Sunday, August 25, 2013

Thinking of You

The problem—or maybe the essence—of loving something is that it is always on your mind.  This has been one of the busiest summers that I can remember and through all the moments big and small, excellent and stressful, I have been thinking about The Paper Compass. 

I have carried with me ideas for unpublished blog posts like an ever increasing bunch of balloons.  But the time, and maybe more importantly, the routine that I usually have in the second half of the summer is different this year due to some really happy reasons and a different kind of love (the big “I do” kind!).  So rather than these ideas transforming into the promised Summer Creativity Challenge posts, many have drifted away or, if they were strong enough, have gotten “anchored” to my sketchbook and will be return to for future writing and posts. 

Letting an idea or project “be tabled” is not easy!  I look at my neglected writing (both blog and otherwise), my barely crossed off Summer Adventure list, my towering reading list and I have to remind myself that these are not the signs of someone who is “behind on her work” but rather the signs of a life being well lived.  This is an extra-ordinary year and I recognize that this is its own adventure.

That said, I have decided to lay to rest this summer’s Creativity Challenges and resume them again next year.  Time permitting, I will focus on some other posts in the next few months.

With things on the blog being a little more quiet than usual this year, I want to say thank you so much for being a reader of The Paper Compass.  I am so glad to be able to take the time to focus on something that is a very special moment in my life and bring all my creativity to that endeavor--and the beginning of the fall semester of Creative Thinking--in the next few weeks.

Is a personal creative endeavor taking a back seat? There are a few tools that you can use in the meantime:
•   Create an idea bank: An idea bank is a journal, jar or location where you write down ideas that you can’t begin work on immediately or that you want to explore later.  The advantage of an idea bank is that you always have a selection of ideas to choose from when you complete on project and are not sure about what to do next.  An idea bank is like having a whole batch of ready-bake cookies in your refrigerator!  The best part is an idea from the idea bank can sometimes be a better fit—or “come of age”—at a later time or applied to different circumstances than when first thought up.  I mark my ideas in my pocket journal with a little light bulb in the corner of the page, this reminds me to pull them into my master list when I have a moment.
•   Do a little every day:  If you are working on a bigger project, such as a novel, try and write even one paragraph a day.  If the project truly needs to be temporarily tabled, then make sure to write down any of the character or plot ideas that come to you during the hiatus.  Sometimes a little distance from a story can be where the brain does its best thinking.
•   Think big(ger): A little time away can be a great chance to check in on a long term project.  Where did you start from? Where do you want to go with it?  Is the project going the way that you imagined?  Does it feel like fun or work?  If it feels like work, what can you do to make it feel fun again?
As always, thoughts and comments are welcome—as well as any insight on what you do when you have to juggle priorities and creative endeavors. 
I'm not complaining a "wish you were here" postcard circa 1915