All writers have a process that allows them to create. However, the art of "Writing" is often mistaken for that "Process." Hopefully this blog explains the difference, and inspires people to develop their crafts, become writers, or just keep on writing.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Creativity Outside of Writing

I will be the first to admit it - I got a pretty strong case of spring fever this weekend (a little early, but that's Chicago weather for you). I have been getting my fair share of outdoor time, prepping the bicycle for some riding, and generally doing a lot of things that have everything to do with the weather and very little to do with writing. However, this does not mean I didn't take a little time to flex my creative muscles. I just didn't do it by writing.

I mentioned in a previous post that I have been helping a friend get his poetry and photography published. His work (viewable at is very impressive, and I have found myself getting all kinds of creative inspiration merely by reading his works and viewing his photos. My assistance in getting his work into the land of publication is strictly from a technical side, but I draw some creative energy from merely being a participant in this process. In short, I have created absolutely nothing but I am a little stronger for having explored the process of other people.

That being said, another part of this current publication process is that I have been working with the art of another creative type - Lizzie Nelson (you can find her site/stuff here). While she is a dog person and I am drawn more by the passive-aggressive nature of cats, nevertheless I saw some of her work and my mind began rolling around, thinking creative thoughts and comparing styles. Some of her graphics reminded me of old Charles Addams' works, while others were distinctly more Avant Garde, and they drew me to read her blog. Yes - artwork drew me to read her words. This is part of the beauty of creativity - there are plenty of different forms, but they all spring from a common fountain.

Even the very simple things can feed into the entire creative process - possibly even as a cure for writer's block. Take for example artwork. I have sketched a few little things, drawn some others, created graphics, illustrations, design layouts, etc., but I never felt I had the "touch" for turning pen or pencil into magic. Maybe charcoal, but that's another story. But every now and then I get pushed to try something simple and create a little thing. What inspires me? The logo on my blog. It's a simple yet strategically creative piece, created by Rhys Fuller merely because he wanted me to have a logo. I loved it and it became my masthead. However, as Rhys is also a talented writer (and far younger than his talent suggests), that logo reminds me that creativity is not a narrow path but a vast expanse. Writing is just one path to take (or rather, make), just like drawing, photography, music, etc. And for my regular readers - yes, most of the general rules here apply to creativity in general. Your first attempt will suck. Future attempts will each suck a little less. You will learn through sharing and finding things within yourself that you never thought you could do. And on many occasions, you will surprise yourself in hindsight once you realize, "Holy crap, I just did that!" 

It's a wonderful feeling, so never pass up the chance to find it.       


  1. Yes! Nice to hear your experience and ‘expansion’, or appreciation of creative pursuits. They all fuel each other, whether or not we are aware of it. And you’ve been creative & had the talent much longer than you have spoken up about it. Enjoy!

    1. I think we are all creative in our own ways, and that it's more of a matter of nurturing that part of our mind.