Friday, July 31, 2009

Pushing Creativity in Other Directions

by Heather Justesen

I love writing, and reading, and reading, and writing. Editing--not so much (although if you are one of those insane people who prefer editing over writing the first draft I have a question for you: want to collaborate?). Sometimes though, I find I just have to put away the laptop, set down the books and do something completely unrelated to writing. This has taken many forms over the years. I've done a little quilt making,

played around with garden art,

scrapbooked, embroidered, paint by number (Seriously, this is the only kind of painting I can do. Without detailed guidelines and instructions it just looks like a bunch of blobs.), and more recently I've gotten into cake decorating.

None of these projects are exactly writing related, but they fuel my creativity anyway, get me thinking in different directions. I've been known to come up with fun story ideas or quirky scenes while I work with my hands, letting my mind do something out of the ordinary.

Just like with anything else, too much of a good thing can tire me out and a change of activity can be very important in getting my writing juices flowing again. (Notice none of these options include training for or running marathons? I'm more than happy to leave that to Jaime. A nice, leisurely walk--I'm there! Running two blocks--I like my joints just the way they are, thanks!) After I've taken a break I'm ready to get back into my writing, tweak a subplot, or allow that character to do what they wanted instead of what I had planned. Sometimes their plans are better than mine.

Who knows, I might stumble across an interesting plot twist while I'm surfing the internet looking for cake ideas.


Jillayne Clements said...


You're my kind of gal. I love creating just about anything, and the break from writing and thinking about plots until my brain hurts is great. Nice creations, by the way.

Anne Bradshaw said...

Is that a REAL Tristi cake?? Or are you a whizz at Photoshop, too? :-)

Heather Justesen said...

Anne, that was a REAL Tristi's cake. Cool huh? My sister printed it for me with her special printer on rice paper so it's all edible and I applied it. She actually sells the pictures (or makes the completed cakes) in her cake busines.

Marcia Mickelson said...

Those cakes are amazing. I am so impressed.

Shauna said...

I am one of those "insane people who prefer editing over writing the first draft" and I would absolutely love to work on a different project. I've been working with Project Gutenberg so long I'm tired of only editing a few pages of a completed manuscript or having to allow mistakes to pass simply because they were in the original text.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I love the cake you did for Tristi! You are totally doing the cake for my book launch. You're incredible!

kersten campbell said...

WOW!! You are amazing!