Insecure Writer's Support Group : Colorful Lizards - A Product of My Writer's Block

Posted on July 2, 2014
A few weeks ago I was suffering from a bout of writer's block, which was accompanied by a crippling need to do something visually creative. So I bought a discount pack of acrylic paint at Michael's and looked for a project. Nothing came to mind. I had good intentions, but no real plan. Kind of like looking at a blank screen, wanting to write but not finding the words. The tubes of paint were doomed to a forgotten existence in the back corners of my art cabinet.

Then one day my nieces and nephews came over and pulled out the pack of acrylic paints and asked if they could use it. I just so happened to clean out my garden earlier that week and had these two old metal lizard garden hangings on the kitchen table. Their color was washed out and the rust began to eat at the top layer - perfect candidates for a recycling public service announcement.

So the kids jumped on them, covering them with globs of paint, spreading and mixing colors.  As with most activities with 5 and 6 year old kids, the excitement wore off after ten minutes, but long after they left to play something else my cousin and I continued painting. We were actually enjoying "creating" something colorful and fun.

An hour later, we finished the two lizards with two completely new designs using every possible color in the pack.  Not only do they look awesome hanging along my backyard fence, whenever someone notices the colorful adornments I get to say, "I painted that!"

Last week, when my nieces and nephews saw the lizards for the first time they claimed ownership of the artistry. They each insisted to have contributed a design decision or color selection. "I did the dots!" "I painted the blue zig zags!"

Looks like we're going to have to teach these kids about plagiarism and professional etiquette soon.

So, what has your writer's block produced that was totally unexpected? I would never have thought about restoring these decorations if it wasn't for that itching need to create something.


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Hope you enjoyed this month's IWSG entry. Make sure to link to other guest posts from other awesome writers at the Insecure Writer's Support Group website.


 


15 comments:

  1. Tanya: Greetings! This is so similar to my experience with my poetry block a couple weeks ago. I was stuck trying to organize and edit my poems for my planned book. And then I found an old poem that is completely visual. No words, except the title (which I might change.) But looking at the different piece of art helped me realize a little zigzag in the path can be beneficial. By the way, love the lizards.

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    1. Thanks Dean! Do you have that poem anywhere. I don't think I've ever seen/read a visual poem. Zig zags and dots are totally necessary, and neon green paint!

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  2. HAHAHA! I loved the tidbit about the kids claiming what they'd done.

    I find I resort to art projects when I hit a block. Painting, sewing, wire working, sketching, digital graphics, website design... usually something other than writing.

    Hope you get over your block soon!

    Loni

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    1. My writer's block has been empowered by summer vacation and having my kids home full time. No worries though. I have at least five garden statues and a dozen metal hangings aching for a fresh coat of acrylic paint. Thanks for stopping by Loni!

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  3. Hi, Tanya,
    I guess this is why people tell us to step away from our writing when it isn't flowing. We get to explore new activities and up with something awesome.

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    1. Definitely! Now my lizards feel fresh and new! My giant frog statues are next. Thanks for commenting!

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  4. It's more like I have other responsibilities that come calling and have to take a break from writing periodically to handle them. Like right now I have some home improvement projects that I've put off for far too long and there is definitely an artistic bent to some of them. Or I'm running a program for a group of scouts, and that requires a different kind of creativity too. I do love those breaks and do need them. I would never be able to write all day every day and do nothing else. The writing process takes too long. I need to see finished results quicker than that at least in some part of my life!

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    1. The other day I stopped everything to clean out my garage, put up new shelves and stuff like that. Did it in a few hours. Felt so good to complete something so quickly, kind of opposite of writing. Writing takes FOREVER and then some! And you're right about doing it all the time - don't think I could do it either.

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  5. What beauties! Way to reclaim and redesign! And I'm glad it helped your creativity!

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    1. My daughter says they look better than before. Her opinion is totally unbiased! :-P

      Thanks for reading Ava.

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  6. I mostly resort to my photography and organizing photos when I need a creative pick up. Love those lizards!

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    1. Thanks Shannon! I love photography as well. Now with phones being so powerful, I take pictures ALL THE TIME. How did people capture those unexpected moment before smart phones? And I love photos where people are not looking at the camera...they tell a world of a story.

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  7. Those are so great! What a fun way to throw some color into your yard, and you'll always have the memory of painting them :)
    When I can't write I usually end up baking, which results in going for a run, which results in a nap....

    Visiting from IWSG,
    ~AJ from Naturally Sweet

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    1. The run and goodies kind of cancel each other out, so you're only really napping!

      LOL!

      Thanks for commenting AJ!

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  8. I think it is SO important that writers not underestimate the power of visual creative things. Most writers are creatives, so I believe their powers and talents extend to more than just writing. I oil paint, for example. But without that other creative outlet, I think everything gets too jammed into words and makes us clumsy.

    Just my .02, of course. I love your lizards. ;)

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