Principles of a Creative Life

“The healthy creative life is an intentional life, in which the person examines options and opportunities, necessities and desires, and makes his or her choices accordingly.”

 ~~(Vinita Hampton Wright) in The Soul Tells a Story

You may know exactly what your writing dreams and gifts are because you’ve pondered them and journaled about them for a long time. That knowledge is important. But knowledge alone isn’t enough. You must be intentional in using this knowledge to develop your creative life.

A Writing Life on Purpose

The healthy creative life involves practices that help further develop your gifts. If you want to write, you have the responsibility to develop practices that help you grow. (You also need to get rid of habits that hurt your writing–but that’s another post!) You can (and should) set goals, design rituals to help you get started (light candles, make tea, put on music) and form habits that help you both start and continue writing.

Here are some questions for you to answer to examine this part of your life. Even if you’ve been writing for a long time, I’d suggest answering the questions based on where you are now. I found them very helpful myself. Without meaning to, we can get off-track, our life circumstances can get us off course, or we might never have given this sufficient thought to begin with.

Now’s the Time!

Here are some questions from The Soul Tells a Story. Brainstorm answers in your journal.

  • How intentional (using planning or goals) have I been about developing my creativity?
  • What opportunities am I looking for–and are these options open to me?
  • What qualities do I want to nurture in my personality and lifestyle that will allow me to use my gifts in my writing?
  • What rituals or practices always seem to work to help me do my writing?
  • What other rituals and practices that I’ve heard about would I like to try?

It’s time to make some intentional choices! We might need to make them for the first time–or we might need to make some because our life circumstances have changed.

We won’t grow as writers unless we intend to grow and choose to grow. What’s a “growth choice” that you might like to make–and implement–very soon?

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10 Responses to Principles of a Creative Life

  1. Katlyn says:

    I would like to get into a write every day habit! I’ve been having a really hard time with that. Setting a timer for 15 minutes at a time really helps me when I just sit down and make myself do it. Thanks for the post! :)

    • kwpadmin says:

      Katlyn, I have been having the exact same problem, and I used my timer this whole week to get my sludgy mind moving! If I would just take all the advice I give out so freely, I’d be very productive! But doing the posts reminds me of things I know and should be doing, and it nudges us all at the same time. :-)

  2. Bonnie says:

    I love this post. For one thing it made me remember that I have this Wright book and haven’t read the whole thing. Sometimes I seem to get distracted in the middle of books even when they are good ones. Her questions are right on target for me, which probably means that the whole book will be helpful. It will be a good read for a cold weekend. Thanks, Kristi.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Bonnie, you will love the book. I read it one weekend when an overseas flight got cancelled and I was stuck in a motel room. It was a lovely weekend, thanks to her book. :-)

  3. Vijaya says:

    This is a great post. I’ve been praying a lot about what direction I need to go with my writing and the answer keeps coming back is to stop the curriculum based NF work but instead work on the projects that I am passionate about, both F and NF. So, this year I will take that plunge and NOT go looking for work. If it comes to me, I will evaluate it on a case by case basis. It’s a little bit scary because the curriculum work is so much better defined and I do enjoy it, but I’ve also had less freedom to develop the books as I used to. So here’s hoping and praying my pet projects will sell :)

    As far as habits, pray, walk, write each day! It works for me.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Vijaya, I go through this kind of soul-searching on a regular basis. I don’t think greed has ever been my issue, but times like this I DO think it would be great to be independently wealthy and only work on the projects I really feel that “tug” for. But then, I remind myself that nobody has to be independently wealthy to write for an hour a day! And that will accomplish a lot. Pray, walk, write…unbeatable.

  4. Alice says:

    I have not been very intentional in my writing life lately (especially since the challenges ended – hint, hint!) I’ve poked at my latest ICL assignment and read a couple of sample magazines, but I haven’t even touched my novel in the past two months. I work full-time, so writing is a hobby for me, but if I want to take it seriously, I need to give it more focus. Thanks for the good reminder!

    • kwpadmin says:

      If it makes you feel any better, Alice, I had to join a group last week for a challenge myself. Life had taken over all my writing time…or, I should say, I had allowed it to. The week’s challenge jump started me again. We ALL need a boost sometimes to move our writing higher on our to-do lists!

  5. Deanna says:

    It’s great to see my writing challenge friends here! For the past several weeks, I’ve poured creativity into curriculum writing while my novel hides in my files. I’ve had a few family things to take care of as well. For some reason, I’m peaceful about this. Usually I would berate myself. However, at this point, I feel there is a time and place for everything. Has anyone encountered similar stages your writing experience?

    • kwpadmin says:

      Absolutely, Deanna, although when I have a novel actually in progress, it bothers me when I don’t get to write on it. But yes, there are seasons of life in writing just like there are seasons of life in everything else. :-)

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