Archive for August 6th, 2011

Artist's Creed by Jan Phillips

I am so stuck, I am sharing from another website I just came across (www.wisewoman.com), responses from many others as to what they do when they get stuck.

I am so stuck, I cannot remember my Twitter password, and I don’t put much on Twitter anyway.

Getting back to Napkinwriter, which I dearly want to do is right now like trying to lift my feet out of the tarpaper that cartoon character was in. But I will — get unstuck.

Normal now revolves around being caregiver to my most beloved person in the world. And that’s fine — that’s on purpose — that’s as it should be.

But my creativity room calls. Today, I have almost completed reading the 11,000+ word manuscript I prepared for an interview I held with creator Jan Phillips, who has been on a wondrous country-wide tour with her marvelous workshops and her teaching at Yale for the IWWG – International Womens Writing Guild. She and I are both excited about this.

Getting unstuck will be seeing the final package completed with query letter and mailed off by next week to our proposed destination for publication.

Getting unstuck will be giving some form and substance to more ideas that will be focused on Jan, as well. I feel so strongly her message and actual physical presence is so needed in our world today; if I can be a connecting bridge in any way, it would be a great honor.

Getting unstuck is falling again into a book on my bookshelf, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Getting unstuck will be signing up for and contributing what I now have in savings to a wondrous nine week tele-class “The Intersection for Writers by a magnaminous and loving giver by the name of Janet Conner, author of Writing Down Your Soul.

Getting unstuck will be freeing myself and laughing each day.

Getting unstuck will be lots of my own beloved writing as Napkinwriter.  I’ll be seeing you soon!

 So here are the “When I am stuck….” entries  I promised you from the wisewoman website blog, “Dear Me (thoughts from wherever I am at the moment).

Copied from her website:

“Many of you have known me for quite some time. I am Jessica’s alter ego, muse, imaginary friend, inner critic, sometimes outer critic, and all around help mate when I feel like it.

She has known me for a *very* long time – since she wrote a book about me way back in the 70′s. My name is Dear Me! and I am going to help her out with this personal blog.dearmeartsupplies

“Jill Badonsky is a very cool person. I have never met her, but I just know it.

And the reason I am talking about her today is that she wrote another book, called  The Awe-Manac, A Daily Dose of Wonder, that goes on my list of most inspiring creativity books.

Creative people get stuck. It is just the truth and there is no permanent cure. It will recur and usually without warning.

The way the creative brain works (if you have it tuned-up) is that it sees something or thinks something which triggers something else – maybe related to what it saw or thought, maybe not.

So inspiration is critical. If you are stuck, you must go out and expose yourself to new stimuli. You can go to galleries and look at art, you can read good writing, you can smell the flowers, etc. You get the idea. One or more of those encounters will kick-start your creative idea machine and you will be unstuck and on the move again.

Please share a creative prompt with us in a Comment and we will draw a winner on Monday and send a copy of The Awe-Manac, You can tell us in your comment how you get unstuck, or throw a journal page prompt at us, or tell us whatever you think might start the idea machine. We will all benefit, so let the Comments roll . . .”

September 26th, 2009 | Category: Book Reviews

79 comments to The Awe-Manac: A Wonderful Book

  • 51
    Karen S. says:

    When I’m stuck, I like to take a walk and just observe things – the houses and gardens and people and nature, whatever I see. Then I try to take something (or someone) I’ve seen and write a narrative about it, including a lot of description, but also making up some kind of story. A fresh perspective and fresh material often come together to move my work along.

  • 52
    Debbie L says:

    Ok, this post is utterly brilliant! Can we make a book of all these great ideas?

    I have been so stuck like the very first commenter, Susan, for months now. Taking classes and going on art retreats really help keep my juices flowing during the rest of the year. I have re-started keeping an art journal to help keep the flow going.

    Sometimes I just put on music, pick up whatever paint colors speak to me, my journal and just play. Usually doing something helps.

  • 53

    When I am stuck I will do one of several things. Here’s my list: I pick up my camera, pick a place to visit, and go out on a shoot. Sometimes, just shooting photos is enough to “fill in the blank” and I feel like I have done something creative. I buy artists how to books and mull over techniques and ideas. I look at visual journals or use one. A prompt can be as easy as asking myself a question and then using my visual journal to create from the question. Also, I like to extract fragments of my dreams to create something. Or, I will invite a friend over or get together with other creative souls to stimulate my brain. And lastly, I might even take a workshop. There is always a way to get rid of the creative block if you let your imagination just run wild.

  • 54
    Gayle Warner says:

    I joined a small crafting group at a local library. Just being around these other women working on & enjoying their projects seemed to reignite my own creativity!

