Jar of Ideas

I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways to increase your creativity. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will share posts that focus on caregiving. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is J is for Jar of Ideas.As a teenager, I attended The Perpich Center for Art Education as a Literary Art student. Nearly every day in our Literary Arts classes, the teacher would pull a slip of paper from a jar of ideas. It might be a question or a quote. It could even be a single word.Then, she would start a timer.The timer might go for as little as a minute, but that was rare. More often it would be set for 5, 10, or 15 minutes. Once in a great while, we could write for 20 minutes. Using a timer as we write from the jar of ideas forced us to shape what we wrote to the confines of the timer. We had to begin, build, and wrap up our piece within the Read more…


Investigate

I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways to increase your creativity. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will share posts that focus on caregiving. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is I is for Investigate your CharacterMy 16-year-old daughter, Samantha Erickson, wrote a list of questions that she asks about the characters she creates. I was impressed when I read it and I’m grateful that she has allowed me to share the list here.(1) I think this is a great method for getting to know your character intimately. When you investigate your character, you see not only what they do but why they do it.Private InvestigatorImagine you are a private investigator and your latest assignment is to investigate your character. You’ve been asked to find out everything about him. If he sneezes, your client wants you to collect the Kleenex. You don’t just start asking him questions. Instead, you hang back, casual-like. Watch your character in his natural environment. The phone rings and he jumps Read more…


History

I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways to increase your creativity. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will share posts that focus on caregiving. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is H is for History.History can be a wonderful source of inspiration.Who hasn’t dreamed of going back to another place and time in history? Reading and writing about it is the next best thing. There are plenty of people who have done this before, so to stand apart from the crowd, it helps to approach it from a unique angle.During my 30-day digital detox in January, I limited my streaming to one Netflix program each day. With the extra time before going to sleep, I read books to my husband. One of the series we read was The Jack Turner Suspense Series. In the first book of the series, When Night Comes, Turner, a WWII expert is lecturing at his old college while working on a book. He finds himself going back in time in his Read more…


Give your character a flaw or two

I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways to increase your creativity. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will share posts that focus on caregiving. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is G is for, Give Your Character a Flaw or Two.One of the things that can sink an otherwise good story is a perfect character. It’s just not realistic. Even a hero needs a flaw or two. How deeply your character is flawed will depend on their role in the story.Are they the hero?Just because they are the star of the story doesn’t mean they get a pass on revealing the wounds in their soul. In fact, it’s more important than ever that we learn they’re just like us—human (even if they are an android or an elf). We need to be able to relate to the hero of the story, and nothing is easier to relate to than a flaw. Maybe your hero is insecure because he didn’t make the cut on the team, Read more…


Friends

I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways to increase your creativity. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will share posts that focus on caregiving. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is F is for Friends & Creativity.Friends & Writer’s BlockIn the last couple of days, I’ve felt blocked. Although I have a lot to get done, the words just don’t seem to want to come. The bad news of my husband’s health declining sent us into reaction mode. I’d previously scheduled some one on one time with 2 wonderful friends this week. Each of these women is so special to me. They have been such supportive friends. Despite the fact that I did too much of the talking, they were each gracious and understanding. Afterward, I felt very motivated to get my projects done. It got me thinking about to the value of friends in our creative process.Henry Ford once said, “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”That’s one Read more…


Exercise

I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways to increase your creativity. Today’s post is E is for Exercise Increases Creativity. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will share posts that focus on caregiving. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list.Researchers have found anecdotal evidence that people who exercise on a regular basis do better on creative thinking activities than those who don’t exercises. There are two important things to keep in mind about exercise as a creative stimulant.Make your exercise aerobicAerobic exercise is also known as “cardio”. It’s the exercise that requires more oxygen than usual in order to perform the exercise. Remember those Jane Fonda Workouts from the late 80s? Those were aerobic. So is jogging and swimming. There’s something wonderful about the exchange of fresh air for the mind. If you want to use exercise to boost creativity, do something aerobic such as walking. This brings up the next important point and one that might even be more crucial to understand.Make your exercise part of your Read more…

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