Any personal trainer will tell you cross training is good for the body. If you swim, walk. If you walk, lift weights. If you lift weights, run. If you run, swim. You get the drift. Muscles become familiar with the familiar, even a bit sedated, so switching it up invites our bodies to respond in fresh ways.
As a writer in transition after publishing a recent nonfiction book, my writer muscles headed for the hammock and a bit of nodding off. Tweetspeak Workshop teachers Anne, Mick, and Kathryn pushed me out of my hammock, challenging me to a bit of cross-training in my writing life. Poetry. Memoir. Creativity. As if that wasn’t enough to shake and wake me, a winsome, wise writer colony sprang up bright and bold each time.
I’m not usually one to take classes at all, much less three in a row. Yet amid relocation from one town to another, alongside relocation from nonfiction to a novel series, I chose to spend time with delightful teachers and like-hearted creative colleagues. Perhaps the most surprising was the choice to stretch out of comfort into creativity’s edginess.
Creativity begets creativity. Any creative will tell you it gets lonely from time-to-time in the world of words and art. You begin to talk to yourself. You begin to doubt yourself. You begin to think no one gets what you’re up to. You’re not even sure you know what you are up to. That shifts with workshops where you join others to persistently unravel knotted thoughts and find encouragement and daring.
In Kathryn’s first creativity class, partly based on How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci, I savored chocolate as I painted how it tastes. Shapes and colors expressed what words could not. I journaled, sketched, and created mind maps at intersections where unexpected connections occurred. What a welcome way to build the hidden sides of the writer-in-me.
So how about you? Ready for some creative writer cross-training?
Creativity Workshop II starts this Monday!
Looking to cross-train your writer? Join our How to Think Like a Creative Genius Workshop II, beginning July 22.