My Writing Process, a blog tour

27 04 2014

I was invited to join this blog tour on #mywritingprocess by Lisa Froman. Lisa is an inspired writer. Even though we live in the same town, we only recently became friends through blogging. I now often start my day with a meditation from her book, Tao Flashes. I find myself in the company of very talented and seasoned writers in this blog tour. When Lisa asked if I wanted to join the tour, I said, “Sure, I’ll do it!” Even though I consider myself a novice writer, I am confident talking about my creative process. I also try to say yes to things that push me out of my comfort zone.

Yet as I’m starting to write, I’m questioning and asking myself, why am I doing this? This tour is full of real writers. But because I know my process, I know to ignore that annoying voice of self-doubt that plague most creative folk including myself.

creativeporcess

I’ve been an advertising/marketing art director for my entire professional career. I started giving workshops on creativity and leading Artist’s Way groups a few years back. I have found it important to understand your creative process, no matter your medium. Once you know your own unique process, you know how to get through the bumps and how to nurture your muse.

1. Why do I write what I do?

I write because I need my voice to be heard.

I work in corporate world. My creative voice is often drowned out by those higher up the corporate food chain. My writing is something that is all mine. I can tell whatever story I want to tell; I can craft it how I want; I do not have to get anyone’s approval before I hit publish. Blogging is not part of my day job, so writing is a new and fresh creative outlet for me. It is liberating and I’ve grown in wonderful and unexpected ways because of my blog.

2. How does my work differ from others of it’s genre?

This question made me slip into the procrastination part of my process. I’m now caught up with all my social media friends and have watched a TED talk and a few cat videos. This question stumps me because I’ve just started to call myself a writer. OK, here goes…

My genre is midlife blogging. My writing differs because I’m writing about my life journey from my point of view. I’m a designer/writer/marketer/speaker/extrovert who needs quiet time/traveler/foodie/only child of an only child/lover/southerner (bless my heart)/friend/empty nester and on and on, all of which uniquely informs my writing. I have a quirky sense of humor, so I often write of the goofy things I do. I’ve found love in my 50’s after divorce and I write about that.  I live in a part of the world that is like no other and I write about that.  I like to bake and have my grandmother’s handwritten recipes and I share those.  I write about my creative journey. And I don’t want to be pegged as a certain kind of writer because I don’t know where my journey will take me, so I have difficulty describing my genre.

3. How does your writing process work?

There’s a book I use as a resource in studying the creative process. It’s The Creative Process Illustrated. There are similarities and differences in everyone’s process. I’ve learned my writing process is different than my design process and is different from my speaker process. Here’s my writing process:

• Wake up early
• In my PJs, with a cup of coffee, handwrite in a notebook, curled up in my chair
• Stare off into space, write, meditate, write, meditate, get another cup of coffee, write, meditate
• Walk away from draft, take a shower
• Rewrite draft on computer
• Print it out, go back to chair, edit all over the page
• Repeat
• Write, edit
• Write, edit
• Write, edit
• Go for a walk
• Write, edit,
• Proof, proof again
• Publish
• Keep finding typos

4. What am I working on now?

I’ve got several projects in the works outside of my day job. A big one that is taking up a ridiculous amount of time is trying to kill the bamboo in my backyard. My sweetie and I started a business last summer making marketing videos. I’m focusing on making our dream grow by wearing my marketing hat. We’re shooting a pop up dinner party next week that may grow into a tv pilot pitch and should be a lot of fun.

I’m also putting together a creative retreat for this summer. It’ll start with an exploration of the creative process. Then we’ll break into small groups and the participants will write or draw. The goal is to better understand your process so when asked these kinds of questions you know how to answer them.

Where I write.

Where I write.

Next in the process

The great part of this blog tour is reading what other writers have to say. I now pass the torch to a writer I met last year at BlogHer.  She is a women I instantly felt a connection with and she is a gifted writer.

Helene Cohen Bludman has been writing all her life, but mostly for other people. In 2013 she left her job in university marketing to become a full-time writer and work on her unfinished novel. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, BlogHer, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, and more. Helene writes a wonderful blog called Books is Wonderful. Check out her writing process.

Here’s the link to other writer’s in this blog tour.
Read what they had to say about their process.

Marci Rich

Jane Gassner

Janie Emaus

Walker Thornton

Lisa Froman

Mindy Klapper Trotta

Cathy Chester

Linda Maltz Wolff





Self Doubt

5 03 2013

4.1.1

I just accomplished a goal. I traveled to give a workshop. It’s the first time I’ve been asked to present my Creativity and Innovation workshop out of town. It was also the largest audience I’ve ever presented to. Since it was a regional women’s conference, it was not filled with familiar faces.  I did great. I’ve presented this several times, so it’s been fine-tuned. I had good involvement with the audience, they laughed when I wanted them to and a few lingered afterwards to talk. Immediately after I had that speaker high from the knowledge that I did well.

So the surprise came on the daylong drive home. I did well, but I asked myself,  “Was it good enough?”  I know I was not as good as the keynote speaker.  I’ve got no future bookings.  I’m really a fraud.

Wow! Where did this negative self speak come from? I’m immersed in what the creative process is. Not only is it what my workshop is about, I’m also facilitating An Artist’s Way at Work group and we’re halfway through the 12-week program. Even my professional club’s last speaker a few days ago was on the Creative Process.

