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A Question about Blogging and Creativity

Thank you to everyone who posted questions for me! Today's question comes from melindadansky:

How do you expect blogging to help in other creative areas of your life?

I'm not entirely certain that it will, but I think it might, and I'm trying to discover the best ways to give it a chance to do so.

Last week, when I was wondering how to encourage myself to write more, I thought about the topics that move me. I love writing, reading about writing, and writing about writing. I also love art, nutrition, health & fitness, creativity, efficiency, music, conventions, meeting people, and generally learning how to be the best, kindest, most rockstar version of myself I can be. How does one fit in all of those things, and the many other things I haven't listed, in order to live a full life and get the writing done?

I haven't figured it out.

One thing I need is to protect my time for writing while keeping my home environment livable. In the area of creativity, I'm damned if I don't, and slightly less damned if I do. I'm miserable if I don't write or draw, so I need to do those things. If I write, draw, and feed my creativity with reading good books too much, everything else in my life starts to fall apart and at some point I start to feel miserable because the house is a mess, I haven't exercised in weeks, and we're not eating enough fruits and vegetables because I haven't had time to buy groceries.

How will blogging more--spending more of my time--help me? Explaining an idea to other people is a way to understand it better, myself. As I've learned from reading slush for Clarkesworld, reading submissions teaches me a little, but explaining what I do or don't like about the submissions teaches me a lot. My hope is that when I try things at home, in my constant quest to become more efficient around here, I will catch on to useful methods for being healthy, productive, creative and tidy--and that explaining those methods will give the ideas to others while reinforcing them for me.

I'm also learning about the connection between creativity and relationships. I hate the connotations of the word "networking," because certain sleazy, manipulative, business-speaking jerks have made networking into a game of going out and advertising their product to as many people as possible, or maneuvering so as to get themselves known by some famous person and then "leverage" that somehow. By contrast, I enjoy being social in a way that lets me meet people I like who have similar interests and work in my field, so that we can have a good time together and talk about fascinating things. I think of the science fiction and fantasy community as my tribe, and they're the people I want to meet. It makes me happy to help my tribe when I can, and feeling happy helps me to be creative. We should coin a new word for the good kind of networking SFF people do when we hang out with each other at conventions and online, because there's no doubting that whatever we call that, it's useful. Our exchanges of ideas make us a wonderful tribe.

I think of blogging as one of the online ways of meeting people. I could just post this and be done, but the great stuff happens after a post, when friends comment or link and I meet new people because someone liked the post enough to link to it. I've been liking Twitter (since I started to use it last Saturday), because of the way it makes me feel like my friends are nearby. I know that many of you caught on to that way before I did, because I never would have started to use it if you weren't already using it and telling me about it.

Finally, I believe that all creative efforts support each other in unexpected ways. Writing about the things I'm trying to accomplish is a way of keeping myself excited about them, and it also warms me up for writing fiction. Some comment on the blog might give me another idea, and send me on a Google search that reveals an article. When I post the link on Twitter, someone else might get the inspiration to write a brilliant story that they send in to Clarkesworld so that I can get enthusiastic and recommend it to Neil. At the same time, dozens of other chain reactions happen, and I may never know about any of them, but I'm sure that some will probably come back around to me because the tribe is the way it is. That's what I'm doing here, Melinda. :)

Questions for you:
If you post on LiveJournal or any other blog site, what do you get out of it? What are you giving people when you post? Do you feel that blogging enhances your creativity in any way, and if so, how?



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 15th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
What do I get out of it? An outlet. Stuff bounces around in my head, and I have to let it out somewhere.

What am I giving people? Hopefully a laugh, something to think about, maybe even both at once.

Does it enhance my creativity? I have no idea. Quantifying, let alone calibrating, my creativity seems nearly impossible lately...
May. 15th, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
What do I get? Community, plain and simple. Fellow writers, readers, and fans. More than publicity or anything else, that community is what's most valuable to me.

What am I giving people? Heck if I know. Hopefully some amusement. Some "pay it forward" info about the writing biz. Interesting things to think about.

I'm not sure about whether blogging enhances or otherwise affects my creativity. At best, I'd say that by posting my word count, I help to motivate myself to stay on track with the current project. Thoguh this was more of an issue 10 years ago. These days, deadlines from my publisher also provide good motivation :-)
May. 15th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
I don't know how many times I've been working out a knotty problem, started an LJ post about it...and come up with the solution. It's like typing it out opens a different circuit in my brain (left-brain, right-brain? who knows) and I can think about the problem from a different direction.

Like others, I get a sense of community from LJ, a glimpse into the lives of other people far away. I don't know if anyone gets much out of what I post, but the Weekly Word Counts and State of the Subs posts are a way of keeping me honest and making sure I don't slack off on my professional responsibilities too much. And I like to share snippets because I'm an attention whore that way. Not that many people comment...
May. 15th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
Speaking of attention whores, I just went through my last fifty posts to get some idea of the trend, and apparently I love to show off about how good I've got it! It's mostly all happy, happy stuff and pictures from my life. It seems to be loaded forty-percent ballet photos and stories, and sixty percent everything else, so I guess I'm mostly all about my latest hobby, or fixation, or art form, whatever you'd like to call it!

I am having a fine time of life, though, and I guess I just like to brag. When people say "Have a nice day" I usually say "Oh, I always do!" and I mean it... I am the luckiest man on the planet.
May. 15th, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
If you post on LiveJournal or any other blog site, what do you get out of it? What are you giving people when you post? Do you feel that blogging enhances your creativity in any way, and if so, how?

Oh wow, I never thought it out before.
Well, I read my friends' posts to keep up with them, I don't see some of my friends more than about once a month so their posts keep me informed on what's going on.
I post to LJ to let people know things that are going on, where I am in the stories I'm writing, and to get feedback on ideas I might have about my stories. It helps me write because I've fixed writer's block more than once by posting something about my plot and getting astute replies. I have really cool people on my friends list. :) I appreciate my friends who follow along.
May. 15th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
The most direct thing I get out of it is 1) a forum all my own. and 2) the feeling like I'm still writing and working on my craft and accomplishing something even if I'm stuck on a story, or get sidetracked by the family life.
May. 15th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Interesting post. Thanks for sharing :)
May. 16th, 2009 01:12 am (UTC)
If you post on LiveJournal or any other blog site, what do you get out of it?

I keep in touch with friends and peers, most of whom live very far away. But I also "meet" new people, get to interact with people who have read my stories or just share other interests. Although digital, it's still social interaction.

What are you giving people when you post?

Sometimes I'm just blowing off steam about politics or the myriad things in life that can be frustrating. Other times I'm sharing cool stuff that has happened to me. But I also talk about the craft of writing and editing, including updates on my publications.

Do you feel that blogging enhances your creativity in any way, and if so, how?

I've found it can be an incentive to write; I've posted word counts as I work on a project, and I have found that to be helpful at times. I look forward to being able to post a new, higher number. It's a bit of a two-edged sword however. When life intrudes on writing time and you can't get anything done, it's a drag to realize how long it's been since posting.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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