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What I Learned About Writing This Week…from Becca J. Campbell


Hile, inklings!

As you already know if you follow me on Twitter or if you read my blog, the past several weeks have seen me in the desperate throes of moving from an apartment to a rental house.

Hence, I’ve been doing everything under the sun except writing: painting kitchen cabinets, packing, loading vehicles with an atrocious number of boxes, vacuuming, scrubbing, unpacking, and voicing to one and all my joys of living in a house and my despair at ever getting the previous abode clean enough to turn in the keys.


Somebody, Please, Hit the Reset Button!

The point of that rather long sentence was that I haven’t had the time, energy, or mental capacity to do anything creative. (Painting my new kitchen does sort of count — but it was a labor, not a love.) On Monday night, I took a break from my endeavors and hied myself to Aaron’s house for Weekly Monday Night Consortium Time (WeeMoNiCT?).

Hanging out with my fellow creatives is always #goodtomysoul (as one might tweet), and Monday night was no exception. I arrived exhausted and left rejuvenated! This happened, in part, through a chat with my friend Becca J. Campbell, who doesn’t know that I’m writing this about her. 😉

Becca J. Campbell of Inspiration for Creation

Inspiration for Creation

Becca has a fantastic blog, Inspiration for Creation, which you really should check out if you haven’t read it yet.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Ah. There you are. See?! I told you she’s cramazing.

Creative Space: The Artist’s Frontier

So, Becca’s been writing this smashing series of posts on designing the space where you do your creative stuff. As I’ve thought about moving into my new home and arranging my own new creative space, I’ve leaned heavily on the things I’ve gleaned from Becca’s posts. So far, however, this is just an intellectual exercise, because I’ve still got too many boxes filling up the places I think I’ll be creative in.

Bad, bad boxes! The excitement of moving and the exhaustion of cleaning frenzy have left me drained. I want to be writing, but I can’t think straight long enough to write. I want to be painting, but my art-studio-to-be looks like a hoarder lives in it. I don’t know where my paints are, and I’ve lost track of my scribblebook.

You Bet I Want Cheese with My Whine

What happens to a creative when she’s not creating? She either wilts, or she gets restlessly itchy. When I arrived at Aaron’s on Monday night, Becca and I delved into this topic almost as soon as I arrived — because, you see, it turns out Becca’s in the same non-creating phase I’m in right now.

I’m getting restlessly itchy. I’d even go so far as to say I’m getting petulant.

Becca is wilting. She’s started down a spiral that leads to depression.

We’re both sick of where we are.

Becca, initiator that she is, decided to do something about it.

Spinning a Good Yarn

Soon after we started talking, Becca pulled out some craft supplies. We’d both watched Trish make these awesome, swirly pictures by gluing pieces of varicolored yarn to a flat, solid backing. I’ve wanted to try it.

Becca is doing it.

As we talked, she worked with her yarn and her glue — and by the end of the evening, she had a cool, funky yarn picture of three trees rising up out of grass.

Me, I had a finished blog post — but that didn’t feel terribly special. After all, I write 2-3 blog posts per week. Not that they’re perfect or I’m an expert, but it’s not like I haven’t done it before.

Becca did something she hadn’t done before. And just watching her inspired me.

Not that I’m ready to try my hand at the yarn thing. For one, I don’t know where my yarn is. Maybe it’s off having a little tête-à-tête with my scribblebook.

But I am ready to do something creative and new-to-me, or maybe just something creative that I haven’t done in a long time. Hmmm…I wonder how tough it would be to find my pencils and sketchbook in all this moving mess?

Anyway, I think a new-to-me project would tide me over until I can get down to noveling again. I don’t yet know what that project is — but, thanks to Becca, I’ve remembered that the petulance/depression of not-creating only has power over me if I allow it.

I need to write — but when I can’t write, there are other creative avenues open to me. I just have to choose to walk them.

And that’s WILAWriTWe!

What is your creative cure-of-choice?

When you can’t pursue your first creative love, do you feel such petulance/depression? Do you give in to it?

How do you fight it?

How do your fellow creatives inspire you?

6 Responses to “What I Learned About Writing This Week…from Becca J. Campbell”

  1. Joshua Unruh says:

    This is an interesting problem for me. I don’t really have any other creative outlets beyond writing. So far, this hasn’t really been an issue. But one day I’m going to want to do something creative that isn’t writing and I have no idea what will come of it.

    Something wicked this way meanders.

    I need a creative hobby. Suggest some, commenters! (And Courtney can suggest some too, I guess.)

  2. […] heard about that Consortium Time meeting. Courtney talked about it here, and Jessie talked about it on her blog today. (Sorry, […]