just plain rambling

Writing by Not Writing (the one about Fimo and Foam Rollers)

Brains are weird.

Ok, my brain is weird. My usual on-again off-again relationship with writing in general, and writing fiction in particular, continues to be, well, on-again off-again.

(Wow. There’s seven seconds of your life that you’ll never get back. Are you sure you want to keep reading?)

When it’s on-again, I try. I really do. I discipline myself to sit at the desk while I diligently bang my head against it. Sometimes something comes out. Usually not what I was looking for. And then I start to question why I’m doing this anyway, because it doesn’t seem like all that much fun.

Well, the other day I let myself off the hook. I indulged in a little project I’m going to call The Compassion Project, mostly because I needed a grandiose name that I could capitalize. All I was actually doing was making bead out of Fimo with the word “compassion” on it, to string onto a bracelet. This is to serve as a reminder that my One Word for the year is compassion, and that one of the people I’m going to be compassionate with is myself.


And the thing is, while I was busy massaging coloured clay, rolling it out, stacking it into pretty patterns, my mind started wandering. Or not even wandering, just… relaxing. Creating. And creating more than just little purple and green clay-doodles. And then I wrote some stuff. And it felt good. No new dents in the desk (or the forehead), which was kinda nice too.

Creativity is a funny thing. Maybe it’s a muscle, or a set of muscles, that needs not just practise, but cross-training. If you’re going to run a marathon, sure, you run. Lots. But you probably stretch occasionally. Maybe you do that thing with the foam roller that all your friends were raving about and so you bought one because they made it sound like a free massage but then you discovered that not only does it hurt but it is ALSO hard work. (You DON’T have a foam roller? Do you WANT one?).

So, like, anyways. What I’m saying is, being creative at something else helped. And I thought I’d share. Because, you know, maybe it will help someone else. And besides, my blog was looking lonely, and part of The Compassion Project is also going to involve me writing and not worrying so much about whether it’s good enough, worthy enough, for publication. And just write stuff.


PS Speaking of writing, doesn’t this sound like fun? And short. I like short. Not saying I’m going to do it or anything. It might take a lot of Fimo.


  1. I read a really interesting review years ago about creativity and (broadly) it said that doing something else creative will inspire us to refocus on the thing we were trying to do in the first place. (A bit like problem solving and taking a break before returning to the issue at hand!)

    1. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Now to figure out when I’m “inspiring” myself and when I’m “procrastinating” 🙂

  2. Oh, I LOVE that! Creative cross-training. And I’m trying to write a book review right now, and instead I’m reading blog posts because I can do it with one hand in a bag of snack mix. SIGH.

    1. Yuh huh. And I’m facebooking. With about a half dozen post ideas that seemed like they were BURNING to be written when I had other things to do. Like my job, for instance. Bleh.

  3. Also, have I ever told you how much I love your blog design, especially the fake little chunk of corrugated cardboard that says Leave a Reply? It’s so happy-making.

    1. Aw, thank you! I wish I could take credit, it’s just a theme I downloaded though. Creating a new theme – mostly to improve my CSS & JavaScript – has been on my to do list for a while. I’ll try to keep the ripped cardboard 🙂

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