Write, write, write. I continue to find books, articles, and blogs that discuss creativity and the urgent need for so many individuals to write. I am always instantly enamored with reading more on this topic. Writing to me is the way that I make sense of the world. There are always so many ideas happening inside my head that often writing them down allows me to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
A recent article (it is long but worth the read) shares many ideas from well-known authors called “Great Artists Write” by Paul Jun says:
“It helps us not only gain new ideas, but also articulate them. It untangles the messiness in our lives and allows for clearer thinking.”
and later he says:
“The psychological benefits are like the slow and steady benefits of exercising. You may not see the gains yet, but the transformation is happening underneath: dots are being connected, ideas are crystallizing, and feelings are not merely passing through but rather examined and questioned.”
There are many times each week when I sit down to write a blog, or endeavor on a piece for work where I have no idea what to write. Usually as I allow my thoughts to open up the words come out, sometimes in a trickle, and sometimes with a flood of words. That does not mean that every piece that comes out is ever seen by anyone else — plenty stays on my computer — but I know when my fingers are ready to go and the words come forth.
If you write and want to feel inspired, are curious what writing could add to your life, or are just trying to process and resolve a jumble of ideas in your mind take some time out to pick up a pen and paper, or your computer and let the ideas make themselves evident. You never know what you might learn.
Somehow over the years I became a pen and notebook fiend. Well okay a snob of sorts. I am picky about the notebook (spiral versus bound versus so many other options). If I use a spiral notebook it has to have a double spiral. The paper matters too. I do not want thin paper where the ink seeps through. What is printed on the also paper matters. I am not a fan of ruled lines, as it makes me feel I have to keep between the lines and whether it is college or wide, oh that just makes my head spin. Give me mini blocked graph paper or plain any day and let me craft my notes, ideas, and messages as I wish.
Then you have the pen. That matters even more. The pen completely emphasizes how you write. Over time I began to learn that the thinner the tip the better. The thing with pens is usually the thinner the tip, the more design-esque the pen is which means that the tip can easily break. Then I fell in love with Muji. In the US you usually find that a thin tip pen is .5 mm. Muji makes a .38 mm pen. The tips do not break. I cannot leave home without mine. Chris brings me a bundle every time he comes back from Asia. It’s my only ask when he goes away on his trips.
Put the right paper/notebook with the right pen and it is pure zen in and of itself. Somehow the cards all fall into place and I feel I can let the creativity flow (most of the time). When I saw this article titled: “Why You Should Carry a Notebook with You Everywhere” from 99U, it made so much sense. Sure you can document your world digitally, but there is something about putting pen to paper. Whether you are bored in that meeting and brainstorm how to rearrange your living room or you map out how to solve a business problem, having a notebook with you means you probably encapsulate more of your thoughts on a daily basis.
I know I often go back to my notebook at work and find I connect the dots from different ideas. Too many conversations and ideas happen in a given day (and sometimes just within an hour of a day). Putting pen to paper can make all the difference.
Over the long holiday weekend, we watched “Words and Pictures.” It has been a while since I have seen a good movie (or one that I actually watched completely without multi-tasking). This one sucked me in. Maybe it was the subject matter. Words, writing, ideas and art, painting, pictures. Plus it had a bit of the indie film feel to it. It was a mellow movie, not too much drama, but just the right amount of depth.
Juliette Binoche and Clive Davis are the main characters and they do not disappoint. Owen is an alcoholic, yet endearing English professor at a college prep school, and Binoche an artist/painter who cannot do what she used to after rheumatoid arthritis effects her. They begin a personal and professional war that moves both their students and their own worlds. It was not an amazing movie, but enough to keep me engaged and make me think. I was enamored watching her paint. Who knows if Binoche had any idea what she was doing at the craft of painting, watching her awakened a dormant vein inside me. I have not painted for a while. She painted large pieces, a size I do not have a space for, yet it brought back a craving for me to continue to paint. It brought back the desire to dust off my brushes and get busy painting.
As far as the movie goes, I could speak to either side of the debate (words or pictures) as the movie debates. I am a word fanatic. I love writing, find that I process my world with words. Yet, I also love art. It calms me, is therapeutic, and truly allows me to be in the moment. Some of my paintings have no words to describe them, they are just something I feel. Sometimes my words still do not do justice to what I am feeling. The debate continues, but both are just as important to me.
Every year I seem to forget my birthday (not really) but I am fine to let it pass by. This past week was CRAZY and I completely looked past the fact that January 8th (last Thursday) was Random Olio’s third birthday. It is hard to believe that I have been writing every weekday for the past three years.
There have been many times over the course of the year where I have questioned whether I should keep posting a blog every day. I contemplate the time it takes to brainstorm, be inspired, write, edit, write, edit, and sometimes throw stuff away. In the end I do it for you and I do it for me. Random Olio makes me think outside myself. I have to be “on” for work in a certain way each day. Random Olio is the outlet that allows me to put myself out into the world with my ideas, inspiration, and questions. It has nothing to do with being “on” at work, but instead allows me to be free and speak what is on my mind. I wonder at times if I did not write if I would be consumed by work or if in some ways my voice would be quieter.
Thank you to each and every one of you that takes the time to read Random Olio. With close to 800 posts in 3 years, I have had a lot to say. While I do not know how long I will continue, I appreciate each day and post you read and commented on. Keep coming back, tell me what you think, and speak your mind.
It is March 20, 2012, and the FIRST DAY OF SPRING! I am so excited. I cannot wait for days and days of sunshine. The stems of my daffodils are up, as are my snow caps. The leaves are getting bigger and bigger on my hydrangeas, and my hostas and irises are just sticking their heads out of the ground. In the front, the weeping cherry tree has small, light pink buds opening up. And yet, we had snow flurries on Sunday and actual snow just a few miles away yesterday morning. Each time the snow hits, I pray my green budding friends will continue to bloom. I am not much of a green thumb. I tend to kill most indoor plants (my husband keeps them hydrated because I forget). What?! Sound strange? If something does not yell for my attention, I can easily forget about it. Which means quiet plants = no watering. Somehow I have managed to keep the plants in the backyard alive. Although I do not think I can take all the credit. It must be our sprinkler or maybe Chris is really watching over them.
My green budding friends mean that soon I will be able to break out my Chaco flip-flops! I cannot wait. In honor of Spring, here are a few ideas I wanted to share with you. (Click on the image to read quotes more easily).