Tag Archives: creativity

What I learned through NaNoWriMo

November is NaNoWriMo – the (inter)National Novel Writing Month.

Last year I participated for the first time in NaNoWriMo. What I learned during those 30 days had not only impact on quality and quantity of my writing (fiction and non-fiction), but also changed my approach to writing – and other life areas as well :)

I wrote this list of “What I learned through NaNoWriMo” beginning of December 2010. When I reviewed it today for this post, I was surprised at how complete – and still valid – it was. I have not altered my last year’s statements, only grouped them.

Perfectionism vs. flexibility – dealing with obstacles

  • how to plod on even when I didn’t know where I was going or how to get there
  • apart fom finding and using small bits of time I also realized that “having to make” time for something as opposed to “having” the time to do it – makes it much more likely that I use the “made” time for the task I made it for, instead of procrastinating or doing something else – I value the time, because I made it valuable by limiting it
  • my worst enemies are my own doubts – can I write 2500 word in one day if necessary? Yes, I can. They may be crap – but that’s for revision to fix ;)
  • not to be overwhelmed by (or back off) a difficult, confusing or giant long-term goal, but to break it into achievable bits (okay, I knew and made use of that one, but I tended to avoid the real biggies)

Focussing on results WHILE enjoying the process

  • setting quantified goals = results instead of how much time I spent on it, but I do combine it with short sprints of max 25 minutes
  • I discovered many time saving techniques I can also apply in other areas, for instance not procrastinating with details while still in the draft stage
  • It’s about finishing this one step: the draft = getting the story down. If there’s no story, just ideas, what am I going to base my revision on?

My own writing preferences

  • although I type a lot faster than I write (legibly) by hand, the result with paper and pen is better and quicker in the end, as I’m not tempted to correct – and the story flows better
  • I discovered my average draft writing speed and rhythm, one I feel comfortable with at long distance – which helps me also to plan more realistically (I was surprised that when doing short sprints  I can hand-write 250-300 words in ten minutes – I focus on “writing” instead of “thinking”)
  • I found out how long I can concentrate on focused writing, and learned to recognize AND respect the signs telling me it’s better to have many breaks (as long as I’m eager to go on) rather than risk mental exhaustion and lose time during recovery
  • looking forward to revision instead of dreading it as a boring task

Switching on and off as desired

I usually don’t have problems with focus and concentration as long as I enjoy what I’m doing ;) but for some aspects NaNoWriMo helped me to find better solutions – with benefits spreading into other life areas as well:

  • how to switch off when I’m full of enthusiasm – and still not lose momentum
  • how to get going at a time when it’s “inconvenient”, that is when I’m tired, have “something better” to do, “don’t feel like it”
  • how to get started again, especially with complex or ongoing projects, or when I hit an obstacle and get stuck
  • how to switch instantly into writing mode AND how to switch off (took me a couple of weeks, though, to learn it)
  • how to use small time spans of 10 or 15 min (“oh, I still got 10 min” instead of “10 min is not worth starting”)

Even if you never thought of writing a novel, NaNoWriMo is an experience worth having :)

No idea what to write? On the site you can even find titles to choose from, or adopt a plot – so, no excuses ;)

All you need to do to participate is to sign up.  (And perhaps inform your immediate social environment that you might not be quite your usual self for the next four weeks…)

Link to the blog:  The Office of Letters and Light

Stay tuned for my long list of tips on how to survive NaNoWriMo 2011 healthy and sane ;)

Maria

25 Days ‘Til Halloween 2011 | Halloween Decorating Ideas

The countdown to Halloween 2011 started on 1st November 2010 :mrgreen: . If you plan to decorate your home – and are still looking for ideas – maybe this post is for you; there are only 25 days left…

Before you ask: No, Halloween is not celebrated in Greece. But I surf the internet in English, plus have subscribed to a few craft blogs, and so it’s next to impossible to avoid Halloween ;)

Today this impressive yet low-budget project for decorating your whole house landed via craftzine in my inbox:

How To: Haunted House Silhouettes by Jeffery Rudell

Apart from on-page instructions and templates Jeffery also offers pdf’s for download.

