Monday, April 4, 2011

The Adventure of a Little Creative Offroading

I originally intended this post to be short and sweet when I sat down to write it last night…before I inadvertently deleted it…twice! I’m technically challenged, it’s no secret. Anyway, sometimes getting off track is a blessing.

I’m inspired by three posts from bloggers I follow regularly – and how their message ties into a common challenge in the writer’s life – stress and too much "life" in general.

Clara Paulino writes eloquently in Writing in The Margins, that amidst her country’s crumbling economy, amidst the personal and financial crises those around her find themselves in, amidst her own challenging professional schedule, how would she continue to focus her blog and how could she continue to post with such limited time? Rather than throw in the towel, she decided to make a date with herself and enjoy a lovely dinner and glass of wine along the river (she lives in Portugal), where the answer would come floating past her on “elegant boats.” Rafts. Until her schedule allowed her time to write her signature full-bodied blog stories she’s become known for, she would piece together “blog rafts” or “patchwork” stories, musings, and thoughts to keep the momentum of her blog moving forward because, Clara says, “without writing, I don’t breath so well.” Bravo, Clara. Great solution.

Shortly after, I received another blog post from a totally different but equally compelling blog, A Walking Carnival, where blogger Deirdre Lewis creatively shared what happens when she begins working on her list of things to do with all the best intentions only to totally veer off path. Deirdre doesn’t indicate whether this offroading is welcome or not – but the image stuck with me (or rather, the song stuck with me…check out the post to see what I mean). When I work on my to-dos I know if I don’t follow through, I’m just as likely to veer off path myself – something I’ve trained myself not to do over time (survival skills from my ADD childhood). But sometimes those sideways, off track journeys lead you toward your next inspiration, your next a-ha moment, if you’ll allow the Oprahism.

Then today, after I posted on my facebook page that yes, really, my blog post is coming (it’s always up on/by Monday, except for maybe two times), I get a new post from one of my new favorite bloggers Lisa Rivero, a very busy writer, instructor and student, asking us all if it might be time for a creative spring break? Her solution is to devote some much needed time in the morning for long-term planning and a little self TLC. That’s when I knew – something’s in the air.

This month is going to be about creative road trips and adventures. It’s about enjoying trips you didn't plan on and being ok with some non-linear thinking. Let’s have a holiday. You’ve earned it. You follow the advice of all us publishing bloggers, you write your brains out, glue yourself to your social media for all the latest book news, the latest new friend, you send out queries and wait anxiously for an answer, you wait for feedback – any feedback. You’re neck deep in this writing life and it ain’t for sissies. How could any creative person stay motivated and fresh under all this pressure to "do it now!"

So, your action is to spend some time with yourself. Take yourself out of your normal element. Go off road. Take a spring break – even if it’s just an extra hour for yourself in the morning or before you go to bed. Recharge your brain and reconnect with the passion that’s lead you this far on your writer’s journey.

Here’s to your new adventures!



  1. Erin, this is an awesome post! Thanks very much for the kind mention. I'm eager to check out the other links and very much look forward to upcoming creative road trips. :)

  2. Thanks, Lisa! The next guest post by author Jessica Blau is perfect for this month's focus.


Leave your thoughts! Feel free to share with us your success stories or tips.