Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Creativity Stuck? Get Unstuck! ~ Patricia Toht

I've struggled with creativity during the pandemic, and I know I'm not alone. Many friends have admitted the same. 

One author that I turn to when I'm stuck is Austin Kleon. 

All of his books focus on creativity. STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST is about getting started.  SHOW YOUR WORK is about sharing and being discovered. And now his latest book, KEEP GOING, provides strategies to stay creative in good times and bad.

His writing is interspersed with lists, illustrations, and quotes. This quote from Anne Lamott speaks to me:

"Almost everything will

work again if you unplug

it for a few minutes --

including you."

Unplugging by spending time in nature is always good for my creativity. Won't you join me? Step outside and perhaps you'll shake some writing loose!

July in Northern Michigan
Photo by author Alice McGinty

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

"Who Says?"—a Creativity-Stimulating Question When You Think There's No Solution

One day a couple of weeks ago, I wrote a poem about a child's musings about a waterfall. Then I spent three hours searching for free photos of "a child in a waterfall", and found only two. And both simply felt unsatisfactory.

Dead end. Really?

No—because the open mind I work hard to keep said, "Who says I need a photo?" After a brief wish that I could draw, I said, "But I can cut paper." So while I'm not posting the poem with it, this little paper cut gave my journey from dead-end a fun and surprising turn. 

That's why I don't really believe in writer's block. I believe in turning toward a new direction, even for a moment. It will lead someplace possibly quite interesting and fun—and often to a new idea altogether!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

13 Ways of Looking at a Flower

 nature break with Sue Heavenrich
 This summer, we Groggers are stepping back from serious writerly posts to try something different. We’re sharing photos and nature breaks and poetry to inspire our creativity – and to have some fun. Today we’re riffing on Wallace Stevens.

as a bud

growing old

from above

from below

from a distance

close up with a magnifying lens

seeing the whole

looking at the center

at the edges - smooth and serrated leaves and petals

by the company they keep: bees, butterflies, hummingbirds

where they grow – in the cracks of a bridge or along the sides of the road

in the morning when they first wake up

after rain


I write about nature and the environment. You can find more nature breaks over at my blog, Archimedes Notebook where I post hands-on STEAM explorations every Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Finding Your Path . . .

"When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way."

                   - Paulo Coelho, Brazilian novelist

The GROG Blog is taking a short summer break. Enjoy photographs, nature posts, and poetry. Our full-length articles will be back soon!

                    - Eileen Meyer