Writer's Notes: Creative Outlets
Sometimes, writing isn't enough of an outlet for my creativity (I know - blasphemous!). I love writing - more than just about anything, but it's not very visually or tactile-y (?) stimulating.
Craftiness runs in my family, and I don't mean the sly, super-spy type (although it would be really cool if that did too). My maternal grandparents are both crafty sorts who have had many different hobbies throughout their lives (quilting, leather working and wood working being top choices), my paternal grandmother was a crocheter like myself, my dad isn't "crafty", as per say, but he gets rather creative with computers, and my mom does stained glass, but she's also had a myriad of hobbies ever since I was young. It's really not all that surprising that I've got that same "urge to create"...although oddly enough, my sister seems to have escaped it for the most part. My husband likes woodworking, as well as coming up with new Halloween props and infrastructure, which is a lot of fun too.
Over the years I've done quite a few crafts myself - embroidery, scrap dolls, soap making and crochet. I don't care much at all for embroidery - I don't have the patience for it, and the scrap dolls were fun, but tedious after awhile. I hate to sew, so I don't quilt or do any kind of fabric work (including hemming my dress pants, of which one leg has been "hemmed" with safety pins for nearly a year now).
But I do really love to crochet...I can't even begin to tell you how much I love the feel of different yarn textures running through my fingers and the motion of stitching with a hook. I had to stop when I started writing seriously, due to a lack of time, but I've been wanting to start again for quite awhile now. I think if I do get to start again, it will have to be a weekend project, considering how full my evenings are already. Still, I can't make myself get rid of my yarn and thread stash, so hopefully I'll get back to it soon.
I've also dabbled in some fimo clay sculpting...just small projects for our Halloween party invitations, but now I have a couple of much larger projects in mind. In my smurf collection, I have several "sets" of themed smurfs, and I'd like to make some clay houses and settings to stage them on/in for display, so they're not just sitting there on risers. Scenes from Smurf village, as it were. I've tentatively planned out a beach/waterfront setting, a baseball stadium, and a bar/concert hall to start, as well as a simple residential area with mushroom houses and flowers and such.
You would think that spending brain power on all of these "alternate" creative projects would be draining, and take away energy that could/should be spent writing, but for me, it actually helps to get away from the stories for awhile and let my mind gnaw on something completely different. When I engage in a more tactile art form (working with yarn/thread or clay), it actually kind of infuses my thinking with all of these new ideas, and at the same time, it takes the pressure off my stories for a little while. And that's when I get those "lightbulb" moments that really add to whatever story I happen to be working on subconsciously.
It's true that writers never really stop writing - it doesn't matter what we're actually doing, the stories and characters are always in our heads. And I think that's why working on something else for awhile can be so beneficial...it helps shift my perspective so I can see things in a way I might not have before.
Now that we're all thinking about creating stuff...what do you like to create when you're not reading or writing?
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