Thursday, November 13, 2014

Creating Diversions by Kristine Rolofson

I’m a writer, therefore I can think of all sorts of things to do other than writing, when I should be writing.
Other writers laugh at this.  We all know how we are.  Stephen Pressfield calls it “Resistance”.  Eric Maisel calls it “creative anxiety”.
I call it “resting my eyes from the computer monitor”.
This is a quilt top being made from nothing but scraps.  Last year I pieced together lots and lots of scraps and cut lots and lots of 1.5″ strips out of odds and ends of fabric.  When quilting fabric costs $11.00 a yard, you don’t want to waste it.  This quilt-in-progress was six feet from my computer.  There were days it was distracting, and other times it was a welcome diversion from coming up with plot twists and clever dialogue.

I think it looks like the inside of my brain.
Years ago I made a design wall out of a folding screen bought at a yard sale.  I also use it to block off messes, because cleaning up messes is also a great thing to do when I should be writing.  I also use it to block off the tempting vision of the sewing machine and the guitars and the fiddle and...well, you understand.
I also paint my nails, scrub the kitchen counter and buy large quantities of plastic bins in order to store the things I have promised myself I will organize once the book is done.
And then I go back to work, the house a little cleaner and the quilt just a few more strips closer to being finished.

Diversions, anyone?  Will you share yours and make me feel better?

16 comments:

  1. I see your scrubbed kitchen counter and raise you an oober-organized closet! LOL As for the inside of your brain (that's gonna be some quilt, by the way!), you're blessed to have a mind that can turn what some would see as throw-aways into something that will warm and comfort someone...sorta like you bring random words together and turn them into stories that entertain readers!

    Divergents of the writing world, UNITE! LOL

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  2. And in the spirit of a good game, I'll see your scrap quilt (which is gonna be lovely) and raise you gowns for a children's hospital. You can make one in a half hour and if you're avoiding writing all day, you can do a lot of good. However, I will leave the cleaning to you--I'd rather sit at the laptop and look like I'm writing while I'm playing Solitaire or Hearts. Fun post!

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  3. That's a beautiful quilt, Kristine!

    I have two dogs (and a husband) who remind me if I have been sitting at my laptop too long without a break.

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  4. LOL. Loree's right--Divergents unite! What a gorgeous quilt! Right there with you. My house is never cleaner than when I need to be writing. It's ridiculous! I've also been known to work on my dollhouse miniatures to help clear the mind and get me back on track. But this is one reason my writing computer does not have virus protection--so I can't go on online and distract myself further. Great post. :)

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    1. I should have added "buying cowboy boots and vintage tablecloths on ebay" as other distractions. You're so smart to avoid the temptations online, Anna.

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  5. Don’t think of sewing, cleaning or playing the guitar as things that keep you from writing. While you’re accomplishing other tasks, your brain is still churning on your story. Then when you sit down at the computer again, the words will flow. Be sure and include a picture of your finished quilt someday. It looks beautiful.

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  6. Kristine, what a beautiful quilt. I remember cutting quilt blocks for my mother every winter when I was a kid. I wish I had learned how to put them together from her. I went to a workshop at National on making art-books from scraps and magazines, etc. It's supposed to jump-start your creative mind. So that's what you're doing, not procrastinating. I walk. I like to get out in the air and clear my head of writing cobwebs.

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  7. My diversion is my postcard collection. When I want to do something mindless I get it out and look at the different ones. I was lucky enough after the tornado part of my collection didn't get wet so my kids saved them. I lost a bunch of my lighthouse ones but at least some of them made it.

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    1. Oh, Linda, I'm sorry about your collection. How do you get more lighthouses?

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  8. Kristine, love this post! Because...oh, how much better it makes me feel to know that I'm not the only one who is sometimes "distracted." I read about other writer's self-discipline online and want to cry. But in light of some of the insightful comments above, I think cooking and walking would be my top two "creative boosters." Definitely not cleaning, although I will admit to spending hours "organizing."

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  9. Love your quilt! I've quilted before, but haven't pieced one together. As for diversion, take your pick--napping, throwing clay on a wheel, knitting...never cleaning, though. :-)

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  10. Piecing together a quilt (beautiful, by the way) is so much like piecing together the story - making odd pieces fit, highlighting color, sometimes embroidering for even another layer. I don't think you're resting your brain, you're just giving it a quieter avenue in which to surge ahead. Walking does it for me. Astoria is like one of Linda's postcards everywhere you look. I add my plea for a picture of the finished quilt.

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  11. Love your quilt! I wish I knew how. I do crochet though.

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  12. Love your quilt. Seeing it reminds me I haven't done a craft project in a long time. And I do want to quilt again.....

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  13. My diversion is nine years old. LOL, but I'll see your quilt and raise you a half finished crocheted baby sweater

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