Five Creative Rules I Live By

There are five creative rules I work (and live) by. I don’t expect you to agree with me on these and I do expect you’ll have your own.

Rule #1 Kill Your Darlings

When an article or post (or any writing) doesn’t work, the odds are there’s a word, line or paragraph in the post that’s wrong. And usually, it’s my favourite word or paragraph and I really hate to edit or modify it.

So I don’t. I delete the damn thing and be done with it.

And 99% of the time, this solves the problem.

Rule #2 Change Is Inevitable

What worked yesterday is no guarantee readers will like it today. Or, even that readers will find it today (I’m talking to you, Google Search.) Things change so fast online, I’ve finally given up even trying to figure it all out.

My change is not giving a damn what Facebook or Google (or even you) think about what I write. I’ve worked to be in sync with all those things for too many years. Now, I’m only writing and creating for me.

Rule #3: Leap and the Safety Net Will Appear.

This is a question of faith in your own abilities and making the decision that you’ll survive no matter what happens around you.

I’m in the middle of leaping (again) and it’s a gut-churning thing.

Rule #4: Stop Digging Your Own Hole

This can be a tough one. I lived with my gardening sites doing this.

  • “If I try this one thing – Google Search will love me again.”
  • “If I set up the website following these directions, I’ll increase my search engine traffic.”
  • “I just have to pay Amazon more to sell more books.”

I dug that pit working to get things right for far too long and I do regret that time and misplaced effort.

Rule #5: Creators Set Their Own Limits

There’s no guideline that says, “Do this and wait X time and you’ll know.” We’ve all heard about the writer or creator that spent 30 years working away in poverty only to be discovered on his deathbed. And we’ve read stories about the wonder-kind that stormed the creative bastions as a teenager.

You’ll be the one to say “stop” or “full speed ahead” as the creative spirit moves you.

Post it Notes

I have these posted and stuck to the wall over my desk.

Feel free to copy these, edit them to suit yourself and work by them.

Story Links For Summer 2021

And what about them “story links”….. This summer’s news was coloured by the overwhelmingly negative news out of Washington DC as the US continues the “loss of empire” phase predicted in history books. And there’s a second kind of thinking underway as well suggesting the end of humanity is necessary if the world is to be saved.

If you’re feeling depressed by all the negative news, you’ll want to read this – Bruce Springsteen and surviving depression. And admit it, we’re all depressed (some more than others) right now given the political, economic and environmental news and the fallout in the press.

Dr. Michael Mosley thinks he has the solution to our angst and problems of Alzheimer’s and forgetting. Let me know how this works for you.

Hacktivist group Anonymous is using six top techniques to ‘embarrass’ Russia in its invasion of the Ukraine.

Creator of Gaia theory James Lovelock dies on 103rd birthday. I’ve read/own a few of his books. Great thinker.

Thanks for reading. I’m slowly beginning to consider warming up the word processor for the fall writing binge but the weather has been so lovely, it’s hard to contain myself in the office. Beer on the deck with notepad has become a “thing”.

I note I took the diving gear down to the water today but the algae is thick and growing in the too-warm water – I couldn’t bear to go in. Thanks global warming.

Thanks for reading. I hope one or two of these links is of interest.

My Retirement Plan Didn’t Work

To be honest, not a lot has gone as “planned” this winter so far. (The thirty day challenge ran into some major roadblocks. I’d make a list of those things but it would be a bit longish.) Here’s the major challenge though.

The Major Problem With The Retirement Plan?

I decided to take several more steps towards retirement and whacked a bunch of projects off my to-do list. One of the projects I whacked was the ebook upgrading one.

The ebooks are still good value for the cost (imho) so why spend the money/time when I’m taking steps to have my next mid-life crisis and increase my creative focus. (I’ve lost track of what number this is but I do know I’m into the double digits on “mid-life changes.”)

Remember my basic question in retirement – “If not now, when?”

Instead of Upgrading Ebooks

Instead of upgrading ebooks as a primary project, I asked myself what other projects or changes I’d like to make in a more general way.

I sacrificed a lot of trees in the notebooks I used to explore my retirement future. However, the outcome was to get a good hold on what “retirement” is going to mean to me moving forward.

As an aside, if you’re considering or are retired, let me suggest a similar project and answering this kind of question. “What would I do if I only had 1 year, (1 month, 1 week or 1 day)?”

My Retirement Planning Started To Gain Some Focus

I want to do (in “no” order of importance)

  • A bit of stone carving (sharply)
  • Clay sculpture (messily)
  • Wood carving (silently with no barking) 😉
  • Writing fiction (imaginatively)
  • Dry stone walling (heavily)
  • My garden (bountifully)
  • Reading (voraciously)
  • Education courses (widely)
  • Garden blogging (opinionatedly) but on a “when I feel like it” timeline.
  • Supporting Ms. Mayo in her creative life (lovingly)
  • Maintaining my physical health (decidedly) and reporting on the 5.0 project
  • Whatever is new and novel I discover (wondrously)
  • My family (happily)
  • And yes, upgrading some of my garden ebooks.

Note my health, family and Mayo have precedence and that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Also, I’m not sure how this fits into the 30 Day Challenge idea so I’ll have to get back to you on this.

Click here if you want to follow along as I work to change the focus of a creative lifestyle?

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