Monday, October 25, 2010

Research in Disguise

Sitting at my computer one day, I made a discovery. I've become downright boring.

Shocking, isn't it? Chained to my desk for hours on end, I'd stopped experiencing real life.

I mulled over the problem. Could I pick up some long-neglected hobby or start a new one? Here's what I decided:

1) I came across an adorable crochet pattern for a baby cap. A quick ride to Walmart, and viola! I was ready to resume crocheting. Where I would get the time remained a mystery.

2) I took time out of my online surfing, and went outside. Oh yeah, smell the roses and all that nature stuff. Hmm, a nice 4X4 raised garden bed might be fun.

3) I spent more time with family and friends, even traveling on a non-holiday. Gasp!

The strange thing about all this activity and gadding about? It gave me more material for my writing. As I soaked up the great outdoors, crocheted my little fingers to the bone, and hung out with people, ideas popped quicker than microwave popcorn. The sights and sounds of farmers markets, growing veggies for our table, and seeing yarn turn into cute baby gifts nurtured my creativity.

To write about real life, we have to live it. It's really research in disguise.

What nurtures your creativity?

39 comments:

Katie Ganshert said...

Yay for the popcorn ideas! Listening to music and reading the Bible nurtures my creativity.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Oddly enough painting does. I could be painting a piece of furniture and all of sudden *BAM* be winded with a bunch of new ideas. Exercise and showering help too.
~ Wendy

DenaNetherton said...

Going for long walks, surrounded by spectacular mountains and nature. Whole scenes play out in my mind as I walk. Also, meeting with friends over coffee; how the ideas pour!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I love this post--and you're so right! When I don't get out enough or don't vary what I'm doing at home, leaving out things I used to enjoy, my creativity doesn't flow as easily.

I love getting out in the mountains for walks or hikes. I also love painting and playing music or singing. Even spending time with my kids doing something simple refocuses my energy and renews me and I'm ready to start writing again.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Being in nature really nurtures me!

Terri Tiffany said...

I don't get out enough and want to but we can't right now. I do sit outside on my patio and take in the outdoors, that helps so much!

Terri Tiffany said...

I don't get out enough and want to but we can't right now. I do sit outside on my patio and take in the outdoors, that helps so much!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Katie -

I love popcorn ideas too. It's so much better than wracking my brain for something to write. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Wendy -

It's interesting to see what stirs creativity in others. Do you have one of those pens you can use in the shower? I've wondered if they work.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Dena -

I'm enjoying the fall colors right now. Peace washes over me when I witness the beauty of God's creation.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Cindy -

Great point! Even doing the ordinary day-to-day things with family will make ideas perk. Perhaps it's because we're giving out and making room for new ideas. Now, there's a thought!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kristen -

Ah, perhaps there's some hidden longing for Eden in all of us. We see whispers of it even in our fallen world.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

I know what you mean since I'm in the same boat.

Our community has some freebies. There's a concert series in the summer, a "holiday" parade around Christmas, walk-a-thons, etc. Perhaps there are some activities in your area that are free.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Rhonda Schrock said...

Yes, I love this! So, so true. Being outdoors, spending time with a friend, reading a good book, going for coffee...inspiration!

Denise Miller Holmes said...

I couldn't agree more! Here's to you, living life!

Diane said...

I think we need to pause more and just look around at the everyday material God has given us. Good list of things to be thankful for. :O)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rhonda -

One of the things I love about your blog is how you take things from life and glean lessons from them. I so appreciate your humor.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Denise -

Thanks for stopping by! I'm sure God never meant for us to sit in front of a computer 24/7. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Diane -

Thanks! I find counting my blessing helps me focus on the positive aspects of my life.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Janalyn Voigt said...

I'm right there with you, Linda. Life should always be an adventure. When you think about it, we never know for sure what happens next.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Sleep. Being well-rested is a big help. :-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janalyn -

Thanks for stopping by today.

Every day's an adventure around here. I'm glad God gives us information on a need-to-know basis.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rosslyn -

Oh, yes! The brain cells function much better with proper rest.

Blessings,
Susan :)

quietspirit said...

Susan:
Life and it's lessons spark my creativity. I sat in church one Wednesday night and something the pastor said gave me an idea for a skit. The drama ministry head loved it. We performed it.

Karen Lange said...

See, and you thought gadding about was pointless. :P

Glad you are microwave popping away! You're inspiring me.
Blessings,
Karen

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

You - boring?? Not on your life :)

I so agree about what's inspiring. Just driving, showering, general mind-meandering spark ideas. Then interactions throughout my day get me going too.

Blessings,
Susan

Britt Mitchell said...

Hiking, reading, flower gardens...as I read your post, I was thinking the same thing. We have to live in order to learn enough to write.

God bless!

Faith Imagined said...

When I can have time alone to daydream, I get the creative juices flowing. I always get a lot of ideas when I don't have to talk and my brain doesn't have to concentrate.

These moments are rare, but I've learned to capture tiny moments in increments.

Nancy said...

I love this, Susan. I agree. Living is the best way to let ideas perk. When I feel I have nothing to say, I think, "what have I been doing?" Even the little everyday things can be written up into an interesting item.

Jill Kemerer said...

I miss crocheting. I have an unfinished project from three years ago, and I used to crochet at least one blanket a year.

But I made a tutu last week, and it was fun! I agree that trying something different nurtures our creativity.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

I take notes during the service because it helps me retain the teaching, and I write the church blog. I'm always getting little ideas.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

LOL! Now I have an excuse to get out of the house.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan -

Thanks for the vote of confidence. :)

I like your "mind meandering" comment. I do that plenty!

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Britt -

I know you get much inspiration trekking through the Smokies. While we can't always travel to the place where we set our stories, it helps ground us in our characters' scenery.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

Yes, I find my best ideas flow when I'm not bombarded with too much input. The same holds true when I'm studying the scripture. I need quiet and solitude.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

I love reading about the happenings in your life. Your posts on recent travels made me feel like I standing by your side. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jill -

Another crocheter! Yay!

I put down my crochet hooks back in 2004 and didn't pick them up until recently. I'm doing small projects because finishing them gives me satisfaction.

With all the massive book projects, I need those short-term tasks to give me a mental boost.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Dorothy Adamek said...

What a moving post! And one I needed to read and contemplate today. Thanks you Susan. I'm truly blessed to have visited :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Dorothy -

I'm glad the post ministered to you. :)

Blessings,
Susan