Is the theme too grim’n’spooky for you? Well, why not pick up the idea and “haunt” your house with happy pumpkins and smiling ghosts?

pumpkin/jack-o-lantern - photo by Evil Erin

jack o'lantern - photo by Evil Erin

"fantome" by Emilie, 7 years old

"fantome" by Emilie, 7 years old

Happy haunting :)

Maria & E.D. 

Knitting With Glass – Impossible!?

Making the “impossible” possible is creation and creativity at its finest. Creation starts with an idea or vision – but it takes determination, endurance and resilience to bring it into being, to realise what formerly existed only in our mind.

I’ve been a textile crafts addict for thirty-plus years, and although the technicalities of the textile world fortunately :) still bear lots of surprises and challenges for me, it takes a lot to stun my mind into time-out.

Which is exactly what happened a few weeks ago when I came across artwork which I would not have believed possible:  “Knitted Glass” by Carol Milne.

Cakewalk 7" x 11" x 11" by Carol Milne - Kiln-Cast lead crystal knitted glass

Cakewalk 7" x 11" x 11"

What intrigued me just as much as “How can this be possible?” was the context in which Carol sees her Knitted Glass (see Carol’s statement below). I contacted her immediately to ask whether I might feature her work on my blog, and as you see she said yes :)

Knit Wit by Carol Milne - Self-portrait in knitted glass and knitted copper. 19" x 10" x 12"

Knit Wit - Self-portrait in knitted glass and knitted copper. 19" x 10" x 12"

Here’s Carol’s brief statement about her work:

I see my knitted work as metaphor for social structure. Individual strands are weak and brittle on their own, but deceptively strong when bound together. You can crack or break single threads without the whole structure falling apart. And even when the structure is broken, pieces remain bound together. The connections are what brings strength and integrity to the whole and what keeps it intact.

Darn by Carol Milne - A fraying, knitted glove with a pun for a title. 10" x 18" x 13"

Darn - A fraying, knitted glove with a pun for a title. 10" x 18" x 13"

I found it very difficult to choose only a few photos from Carol’s amazing site, so here three more.  The last one is E.D.’s favourite – I wonder why… ;)

Bustle by Carol Milne - Kiln-Cast lead crystal knitted glass

Bustle 7" x 16" x 16"

Quadrille by Carol Milne - Kiln-Cast lead crystal knitted glass

Quadrille 5" x 11" x 11"

Eddy by Carol Milne - Kiln-Cast lead crystal knitted glass

Eddy 5" x 11" x 11"

Thank you, Carol :)

An inspiring “real world” example for “knitting with glass” – or knitting society by making the “impossible” possible:  Blood-lines of action – Butterfly Effects for Change by creatingreciprocity

Image sources: all photos courtesy Carol Milne www.carolmilne.com

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The Enermazing Weekly Ticker (6)

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You may not have noticed the new, tiny, yet significant image in the sidebar: Guerrilla Goodness, courtesy of Kindnessgirl.

What is Guerrilla Goodness?

According to The Free Dictionary,  “guerrilla [or "guerilla" is] – a member of an irregular armed force that fights a stronger force by sabotage and harassment”.

“armed force”, “sabotage” and “harassment”? Now how does that go with “goodness” :?

It’s all in the attitude, intention and action taken :)

  • Goodness Guerrillas arm themselves with small acts,  gestures and other expressions of kindness.
  • Their contagious force or power is the motivation coming from a compassionate heart.
  • With determination and resilience, Goodness Guerrillas sabotage daily thoughtlessness, cruelty, boredom, meaninglessness and indifference.
  • They keep harassing their environment with surprise attacks of hope and joy.

How exactly  do Goodness Guerrillas operate? Click the little icon in the sidebar to find out more about Guerrilla Goodness :)

+ +++ +++ Quote of the week  +++ +++ +

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

+ +++ +++ This & That +++ +++ +

You want to become a Goodness  Gorilla Guerrillero yourself?

Or perhaps you are a Goodness Guerrillero already – knowingly or not ;) – and are looking for even more inspiration, ideas and resources? Try these links for starters:

Update: When re-reading my post I noticed that I had written “Kindness Guerrilla” whereas Kindnessgirl named it “Goodness Guerrilla”, and I replaced “kindness” with “goodness”.  – Pick your choice; at the end of the Guerrillero’s day, kindness and goodness will lead to the same results ;)

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Cupcakes For All & Everyone

In case you haven’t noticed: I dressed up my blog header for a special occasion – my very first blog award.