I was experiencing the very thing I talk about—negative self speak. I know this can be roadblocks to creativity, if we allow it.

My club’s speaker said something that put it all into context. It’s that yes, self-doubt is part of the creative process (at least for many). We all experience it somewhat differently. When it happens, simply recognize it for what it is.  What’s important is to know your own process.

AH HA! So for me, this self-doubt is part of me pushing my own boundaries. That doesn’t mean to stop moving forward.  This happened after I gave my presentation, not before, which is when I expected the emotion.  So, I must be gentle with myself and not let this emotion stop me.

I’ve also leaned to recognize the gifts the universe sends me. In the middle of all these negative thoughts, I get an email. I’ve been asked to be a conversationalist at the upcoming TEDxLSU . I respond immediately with a big YES.  I don’t even really know what the duties of the job entail, but I figure they know I can talk to most anybody. Me being a talker, of this I have no doubt.

If you 
enjoyed my blog, I’d love for you to 
hit the follow button and share
 it with your friends!
—Connie





Birthing an Idea

4 11 2012

I am in labor right now. The gestation period is coming to an end. I’m birthing an idea. My partner and I are creating a brand new business. This isn’t the first idea we’ve given birth to, but it’s the first business we’ve created together. We know that once an idea is born, it takes on a life of it’s own. I’ll be a working mom. I’m not quitting my day job to take care of this baby. I work in Marketing at one of the largest OB hospitals in the country, so this birthing analogy is natural for me. I’m still waiting for my real baby girl to be totally self-supporting. Time will tell if either of these babies will eversupport me!

If the idea of starting a business was inception, the first labor pain was coming up with the name.That name became Greenview Designs. Why Greenview? It’s the literal
avenue where our creative journey starts every day. It’s our creative oasis. It’s where we grow ideas.

Our vision is a business that houses different kinds of design and nurtures creativity. Together we have decades worth of talent and experience of turning ideas into things. We want our idea to grow into what it wants to be and will give it the freedom to go where life takes it.  I like the story of FAB. It started out as one business model and evolved into something else. That something is even more fabulous than the original
idea. 

Our starting concept is that Greenview Design is a design and strategy company. We’ll
facilitate workshops on creativity and innovation; offer graphic design services; commercial TV/video producing and production expertise; branding and marketing consultation. We’ll transfer your VHS tape to a DVD. And we’ll nurture a personal passion—custom furniture design.

Procrastination is really a part of the creative process. I’m good at this phase. Finally after spending some quality time procrastinating, I pushed and pushed and a logo was finally created. Designers put extra pressure on themselves when designing something for themselves. I treated myself as a client and came up with three options. Then I made it my partner’s job to pick one. Here’s a bit of the process work.

First ideas are
rarely the best in logo design.

After I did
this, I realized I’m watching too much
HGTV.

Clean, classic
and simple.

The chosen logo.

The Hurricane Bar is the first custom built furniture that was created under the Greenview Designs umbrella. Here are a few more examples of custom furniture that’s available.

Chef’s
Table

Shaker Step-Back
Cupboard

This blog is about
my creative journey, so it’s seems appropriate that the birth of
our business is shared here. I’ll keep you updated with this baby’s
progress. Facebook, Pinterest and a website will be among it’s
first milestones.  We’re still deciding who gets the president
or the CEO title, which reminds me, I better design that business
card.

HEE, HEE,
HOO.

An idea is born into the
world.  Watch it grow!

Contact us at:
greenviewdesigns@gmail.com





100 Artists

9 09 2012

I’ve created a workshop on how to learn innovation through the creative process. There is a TED video that just didn’t quite fit in to the workshop. But it’s all things I like, it’s funny, quirky, extremely creative and helps me look at the world in a fresh way—I’d love to hang out with the speaker.

If you’re not familiar with TED, you should check it out. It’s filled with videos by experts in their fields. They are often mind-blowing, paradigm shifting talks that never fail to inspire me. I would love to help bring a TED conference to BR someday. I started a Lunch with Ted Tuesdays at my office. (All Ted Talks are under 15 minutes.)

I came across 100 Artists one day when I was looking for inspirations. If you watch it, you’ll get the gist of his talk in a few minutes if you don’t have the time or inclination to watch the whole thing. 

The artist Shae Hembray  talks about a biennale. I didn’t know what this was (an art exhibit that happens every two years). And the next day I was watching TV and there was a story on the most famous biennale in the world in Venice. So of course this is now on my bucket list.

What I like about the video is what I hope I get across in my workshop. To be fearless with your ideas and if something is not right that it’s OK to throw it away and go it a totally new direction. To push yourself and learn that magic often happens in “mistakes.”

I looked up the artist after watching the video and see that he had created a beautiful (and pricey) book of his biennale.  And was then surprised to discover how controversial this work was.

Where I saw fun and creativity and innovation, some saw disrespect and a mocking of “real art.” I then liked it even more, because isn’t art suppose to be something that you talk about and maybe move you out of your comfort zone.  And it inspired me and the creative team I work with and isn’t that what art should do? Unlike his critics, I believe he takes his work seriously—but he doesn’t take himself seriously. That also speaks to me.

I love the backstories he creates for each artist (that are all him). As he describes one artist he says, “It’s good she’s not real because she’d be mad I said that.” I guess she takes herself too seriously.

here’s another link in case the above ones don’t work

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/shea_hembrey_how_i_became_100_artists.html