Begin at the Bell

The following is an excerpt from 80 Creativity Tips.

A friend of mine said this before writing exercise we did at the kick-off party flash meeting with a lot for the local National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group.

“Begin at the bell” is actually pretty good advice. When it comes to working on our creative projects, we almost always say we don’t have time.

Make time! Otherwise, it will never get done.

Get a timer. Set it for no less than 15 minutes, preferably 30. If you can, have a bell ring to signal the beginning. If not, start the very second your hand comes off the timer.

Whatever it is you do, then do it. Right. Draw. Paint. Cook. Dance.

Create!

When the timer goes off, you can stop, but not before. Give yourself at least that 15 minutes. If you are going good when the time is up, turn the timer off–or reset it–and keep going.

At the end of your time, step back. Look at what you have done and pat yourself on the back.

This is important: Do not evaluate or critique what you have done. Now is the time for creating, not for editing or judging. There will be time for that later.

Here are some tips for you on your work with a timer:

  • Don’t look at the timer. Turn it away from you. If it’s on your phone, turn the display off or turn your phone over.
  • Don’t stop and wonder how much time you have left, no matter how much you want to know.
  • Time isn’t important except as a way to get started. Unless there is a hurricane or a fire, the amount of time that’s passed isn’t important.
  • If you’re writing or drawing, keep your hand moving. Pause as seldom as possible to work out a hand cramp if you need to. (As a side note, if you’re getting cramps like that, it means you’re holding your pen/pencil/paintbrush/knitting needles/crochet hook too tight and need to loosen your grip.)
  • Focus on what you’re doing. This music or TV on in the background? Tune it out. There are people who said they have to work in complete silence. Those people really get any work done. Distractions are a fact of life, even if it’s just your cat jumping up on the desk. Learn to deal with it.

Remember you’re creative in your life, not separate from it.

New Challenge Starting Thursday

Yes, you read that right. A new challenge, 5 Days to More Creativity, starts Thursday, January 10.

Here’s what’s going on.

You will have a total of five prompts. Post a picture of each prompt on your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter page using the hashtag #morecreativitychallenge.

Here are the prompts.

1. Carry a notebook at all times.
2. Know what’s in your tool box.
3. Write every day.
4. Give yourself permission.
5. Put your inner critic in jail.

Check back on this blog every day starting Thursday for more information about the day’s prompt.

Give Yourself the Gift of Creativity

There is something to be said about buying something for yourself from yourself. It’s not selfish (unless absolutely everything is for you). It’s taking care of yourself.

If you want to give yourself the gift of creativity, I can help you with that.

I have three books, Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone; 80 Creativity Tips; and Journal Your Way to Creativity.

Devoted to Creating is a book of devotions centered around creativity. Each one has a verse, short story, prayer, and creativity tip. It’s available in print and on Kindle.

80 Creativity Tips contains tip, exercises, and techniques to help you tap into your creativity. There are photos and pages for you to doodle or take notes. It’s also available in print and on Kindle.

Journal Your Way to Creativity is a 90-day self-guided program to help you uncover your creativity and use it on a daily basis. It is available on Kindle as well as in print, but considering the format, I would recommend the print version so your prompts and journaling are in the same place.

These are just a few ways you can give yourself the gift if creativity. If you would prefer coaching or courses, send me an email and we’ll talk about what would fit your needs.

Spotlight on 80 Creativity Tips

41POmZ+2D0LI started out writing a book of creativity tips with the idea that I would do one creativity tip per day. That was a daunting task. Then I thought that 100 would be good. I don’t remember why I decided on 80 instead, but it sounded like a good, round number.

Every tip is based on personal experience.  I thought if it helped me, it might help someone else.

80 Creativity Tips is available in print and on Kindle. It is $8.25 in print and $3.99 on Kindle.

Starting Friday, November 2, the Kindle version will be free and run through Tuesday, November 6.

Buy it on Kindle or in print.

My Credentials

jen1It has been implied recently that I am not a “real” writer because I am not “serious” about my career. I’m not naming names or anything like it. That is counterproductive to what I am doing here.

It is true that I don’t brag and send out press releases every time I have something going on. That’s my fault. And that will change. But for now, here is a list of–well–a lot.

I have over 20 years of experience in writing for publication. My work has appeared in WritingforDollars.com (unfortunately now out of publication), Writers JOURNAL, Ada Evening News in the main paper (series on meth in Ada) and in the annual Progress Edition, Ada Hub Magazine, Ada Magazine, 4HEALTH Magazine, World Of Myth Magazine, and the OWFI Report (a column of website reviews and Internet-based tools for writers that ran for five years). Articles have also appeared on eHow.com and Demand Studios.

I am a hybrid author, meaning I have been traditionally and independently published. I have two novels and three short stories out under the pen name Kat O’Reilly. I have a series of short ebooks (currently three titles have been released with more to come), a book of devotions, a book about Twitter, books about creativity, and books about planning. Currently, I am working with The Wild Rose Press toward the publication of a paranormal/mystery novel, which is the first in a trilogy.

