ll be a much happier person.
To that end, I began writing up instructions for projects that were published in various magazines and books, and then I got involved in blogging back in 2005. My blogs quickly became a way that I found to share art projects with people who were actually interested in learning to do some of the things I do.
When people ask me what I do for a living, my standard reply is, “I make things and I write about it.” If they show interest, then I elaborate, but it still strikes me that is the best description of my work day. I have a wonderful studio which includes space for both my work table and my writing desk. While the work table is most often chaotic and messy, my writing space is pretty neat and organized. Yes, there are a few piles, but they are kept to a minimum. I like being able to move quickly from my work table, where I also shoot most of my pictures, over to my writing desk where I keep my projects organized for future publication.
My favorite making/writing project to date has been my e-book, Every Bead Has a Story, which is about my explorations in mixed media bead embroidery. I published it a chapter at a time, both because I was too excited to wait and also so that readers could acquire only the chapters that interested them. The first chapter is free, so if any of your readers would like to take up a new hobby, they are welcome to help themselves.
I am more focused on the act of writing in my links for this week. How to research a novel, archetypes of novels and how to define the category you novel might be published in. I hope you’ll find it as useful as I did in my process of learning about and following the treads in publishing here on No Wasted Ink.
Please welcome this guest post by D. Savannah George about her personal writing space here on No Wasted Ink.
Steven Taylor Goldsberry gives the following excellent advice in The Writer’s Book of Wisdom: “Work in an Inspiring Environment. Whatever you need to set the mood for serious creativity, go ahead and spoil yourself.”
So what inspires me? Practically everything. I love color, flowers, antiques, turtles, history, feathers, whimsy, pens in every shade and hue… the list goes on and on.
In my basement studio in my house on top of a mountain in northern Arkansas, I’ve created a haven. I’m surrounded by books, art supplies, and art, and outside the glass doors is full-on nature: bunnies, birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, the occasional deer. I can’t see my closest neighbor because of the trees.
Inside, I’ve pinned a little bit of everything I love to the bulletin board above my desk. The chair I sit on is actual wood, and probably over 100 years old. To the right of my desk sits an antique farm table, on top of which is a 50s-era Royal typewriter. (Every writer needs one! If nothing else, to remind us of how easy we have it now.) Next to that is the aquarium where my pet turtle lives. The sound of her filter – running water – reminds me of the ocean, which is my heart home. I often work with the dog under my feet and one of the two cats curled up on my lap or on my notes.
But nothing can replace actual paper. I wrote my first “books” on brown paper, tied with red yarn. I often refer to an 1888 edition of The Pocket Gem Pronouncing Dictionary and the 10-volume Collier’s New Encyclopedia from 1921 – if not for ideas, then for a chuckle. And I scribble down ideas in my notebook, a catch-all for everything creative – poems in progress, notes on the chapters for the book I recently turned into my publisher, sketches for commissioned art…
At every turn, I see something amazing and inspiring and joyful – a photo of my grandmother, who turns 94 in September; a card from a dear friend that tells me unequivocally that she believes in me; a Classic Peanuts cartoon that shows Snoopy typing “Dumb” on his old typewriter, Lucy telling him “This is the title of your new novel? I think you can do better than that”, then his revised title: “Beyond Dumb”.
So, that’s my writing space. When I can’t be here, I’ll write anywhere: in the car, in a hotel room, on a plane. And so can you. Just spoil yourself. And write.
D. Savannah George has a tendency to be verbose, so writing short blog posts is good exercise for her brain. She is a multi-disciplinary artist – she writes, paints, crochets, takes photographs, and makes beaded jewelry, bookmarks, and notecards. She has published several short stories and a number of poems, as well as numerous articles in various newspapers and magazines, and has won several awards for her writing. Her first book, A Spicy Secret, #22 in the Annie’s Attic Mystery Series, will be released in January 2013. She also serves as a book editor for authors and several small publishers.