IWSG February 2019

I missed posting this on time, but whatever. Here’s my answer for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group prompt.

Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?

Writing has been my main creative outlet for a long, long time — second only to daydreaming, probably, which is absolutely where my drive to write started. Some of my other creative hobbies have, similarly, come out of writing, and others have come in on their own.

Drawing

I guess I’ve always been a doodler, always been very fussy about my crayons and color pencils and markers. For a long stretch I didn’t do anything with those because I was too much of a perfectionist, and the colors weren’t going down consistent enough. Have you ever looked at something you colored in with a Crayola marker and didn’t like it because the pen strokes were at slightly different angles or overlapped to much and made a dark/light/dark stripe effect? That sort of thing. Anyway, in college I ended up taking a life drawing class and I loved the control of graphite, the messy straightforwardness of charcoal, and, omg, my fave, coloring in a sketch with watercolor.

But oddly enough, what really made me feel like an “artist” was making fanart comics. And because I’m a fan of the economy of simple lines (and I can’t draw backgrounds for the life of me, lol), I got into the habit of drawing stick figure comics. While it wasn’t exactly High Art, it was a really entertaining way to convey a story. And I did do other, mostly watercolor based fanart as well.

Baking

For some reason, my grandma and I are the only people in my family who seem to really enjoy making pies. I probably started because of the apple tree in my parents’ backyard, and because I knew my dad’s friend Jane also baked and was willing to share her pie dough recipe with me. (A few years after doing so she made me cry over not refrigerating the dough in the right shape… and that, more or less, is why she’s not invited to my wedding this summer. Life’s to short to make a nineteen year old cry over spheres vs disks, come on.)

I do follow recipes. I think partly because I started in baking, where ratios and things tend to be Very Important, but also because I’d rather produce something tried and edible than an experimental disaster. The more I learn about spices and different flours and lower carb options, the more I’ve become willing to experiment. Started with tweaking the spiced sugar mix on the apples, and so far I’m up to subbing a mix of almond and coconut flours for regular flour because my grandpa has celiacs. (Coconut flour burns, like, at the drop of a hat though, so maybe I’ll do a 3:1 blend or something next time.) And, branching out from this, there’s also…

Cooking

Again, I follow recipes. But I spend a lot of time googling substitutions. My spice rack grows in fits and starts, but if I don’t have something I’ll try something else instead.

There’s a thrill in trying a new recipe and discovering a new favorite. I’ve made keto tortillas several times, made cauliflower fried rice a lot, made a keto French onion soup not often enough because it’s amazing. There’s a pride in creating edible things. And I’ve even started collecting the recipes I tend to reuse into my own recipe binder for future, plastic-sheet-protected reference. Someday it might even rival the massive Holiday Recipes cookbook my grandma gave me one Christmas (each of the grandkids got one) with every cookie, candy, chocolate, and brittle recipe she has (and possibly also my great granny had) ever made.

Plus, getting more into cooking has allowed me to get more into healthy foods, and it feels really good to have kept off the thirty pounds I lost last year. Hashtag confidence boost.


Overall, I think a creative outlet is something that should boost you up. Having a finished product afterwards is nice, but not always necessary because it’s more about how you feel. Like, clearing out the cobwebs and putting good, accomplished feelings in their place.

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#AtoZChallenge — Calculate

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across. 


Numerology is one of those things that I’ve always found interesting and my partner is really into, but I’ve never really learned very much about. So it was kind of cool to come across this A to Z post by Tricia’s Energy Garden and the concept of Universal Day Energy.

The basic idea is that everything can be reduced to a single, 1-9 digit. To calculate the number of a particular day, you add together the current month, current day, and current year.

April 3rd, 2018 = 4 + 3 + (2+0+1+8) = 4 + 3 + (1+1) = 4 + 3 + 2 = 9

From there, each number resonates with a particular kind of task or activity, providing some direction for the most creatively productive thing you can do that day.

  1. This is a great time to start new things and begin new projects, especially involving music or hands-on creativity. Apparently male energy is a thing with this number.
  2. This number is all about cooperation, kindness, and connecting with others. Write things and review them with other people in mind. Keep secrets rather than telling them all over town. Female energy is involved here.
  3. Be social and in a party mood, express yourself artistically, find joy in your work, write. This is a great time for decision-making, asking for special favors, and buying special gifts. Express your own creativity.
  4. This is a good number for strength, stability, rules, and being very deliberate and organized. Create long term goals, lay a good foundation, and remember that if you feel confined by your duties, your efforts will eventually pay off.
  5. This is a good day for movement, travel, meeting new people, and trying new things. Expect or create sudden changes, get in touch with your sensual self. Although, you’ll also want to make sure you don’t go too fast and recklessly get yourself in trouble.
  6. This number is very vibrant, and a good time to take care of yourself and your living and work environments. Create harmony and share your responsibilities with family and friends, but be careful not to expect too much.
  7. This is a spiritual day, a day for meditation and coming up with new ideas, even if you don’t act on them today. Do research, learn something new, get some rest, and avoid gossip.
  8. This day is very much about money, power, leadership, and control. Strong feelings may surface, and it’s a good time to examine how you deal with authority figures, especially when in the grips of those strong feelings.
  9. Give and care for others and the world at large. Be creative and express yourself in theater, visual art, or music. Bring things to a conclusion; finish up projects or let them go.

(source)

I haven’t yet decided if any of the above information is too vague to really help me make decisions in my life, and the male/female associations of 1 and 2 kind of rubs me the wrong way. But hey, it’s something new to think about. If I ever get a job again and have some big marketing projects to work on, and that day happens to be an 8, that random factoid might just give me the confidence boost I need to make some major progress.

There’s more to the post that originally inspired this: taking the day’s number into account is step three of making conscious choices to be the most creative we can be.

Step 1: Understanding what time of day is best for you for each task on your list

Step 2: Turning off distractions

Step 3: Tapping into the energy of the day, month and year

Tricia’s Energy Garden

Those seem like really good guidelines to me, as bad as I am at step two. What do you think?