Tag Archive | play

Lessons Learned While Writing: Relationships Are Important

Writing is an isolated task. Even if an author writes in a busy place like an IHop or a coffee shop, we still ultimately do the work alone. As a Christian I believe God is part of that process so “alone” in terms of human interaction is what I’m referring to.

Getting a book published takes a lot of people—beta readers, critiques, editors, marketing, cover art, and eventually readers and reviewers. Writers need people, even if most of us are introverts.

We need relationships. Prayer. Accountability. We need to be reaching out to help others because that’s where we stay engaged in the human race. We need to live life so our characters can be real on the page.

I have found, after coming out of an abusive relationship, that good friendships are a treasure. I can write and it can be cathartic, but I need to do life with others, enjoy a cup of chai or a meal, do something fun, or sit and cry together. This is important to my spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being. I need to keep growing as an individual if I hope to write characters that will also grow through the stories I try to put on the page.

I also need time to play. Whether it’s tug-of-war with my dog, crafting of some kind, a concert, mini-golf with my husband, or a rip-roaring game of Uno. Playing doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. For me playing and decompressing even takes place on my zero-turn lawnmower which my husband has graciously allowed me to do. It’s fun! Sitting and reading a book because I can, not because I need to is a gift as well. Whatever it is, we need to live our own lives fully in this one and only life we have, not just write imaginary stories for others. These experiences give our writing more depth.

It is in one-on-one connection where we grow and are challenged and encouraged. I want my life to count. I pray my words in my stories can encourage and bring hope and maybe even healing to the reader. But if I neglect my husband, kids, and friends, or those I meet at a craft fair, or a writer’s conference, I’m limiting the ways God can use me. Now if I’m unable to go anywhere the writing is great, but it’s still good to have a connection. It keeps me grounded and hopefully helps me avoid some of the sins that can beset creative people.

Making Cards

Years ago I attended a Stampin’ Up! Party and learned how to do all kinds of fun and creative stuff with stamps. Cards are my favorite and it had been awhile since I’ve done this and with a depressingly long winter, even the first day I tried, I didn’t enjoy myself and wasn’t  impressed with my efforts. After awhile though, I started to have fun again. I don’t often let myself play and this was play time. Here are some of the cards I made.

This first trio are done with colored pencils – by my daughter Joy (age 8).

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This next set I had fun using browns, which is not a normal palette for me but was fun. Hey, there was till pink in there…

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And then there were the happy, hoppy frogs… they were fun and I used watercolor pencils for those and some I even cut out and used pop-ups under so they “jump” out at you a little more.

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But I wasn’t done… Some more masculine brown/green/gold but then more cheerful pinks and oranges and lime greens.

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These were fun mixing textures and patterns.

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I have plenty more that I made in about a week (I did about eighty cards). I don’t mail out cards as much as I used to, but now when I do they will be ones made by me and hopefully cherished a little more for the time and effort that went into making them along with putting them in an envelope with an old fashioned stamp and sending them snail mail.