On September 8th, enermazing was honoured with the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award – which is not only about receiving but also about giving :) Here’s the procedure:

Step One: Thank and Link the Person who Nominated You

A *BIG THANK YOU* to Happydancercat/Year of Kindness for your Irresistibly Sweet Kindness to pass this award on to me :)

Step Two: Share Seven Random Facts About Yourself

After having lived with myself for almost fifty years, I found it surprisingly difficult to come up with seven facts about myself which might interest someone else :?

  1. I like getting up at dawn – which means at sunset I begin to yawn…
  2. My favourite fruit are either orange/dark yellow (like peaches, mangos, apricots, oranges) or near black/dark purple (currants, cherries, grapes, blackberries)
  3. I don’t like pasta for breakfast, but else any time
  4. My favourite direction is South-East
  5. I believe in the power of Paying It Forward
  6. When I was small, I desperately wanted to be a boy because boys didn’t have to learn useless stuff like needlework and sewing (guess who became a skilled textile addict…)
  7. I collect about every scrap of textile or paper to use it, one day, in one of those projects I never get round to :/

Step Three: Pass the Award Along to Five Deserving Blogging Buddies

What seemed like fresh meringue with strawberries and whipped cream turned out to be as tough as toffee – not finding deserving blogging buddies, but choosing only five… It was made a bit easier by the fact that two blogs I would have nominated were awarded the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award by Happydancercat at the same time as enermazing (Pocketperspectives and The Mindful Foodie), and C.B. Wentworth received it in the meantime from another site, plus The Versatile Blogger Award :) ***Congratulations***, C.B.!

The choice was difficult, but as I don’t know much about blog awards I didn’t dare bend the rules. So here they are, Five out of an Omnibus of Deserving Blogging Buddies (in sort of alphabetical order):

  1. Elizabeth – who embraces the whole world with her Irresistibly Sweet Mirth & Motivation, and still has got a free hand to take photos
  2. F.T. – whose Irresistibly Sweet Heart carries rays of sunshine deep into the Frugal Trenches
  3. Girl On The Contrary – who sharpens her pencils with Irresistibly Sweet Charm
  4. The Girl Who Loves To Cook – how can anybody bear to eat your, literally, Irresistibly Sweet Creations?
  5. Serenity – for her Irresistibly Sweet Struggle with Living Up to Her Name

Step Four: Contact Those Bloggers to Congratulate Them

*C*O*N*G*R*A*T*U*L*A*T*I*O*N*S* to all of you – I will contact you also by email in a few hours.

Everybody else please consider themselves runner-up, have a cupcake, and join the party!
Keep on blogging! :)

Note: The Irresistibly Sweet Face Cupcakes I used for the header are the creation of The Girl Who Likes To Cook. Have a look at her original photo:

cupcake faces - original ohoto

irresistibly sweet & happy cupcakes

Image source: cookingismypassion.blogspot.com via wikimedia

The Enermazing Weekly Ticker (5)

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I could hardly believe my eyes this morning… 8O

Happydancercat gave me the Irresistably Sweet Blog Award!

There aren’t enough smileys to express my emotions – Cat, thank you so much for your encouragement!

The past week has been of the fuzzy-furry-blurry type – time just flying by, getting done only half of the things which I wanted to do, but instead advancing in other areas beyond my expectations.

After I’ve neglected commenting on other blogs I decided to spend this morning doing exactly that. When I got to Year of Kindness, my heart skipped a beat – if you like, read the detailed description of my reactions in the comments section to Spreading the Blogging Love…

Now I need time to think…  The award is to be passed on to five other incredibly sweet blogs. Who will I give it to? There are many more blogs which deserve this award. And – considering I know myself for almost 50 years now – I find it surprisingly difficult to come up with 7 random facts about myself :roll:

I’m off now to do a few star jumps :)

+ +++ +++ Quote of the week  +++ +++ +

There may be Peace without Joy, and Joy without Peace,

but the two combined make Happiness.

John Buchan

+ +++ +++ This & That +++ +++ +

Instead of doing star jumps, maybe I’ll make some Giant Bubbles :)

Or both?

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