The complete list of my titles is:

Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone (currently out of print)
Get “Twitter”pated: A Writer’s Handbook to Twitter
Windsong & Other Poems
80 Creativity Tips
Create Your Own DIY Planner
Project Planner for Creatives
8 Patterns to Crochet
Journal Your Way to Creativity

JEN Enterprises Presents:
Why You Need a Writing Practice
BOP Your Way Through Writer’s Block
3 Keys to the Kingdom

Written as Kat O’Reilly:
Navajo Rose
Kiernan’s Curse
“They Call Me Malak”
“This Is Your Karma”
“Sex, Politics, & Vampires”

My articles, novels, and poems have won various awards. I have been a writer-in-residence on several occasions at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs. I have presented at conferences, civic organizations, and even this group. I have served as a contest judge for OKRWA (the Oklahoma chapter of RWA – Romance Writers of America) and OWFI. I have served in numerous volunteer positions within OWFI, including as 1st and 2nd Vice-President. If you are unfamiliar with the OWFI organization, the 1st VP is the person in charge of the contest.

I do not present any of this to put-down or disparage anyone. I mention it only to correct the implication that I am not “serious” about my career.

More News & List of Books

Front cover of the book, Journal Your Way to Creativity, by Jen Nipps

I have another update for you if you’re keeping up with the status of RealmWalker: New Beginnings.

I got an email from the editor requesting the full manuscript. I had the full finished when I sent her the first three chapters a couple weeks ago, so I sent that to her today. Here is part of the email reply from her:

from here I’m sending it on for what’s called a Preliminary Read. it’s like asking for a second set of eyes–all in preparation for a Request For Contract.
That doesn’t mean this is a done deal but it’s a step in the right direction.
This is a delight to read!!!
thank you thank you thank you. You have made my day.

Um….

No.

I’m pretty sure SHE made MY day.

OK. I might have made her day, too. I don’t know. I’m not there.

I will be sure to let you know when there is more news.

On a related subject, I had a friend say that judging by the title, this is a work of fiction and that they thought I write only nonfiction.

Yes, the RealmWalker series is fiction. I almost said I don’t write a lot of fiction, but that’s not exactly accurate. It would be more correct to say I don’t publish a lot of fiction. Most of what has been published is nonfiction.

All nonfiction and poetry is published under Jen Nipps.
All fiction is published under Kat O’Reilly.

Jen Nipps books:
Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone (currently out of print – if you see this on Amazon for an astronomical price, don’t get it. I’m working on re-releasing it.)
Windsong & Other Poems
Get ‘Twitter’pated: A Writer’s Guide to Twitter
8 Patterns to Crochet
80 Creativity Tips
Create Your Own DIY Planner
2018 Project Planner for Creatives
Journal Your Way to Creativity

Kat O’Reilly books:
Kiernan’s Curse
Navajo Rose

Kat O’Reilly short stories:
“Sex, Politics, & Vampires”
“They Call Me Malak”
“This Is Your Karma”

All of the short stories, 8 Patterns to Crochet, and Create Your Own DIY Planner are only available on Kindle. Everything else is available on Kindle and in print.

Wow. That’s the first time I’ve listed everything in one post, I think. And that really wasn’t the intent, but there you have it.

Let Me Back Up a Minute (Ultimate Blog Challenge)

I already had blogs written and scheduled to upload for Sunday and Monday before I read through everything about the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I mentioned at the bottom of Sunday’s post that I would be posting daily in October, but since it was at the bottom of the book launch post, I can understand how it might not have been seen. I’m here to fix that.

What is it?

The Ultimate Blog Challenge is intended to get you posting on your blog on a daily basis. It increases your community and raises your blog in the ranks of search pages. (A blog that is regularly updated ranks higher in search engines than a static website on the same topic.)

So, yes, I will be posting daily in October. After that, I will determine whether I will continue a daily schedule or go back to my previous three-times-a-week schedule.

Who am I?

I’m Jen. I have 8 books published, one out of print, and multiple projects in the pipeline in various stages of development. My main focus on this blog is the creative journey/path. I’ve even started a podcast about it. I talk about my struggles and triumphs and I try to give input/ideas about things that might affect you and your path too.

What are my credentials?

Well…. If you want official credentials, I don’t have any. I don’t have a degree in counseling or coaching or anything like that. What I do have is about 15 years of studying creativity in various ways (videos, books, conferences/lectures, etc.) I’ve written two books about creativity — Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Spark in Everyone (this is the book that is currently out of print, but I hope to have it available again by the end of the year) and 80 Creativity Tips. In case you missed it, I recently published the 2018 Project Planner for Creatives. I am now working on a new project designed to help people get in touch with their creativity. Look for Journal Your Way to Creativity by Christmas.

At some point, I hope to receive training as a creativity coach by the Creativity Coaching Association. I don’t know when that will happen. It’s not a necessity for me, but it’s just something I would like to do.

Anyway…

That’s it for the rewind to let you know about the Ultimate Blog Challenge and a bit about me and how I got started.

Happy creating!