Lise from Author Basics
I’m sure most of you are aware that I’m an artist but, besides what I write for this blog, I’m also a fiction writer and poet. With that in mind, I was especially curious to hear what Lise from Author Basics and Hustle and Groove had to say about creativity.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to devote to my writing but lately, I’ve been feeling particularly inspired. To combat this I’ve made a promise to myself to make an effort to at least spend a little time on my writing before the month is through.
Lise from Author Basics shares a wonderfully candid take on creative blocks and how it feels to have others judge your writing. Check out what else she has to say below!
1. Tell us your name, about your blog, biz, or creative pursuits!
I run a two blogs, one called Author Basics and one called OHustle and Groove. I’m a full-time author and have published over 20 books in the last 12 months. I love creating content, it’s definitely the way I express myself the most. My social media links:
2. How would you define “Creativity”?
Something intangible, that acts as an extension of yourself but isn’t you as a whole. It’s a space where you can do anything, be anything you want, without judgement.
3. What would you say to someone who thought you had to be an artist in order to be creative?
I call balderdash! EVERYONE is creative, we all just create different things. Creativity is defined only be the person defining it. Anything you imagine, anything you do, well that’s creating.
4. Would you consider yourself a creative person? Has it been something you’ve worked toward or is it natural to you?
Yes. I do consider myself creative. But I never really felt creative until I started my freelance writing side hustle. It was then that I really found my groove and a way to express myself in a meaningful way. It comes naturally to me, as if I had always been a writer and if I think back, I’ve always found a way to incorporate writing into my life, on one level or another.
5. What do you do to keep yourself in the creative mindset?
I love inspiring words and colours, so I surround myself with my favourite quotes and have a lot of colour around my work area. I also listen to music when I’m in creating mode and I drink a lot of chai lattes! If I’m not ‘feeling it’ in my office, I’ll head out to my local cafe or to a nearby park and just absorb what’s going on around me, and that will often spark a creative onslaught of ideas.
6. What creative mantra or quote resonates with you the most?
I have two, “inspire a difference” and “have courage and be kind”, actually make that three! “thoughts become things… so choose the good ones.”
7. How has creativity impacted your blog or business?
Without being creative, I wouldn’t be able to run my blog or my business, because it kinda relies on me creating content and books! The more I write, the more creative I become, so it’s kind of like exercising a muscle, it gets stronger the more I do it.
8. What inspires you to create and achieve your goals?
Inspiring others to pursue their own goals and living up to my own expectations. I feel that I have a lot to share with the world and if I can help one person in one small way, then I will have fulfilled my goals.
9. What does it look and feel like when you’re in creation mode?
I’m in the zone. I don’t get distracted easily when I’m in creation mode and I use an app called Focus@Will that signals to those around me that I don’t want to be disturbed. It keeps me focused and pushes me to continue my creation, whatever that might be at the time.
10. What is your initial reaction when you realize you’re in a creative rut?
Frustration, a lot of hands thrown up in the air, maybe a little stomp of the foot here and there, lol.
11. Tell us about a recent moment where you felt “stuck” creatively?
I’m in the middle of writing a novel right now and last week, for the entire week, I just couldn’t get past this one point in the book. No matter how much I sat down to write, I just couldn’t do it. I kept putting more and more pressure on myself to get it down because I’m on a timeframe and co-authoring this book, so there is someone else waiting on me to finish it as well.
12. What do you do to get past feeling blocked? Do you have a strategy?
Normally, all it takes is a mindless task to reset my mind. Something like washing the dishes or making the bed. Anything that allows my mind to wander and not focus on the fact that we are at a crossroads.
If that doesn’t work, sometimes you just have to sit in the moment, like last week. Trying to force my way through doesn’t always work, so instead, I just surrendered to the feeling and focused on other projects until I felt a shift within, like a key unlocking a door. Then I knew I could get back to writing.
13. Have you relied on an outside source to get you out of your rut? (eg. support group, coach etc.)
I have a writing partner that I’ll often connect with, but it’s up to me to get myself out of a rut, because more often than not, it’s of my own creation.
14. What thoughts go through your mind when your blocked mindset lingers longer than you’d like?
I often put more pressure on myself to get past it faster. Which only makes things worse. I think things like “I’ll NEVER finish this book at this rate.” I might even have an argument with Neville (my inner voice) about what’s going on. Basically, I’ll tell myself off for not dealing with it faster.
15. If you take a self-esteem hit or if you become negative how do you combat that?
I’m a positive person by nature and an eternal optimist, so I don’t often become negative, I always see the positive. Self-esteem wise, if I take a hit, I connect with my writing partner for a pep talk. This generally happens when someone leaves a 1-star review on one of my books. Never gets easier, but it helps to have someone who experiences the same things to chat too.
16. Can you predict when you’re about to go through a period of being uninspired?
No, not at all. If I were to start tracking it, maybe I’d be able to figure it out, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it was linked to my menstrual cycle. I generally find that if a lot of change has happened in my life within a short period of time, this can trigger feelings of being uninspired, or when I haven’t taken a break for a while.
17. Think back on past moments when you felt stuck. Are there any common threads?
Only those I identified in the previous question.
18. What do you focus your energy on when you’re feeling stuck?
Lighter, less mind-related tasks. I try to do fun things to bring my energy levels back up.
19. What tools or tips would you offer to other creatives (in general or specifically in your field) who find themselves uninspired?
I personally love the Focus@Will app, the music is beautiful. I also recommend creating a vision board on Pinterest, so that you can jump on that and fill your mind full of the things you’re working towards, I find that helps a lot too.
20. We all have people we look up to. Who’s creative work inspires you?
Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my favourite authors and I just love her work.
22. Do you have a creative support system? Shout them out!
My husband, Guy is awesome. My writing partner, Steve Windsor, who is there to listen to the rants when 1-star reviews are left on my books and my best friend Tiffany Drennan, for all round support and my cheering squad.
What do you think of Lise from Author Basics?