Upcoming Ultimate Blog Challenge in July

If you were around this site in April, you might remember the Ultimate Blog Challenge I participated in. If you didn’t, the goal is to publish one blog post a day every day for the month of the challenge. This time, it’s July.

I thought about not doing it. Then, I decided I needed to. For various reasons, none of which I’ll get into right now, I didn’t maintain any kind of consistent schedule after the last challenge. And it shows. Not just in the stats, but in my motivation to keep it going.

I’ve been making a list of ideas. I have a new app (shown me by a friend) to show you that could help with your creativity. I have what I hope will be some discussion starters. I’m working on video and podcast ideas as well and will post links to those when they go live.

I’m going to incorporate some curated content so you won’t just be hearing from me. We all benefit from what others have to say, even if it’s something we don’t agree with.

I am going to do a podcast between now and the start of the challenge, so there will be at least one more post between now and July 1. This is just a heads-up that there is stuff going on behind the scenes and I’ll be active here again real soon.

I’m Back (I Think)

I did not intend to disappear for the majority of May. Especially since I’d had a good month with the Ultimate Blog Challenge for April.

After three years of compensating for the problems with my left leg, my right lower back decided to give out. I’ve been dealing with that since the end of April. It got better, then it got worse again. And now it’s getting better.

It’s a long process, especially when you consider that I’ve dealt with back issues since I sprained my lower back in 2005-ish.

But that’s in the past. I’m able to be at my computer again. Yes, I have the WordPress app on my phone, but I have trouble blogging from that. There were a couple days when I slept downstairs because I couldn’t make it up to my bedroom. You don’t realize just how much you use your back for until you kind of can’t. Even when I could make it up to my bedroom, I couldn’t sit in my office chair at my desk, so no computer work.

And now here I am!

I didn’t sit idle, though. I have a baby blanket almost done and another one I need to do. And in between that, I need to finish converting RealmWalker: New Beginnings from first person to third because the editor at my publisher-of-choice asked to see the whole thing.

Here’s to good health to you all! Happy creating.

Lessons in Blogging

All day, I’ve been thinking about what I want to talk about for the last day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. This is what I’ve come up with.

I know I talked a lot — maybe even exclusively — about creativity. That’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time. Even since before I heard about The Artist’s Way fifteen or so years ago. It’s basically part of who I am. That interest.

What I’ve Learned

This month, I have learned what posts work better for me. Posts that are a combination of photo and text are good. Posts with videos are good. Posts that are audio only are not. In fact, the day where I embedded my podcast and didn’t include a photo had the lowest views all month. I posted mostly in the evenings, so I really can’t say if I’ve figured out what time of day is best.

I will say that although I did manage to post every day, it is not something I am going to keep up. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m going to use May to focus on 2-3 posts a week and see how consistency and views go. After that, I’ll evaluate again. I think this monthly evaluation is a good thing and something I’m going to stick with.

Coming Up

Speaking of May and the blog, here are some of the types and topics of posts you’ll see:

  • More about creativity. I kind of can’t help it. When I’m in the middle of something, I talk about creativity more than I do when I’m not.
  • Writing in general. After I posted the question my friend asked, I’ve gotten a few more questions from other people. I’ve answered them in the manner in which I received them, but I am going to expand on some of the answers here.
  • The submission process for novels. I’ve self-published most of my body of work. I decided to shop the novel I just finished around to different publishers and agents. There is actually already news on that front, but I’ll tell about it in its own post.
  • Yarn stuff – knitting, crochet, whatever.
  • Photos. I have a couple ideas I’m thinking of with this. I’ll see how they progress and post as they mature.
  • Videos.
  • Podcasts. I’ve learned from this, though. When I post a podcast link, I’ll include something else so there’s something to hold interest.

Updates

There is also an update. Remember the post, A Tale of Two Shawls? Both of those are finished. I need to take pictures of them both before I do an official update about them.

If you remember the announcement about Journal Your Way to Creativity at the first of the month, there has been a review posted for it. Mindy Phillips Lawrence posted her review on Amazon and also submitted it to New Book Review, where you can see it now.

Thank you.

There have been a lot of new visitors to my blog as a direct result of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Thank you for that.

In the comments, some other members of the challenge contributed frequently. I would like to thank Jeanine Byers of HyggeFamilyMoments.com and Martha DeMeo of The Martha Review for their frequent comments. There have been others who commented, too, including my friend and neighbor Richard Barron. I sincerely appreciate every comment. Whenever I participate in a challenge, it is always a fear that no one will comment. It is always a relief to see that fear is ungrounded.

Thank you, too, to Paul Taubman for hosting the challenge and putting in the work behind the scenes that goes into the daily emails and group postings to keep us all on track.

This is the last post for April. I’ll see you in May.

In the meantime, happy creating!

Be Flexible

Today was a reminder in flexibility. I think if you hope to work as a creative, regardless of which field/discipline, you have to be flexible.

Circumstances change. Sometimes the scope of your work changes. Even time frames change.

You can’t rigidly cling to what you expected. Rigidity doesn’t allow for spontaneity or creativity. Both are necessary. Both also help preserve your sanity when things do change quickly.

Flexibility is a good thing.

Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity (video)

From time to time, I do a search on creativity on YouTube, Google, etc. In doing that today, I was reminded of Sir Ken Robinson. In this video, he talks about “Can Creativity Be Taught?”

What do you think?

Happy creating.

Tell Me What You Want to See

I would really like to know what you think. I’m asking because I’m trying to decide in which direction I want to go. I’m open to all possibilities right now.

You can choose more than one answer. Feel free to elaborate in the comments.

Happy creating.

Is Your Mood Related to Your Creative Output?

This isn’t a clickbait title. I’m genuinely curious. Is your mood related to your creative output — or lack thereof?

I keep getting reminded that mine is.

Let me explain.

I finished the draft of RealmWalker (now RealmWalker: New Beginnings) on Sunday. I took a break on Monday. I started planning the next project (RealmWalker: Anchor) yesterday. I crocheted some both days, but I wasn’t actively writing.

Today, that manifested in my mood.

It’s odd, but that’s the way it works for me, especially when I’ve been working hard on a project the way I was and then basically quit cold turkey.

What about you?

Happy creating.