Category Archives: creative inspiration

For the Love of Art

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Yesterday on Facebook, I saw a post with this picture. This is part of an art installment by Jasmine Kay Uy at University of Texas at Austin Department of Art and Art History. (Click on the link below the picture to see her portfolio.)

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Coloring: Stress Relief & Creative Inspiration

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writer's coloring bookI recently saw an ad for Rachel Funk Heller’s, The Writer’s Coloring Book. If you click on the link to visit the website, it states: “Harness both sides of your writer’s brain with The Writer’s Coloring Book® and write better stories with less frustration.”

Donald Maass, author of Writing the Breakout Novel and founder of Donald Maass Literary Agency, said, “Rachel Funk Heller’s book doesn’t ask you to color between the lines. Instead, it gives you great worksheets and visual tools to draw your own unique story.”

I purchased the book in PDF format from the website for $10. However, if you can’t afford that (which I can’t, but you know…) you can find similar coloring pages with inspirational quotes by doing a simple search. Google “inspirational coloring pages for adults” or search Pinterest for “quote coloring pages printables.” Here’s one from ColoringShapes.com I plan to try: “Today is going to be awesome.”

The best part: coloring helps you deal with stress. Psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala says, “When coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres. The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity when mixing and matching colors.The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.” This isn’t new information, as Carl Jung was “one of the first psychologists to apply coloring as a relaxation technique.” (“Coloring Isn’t Just For Kinds. It Can Actually Help Adults Combat Stress,” Huffington Post)

So, take a break and color today! Then, come back here and let me know if it helped!

Music & Writing?

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Do you listen to music while you’re writing, or is it too distracting? My kids’ screams often serve as ambient noise while I work. Sometimes, I play nature and meditation CDs with names like Zen Garden or Orient Tranquility. (The kind you find below the machines that play music as you walk by, usually located in the same aisle with scented candles, flower vases, and throw pillows.) Other times, I have a little Norah Jones, Duncan Sheik, or–since I write YA fiction–Lorde playing softly. Then, during specifically angst-filled scenes, I might crank up Rammstein’s Du Hast to set the tone all the way to rage. Every now and then, I like it as close to silent as I can get after my 5 kids have gone to sleep. That’s the only way I can quiet my own mind enough to focus and draw my words to the surface. Though there are times when it gets to be too quiet, so I’ll turn on HGTV to feel like there’s someone talking that I need to ignore.

So, what kinds of music do you find inspiring? Who serenades you while you write?