  • 55
    Kathy K. says:

    When I get stuck, the worst thing I can do is clean something… that is what usually keeps me from my creative endeavors. I find that scribbling on a blank sheet of paper is a beginning. From there I take my favorite form of color and color in some of my shapes. After I do that I begin to decorate some of the shapes (colored or uncolored) with doodle shapes. Then I take a marker and start to outline groups of shapes, like I am looking in the clouds for animals or ‘pictures’. This activity usually frees up my mind from everyday clutter and allows new ideas in.

  • 56
    Milly G says:

    I know I can’t be the only one who never gets stuck…not stuck for ideas and inspiration anyway. I mostly get stuck for time or energy. I have such a back log of ideas- hundreds of them swirling around in my head like shiny butterflies and dragonflies winking and grinning and laughing. Mostly just getting back to my work tables and getting my head immersed in the creativity and my hands busy sends me back to my conversations and journeys with the divine.

  • 57
    Anne L says:

    I just need to go on to my deck and sit in the peace of the bush, listen to the birds – it regenerates the brain! and there is always something new – light on leaves, breeze, sounds, to keep you visualising.

  • 58
    Carol says:

    It’s wonderful when creativity flows, but when one hits that wall – the frustration is mighty. I get stymied; what color combination(s), should I use this medium or that, be neat or go grunge, be elaborate or not? Sometimes I have so many ideas they become a jumble. To kick start the process I think of friends and ridiculously funny moments.

  • 59

    When I am really stuck in a creative rut the only thing that seems to work for me is to either “let it go for another day’ or to simply begin. Begin something, anything; brush to paper, cloth to quilt, wool to felt anything that concretely connects me to start the flow again. Oddly enough, this usually works for me.

    I off er the prompt of “soul”. What does soul mean to you? DO we all have one? Does it continue on? Is it music or art or something more ‘mystical’ than that?

  • 60
    Andee says:

    When I get stuck I do a couple of things, First of all I have this jar, filled with words on scraps of paper, random words to illustrate (like anger, scream, lost or happy) or phrases/ideas that intrigue/amuse me ( like free spirit, dodo bird, flying fish, evil cat, nude beach, bare-naked ladies, grandma’s underwear or dancing waves). These words and phrases are things I see in the paper, or hear people say…things that make me think at the time, hey that would make a great picture, so I jot it down. When I get home it goes into the jar. On days when nothing inspires me, I reach in, and draw, paint or applique whatever I pull out.

    The other thing I do is rather than taking digital pics of things, I take pictures of textures and fragmented images… stone walls, grates, sidewalk patterns, interesting bark… part of a gear, part of a building…. an extreme closeup of a flower. I recreate these things using paint or colored pencil in my art journal on quite days or late at night…they often inspire what winds up on top of them, and have often sent me off in completely new directions artistically. My thinking is anyone can create from a whole, but creating from a partial imagine leaves more directions open, because you have removed the preconceived ideas that go with whole images. A gear does not have to remain a gear, a sidewalk texture can become anything….

  • 61
    Barbara J. says:

    When I need inspiration I go and swing on my swing set. Somehow the repetive motion and soaring up to the trees gets mind off of the everyday things and into the creative realm.If I shut my eyes it is even better!

  • 62
    Barbara J. says:

    Oops, that was supposed to say “repetitive” motion.

  • 63
    helen sanford says:

    this was very interesting to read over what others wrote–many of us do the same things–I do find that when I am really at a stand still–frequently a nap will do what I need. Sometimes I am just tired–but I also clean, sort, read,veg–all of the other things that others have mentioned–isn’t it amazing to see how different we are but how alike at the same time–so I guess my prompt would be “a 20 minute power nap”

  • 64
    Larraine says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I have all kinds of ideas and still get “stuck.” Part of the problem is that, as a result of having double knee replacement surgery in July, I wasn’t going anywhere. That’s changed now that I can walk ok. I love the idea of visiting a museum for inspiration too. This book sounds so wonderful. I really want it. Please pick me!

  • 65
    Glory M says:

    When I get stuck I just get quiet for awhile – shut out everything around calling for attention. Then I will pick up one of my favorite books or magazines and begin to leaf through it – something will call to me – then I apply my favorite two words “what if” and I’m off and running. What if I worked in different colors? What if I changed the structure? What if I used a new material I’m not familiar with – “what if” works every time.

