Category Archives: Creating

I am not… A photographer

I am not a photographer.

(part#1 of the ‘I am not…’ series)

Sometimes I take photos. I know very little about photography, but I know what looks good (to me) and if I see an image I like; something that captures a thought or a moment and/or uplifts or inspires me, I will stop and take a photo. Sometimes I think they’re pretty good.

Here are some of the images I have saved over at Flickr, that I think might fit the ‘pretty good’ category:

You may have noticed that I sometimes include images in my blog posts. Occasionally I will buy a photo from an image bank, but most of them I have taken myself. So now you know.

I am not a photographer, but sometimes I take photos. Some of them are alright.

The birthday blog

I have just realised that my blog is now officially a year old! Well, one year and one month to be precise, the actual birth date (October 4th 2009) passed while I was taking a break.

But these details aren’t important. When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure how often I would post, and whether anyone would be interested in my ramblings, but here we are, just over a year later, and I have been (fairly) consistent so far, and many of you are reading! Again, I thank you.

So, as it’s my blog birthday, I would like you to share in the celebrations! I am offering two prizes – one for the first to post a comment below, and one for the most creative comment – any format is fine – you could write a poem, a short story, some prose, or post a photo or anything else you have created. Surprise me!

The first post will win an edible treat (to be agreed depending on your preferences and location!), and the winner of the most creative post will be the first to feature in a series of interviews I am planning, ‘Ordinary People,’ as well as an amazon voucher or cash prize (£10 or local currency equivalent). This competition will run for two weeks, and closes on Sunday 7th October, after which I will be in touch with the winners by email (so please do include your email address on your post).

Good luck! 🙂

Through a child’s eyes

I love the way children make you look at the world in different ways.  This weekend, my husband and I were asked to babysit his nieces at short notice (are they my nieces too now that we’re married..?  I am still not sure how it all works….) and although tired after my first full week back at work, I was looking forward to seeing them.  Also, if I’m honest, I had planned to do some writing that day and as I was still lacking motivation, I was secretly pleased to have a valid reason not to.

So, on the way home, I picked up a paddling pool and some bubbles, and when the girls arrived we had a few hours of fun in the garden, followed by story time (I was hoping this would make them sleepy).  This was when I rediscovered my passion for poetry.  I read the girls one of Roald Dahl’s revolting rhymes, having as much fun as they did, as, through their giggles and squeals of delight, I re-lived the first time I had heard when Little Red Riding Hood ‘…whips a pistol from her knickers.’  Their excitement was contagious, and ‘story-time’ quickly turned into ‘poetry hour,’ as the girls demanded to hear more poems, and asked whether I had written anything for children (I have.  They liked it).

After this, they had planned to draw pictures about the stories we’d read, but Olivia, the eldest (8yrs) looked at me thoughtfully.   ‘I might write a poem,’ she said.  I told her I would love to read anything she wrote but still she sat quietly, a frown forming on her face. ‘Hey, what’s going on up here?’ I asked, gently touching her frown.  ‘Well, I have an idea, but it doesn’t make sense and it’s a bit silly so I don’t think it will work.’  Without even thinking, I told her that there are no rules when it comes to poetry, and she should go ahead and write whatever she was thinking of.  I showed her a couple of nonsense poems, just to prove my point.  She then happily sat down and wrote a funny nonsense poem, ‘Rub ‘a’ Dub,’ about three men in a tub (naturally), eating grubs and turning into mugs.  You can see her finished work below.

While she was busily writing and illustrating her poetic efforts, it dawned on me that the very question she had asked me, goes on in my head all the time:  ‘I have an idea but…  It won’t work/it doesn’t make sense/you’re not supposed to…’  Where did I learn all these rules that I so easily dismissed when trying to nuture a child’s creativity?  Who did all these ‘shoulds’ come from..?  And do I want to continue to hold myself back, or do I want to keep moving?  These thoughts flashed by as I settled the girls in front of a movie and they gradually fell asleep.

The next morning I wrote two poems on my phone’s memo function before I even got out of bed.  Simply changing my perspective had released the creativity I had been struggling to find, and I was eager to get to my laptop and start writing.

So, dear Readers – is it just me, or do you also find that this kind of unhelpful self-talk can hold you back?  If so, how?  And whose perspective could you ‘try on’ to release yourself from the ‘shoulds’ in your creative life?

Creative destruction

A while ago, I blogged about my copy of Keri Smith’s book, ‘Wreck this journal,’ and how I had started to wreck it, abandoned it, and then wrecked it again.  Back then, I promised to post evidence of further destruction ‘in due course.’

Well, I got distracted.  However, this week I decided to experiment again with destruction as a form of creation.  So, I got the journal out again, followed some of the instructions, and took some photos.

It wasn’t quite as much fun as kicking it around the garden with a snow covered football, but still.  For me, it’s important to be destructive from time to time, and this is a good way to channel that.  Do you have destructive tendencies?  If so, how do you channel this part of you into your creative work?

And now for something different…

When I started this blog, my intention was of course to write, and also to explore other creative avenues and share them here.  This was my intention, and yet before today, apart from the odd photo, I had yet to try anything new…  So, today I decided to do something different.

I found some old art materials that I bought some time ago when I used to make birthday cards instead of buying them, and looked through some old photos for inspiration.  Here’s the result:

If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog for some time, and this image looks familiar, that’s because you may have seen it before. If you are new to this blog, then welcome!  I hope to see you back here again soon.

So, what do you think?  Shall I continue to explore other art forms or do you think I should stick to writing?  Feel free to comment honestly below!  I’d also be interested to know what your favourite way to create is, and whether you have tried anything different lately…