  • 66
    Callie E. says:

    The sure-fire-never-fail “unstickme remedy” is…GIVE A PARTY!!! For sure I can find an idea of SOMETHING I would like to PLAY with. ForInst: I would really like a reason to use that Fondue Pot/Chain Saw/Piece of Fruitcake in my Freezer (VOILA, a party theme!)This results in Frenzied mental fireworks: When (what day of the week works for YOU/ME/MY DOGS?), What color is the tablecloth? Ooooo what shall we eat? The distraction of pontificating all of these glorious possibilities inevitably results in a creatively designed invitation which sets the tone for the ENTIRE Event.

    When I embark on this endeavor it frequently really does result in a fabulous soiree but even if I do not actually send out an invitation so many elements of the creative process have come into play I cannot possibly be blocked another second.PARTY!!!

  • 67
    Jane T says:

    When I need a boost to creativity, I can always turn on some music and just loose myself in the melody and that makes ideas spark for me.

    Write about something that you laughed aloud at when you were all alone.

  • 68
    Barbara Lemme says:

    Getting stuck forces me to look at EVERYTHING: magazines, others’ cards, photos, store displays, books, blogs,friends’ work…on and on until something, even just a simple quote or word, jars my brain. And then the fun begins.

  • 69
    Elizabeth D says:

    I browse through my torn out magazine pages stockpile. I also go to my favorite internet sites and take a peek!!( I am there at the moment) I also set up a schedule that devotes time to my pursuits and limits my time wasting behaviors. When I am stuck I seem to find I need to direct some types of other activities–relax and recharge the brain.

  • 70
    Ernie says:

    When I get stuck I often find that it is because my supplies, etc. have gotten so disorganized and chaotic that it overloads my brain. I’m very visual and total visual disorder isn’t good for me. So I simply do a little straightening and organizing of my supplies. Being able to see my workspace and locate my tools makes it easier to relax and get my groove back.

  • 71
    Carole says:

    I love all the ideas that were given to “unstick” ourselves when that happens. My biggest problem is lack of time and, because of that, I get bogged down with too many ideas flying around in my brain at one time. When I finally get the time to work on a project, I have to force myself to relax and let those ideas stop dancing around in my head and let them flow into the project…not always an easy task.

  • 72
    Penny S says:

    I belong to some yahoo groups that help me at times with some ideas. One site I found was Every Day Matters and the yahoo group is kind of fun because there are tons of different exercises you can try. And doesn’t every day matter? I also call my bestest friend and talk to her and that will usually help me out with getting my creativity rolling…got to love best friends!

  • 73
    Aleeda says:

    I have to say I am rarely “stuck”, and it is simply because I have accidentally surrounded myself (online and off) with people who spark my creativity. They are young, old, creative crafters, non-creative philosophers and convereationalists, who give my artistic soul food for thought. Spending time with them pushes me to explore. This group is one of those “people”. Thanks, folks!

  • 74
    Penny S says:

    Drats! I didn’t win! Ok, I went to Amazon and got one for me and my bestest squirrelfriend! (Long story about that one but funny) Amazon had the best prices for the book…can’t wait to get mine! Woo hoo!

  • 75
    Fiona F says:

    My solution to stuckness is to go play in the garden. There’s real therapy in getting your hands dirty, pulling out weeds, watching the birds, raking leaves or bringing flowers inside. It always short circuits negative inner critic babble! Nature awakens me to wonderful sights, sounds and ideas that i don’t normally get sitting at my art table.

  • 76
    susan says:

    I’m always stuck, unless I am in the shower, very tough to write ideas in soap on the shower door. So they wash away, and I’m stuck all over again.
    I definitely need a huge push in the right direction, this book might be
    my soul saver.

  • 77

    1. i meditate for 20 minutes to a half hour…completely re-sets the brain.
    2. i nap
    3. go to museums
    4. walk alone. if i go with a friend, too much talking!
    5. pull out the pens and markers like most of you…

  • 78

    When I’m stuck, I say, “so what” to all of my self talk, and then I say, ‘take one tiny step”. So, if I want to get to my pottery, but haven’t; I give myself permission to throw just one bowl. Or as a writer, to write just for a few minutes, or as a painter, simply get the paints ready. “Just do it” even in small ways is my mantra to get unstuck. Works for me!
    Cheers to Jill Badonsky’s works – Nine Modern Day Muses and a Bodyguard and the Awe-Manac!
    And wow to all of you for your insights!

  • 79

    I’m ready to give another Awe-manac away.
    Join the Awe-manac fan page on Facebook to be part of a drawing and then, so I know you’re a Wisdom Woman reader click “like” on the current post which is: Music is the art of thinking with sounds.~Jules Combarie http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Awe-manac-Page/139054194785
    If you already have an Awe-manac, I’ll send it to a friend and you’ll get good karma points.


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