4th Year Anniversary Of ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’

Look what I found! I’m so excited!

I’m very excited to be a blogger of 4 years!

Writer’s Treasure Chest has grown significantly in the past year.

1,279 posts
almost 7,300 comments
1,306 followers
and
almost 110 guests

I’m so lucky to be part of the blogging world with all your help. Without guests, friends, followers, supporters and people encouraging me again and again this blogging adventure would not have been progressing at this pace and wouldn’t have been as successful as it is.

To all of you:

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Writer’s Illness – What Sitting Too Long Is Doing To Your Body

It seems writers are at high risk due to their sitting job, to get different illnesses caused by sitting too long.

Who of us doesn’t know the situation that just when we are writing a particularly demanding scene in our book, we have to get up? Our back hurts, our eyes burn, our legs seem to be on fire, our feet are numb, and we have to go to the bathroom. And still, we ignore all these signs that scream at us to get up and walk around, and we continue concentrating on finishing our scene rather than giving our body some relief.

Studies show that sitting too long can cause serious injuries and damage to our body and can even kill us.

Some of us, in our long writing careers, can face health problems like:

  • weight gain, weak muscles, and resulting diabetes
  • poor blood circulation, possibly causing thrombosis, heart disease, cancer, and even brain damage
  • posture problems, resulting in chronic neck and lower back pain
  • eyesight problems
  • anxiety and depression

In other words, this means: sitting in front of a computer like a pretzel, hour after hour isn’t doing our bodies much good.

picture courtesy of Google.com

There are, indeed, several workouts and exercises for us to practice while sitting, and in particular after getting up. We all know, when writers are inside their story they don’t like to get up. We have no idea when writer’s block might hit, we’re on a deadline, or we forget our body. All reasons are insufficient. A short walk to relax our eyes, our neck, our back, our brain, to use our muscles, get the blood circulating and our heart working, is a good thing!

Very important is to make sure our computer, keyboard, and monitor are set up for us to use it in a healthy way. Our arms and hands, our neck and spine and our feet will thank us.

And one more personal advice: get a massage once in a while. It’s relaxing, helps our body, and refreshes our brain. We’re working hard, we deserve some pampering.

Let’s keep us healthy and remind ourselves that we need to be in good shape to write a good story.

Why Creativity Can’t Be Taught

“What is creativity?

During my research I found there are about as many definitions of ‘creativity’ as there are people. For example:

Henry Rollins says: “Starting with nothing and ending up with something. Interpreting something you saw or experienced and processing it so it comes out different than how it went in.”

Daniel Pink‘s definition is: “Giving the world something it didn’t know it was missing.”

The English Oxford Dictionary‘s definition is: “The use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.”

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Now, according to ‘Psychology Today’ creativity cannot be taught. In 2011 they wrote, you can teach everyone how to use a hammer or knitting needles.

But knowing how to use a hammer or a knitting needle doesn’t make you creative. Visualizing, dimensionally manipulating or modeling the chairs you build in your mind’s eye won’t necessarily make you creative either. Whether material or mental, these tools just provide the techniques and materials that make creative outcomes possible.

Seven years ago many states started calling for tests to find out about the student’s creativity, Massachusetts and California ahead.

Psychology Today does believe that tools for imaginative and creative thinking can be exercised and that habits, behaviors and strategies within the creative process can be taught. But they don’t believe creativity itself can be taught.

Neither do I. Let’s take a look at the quote I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I found many more quotes like these and each one of them included words like “imagination”, “fantasy”, “ideas”, “invention”, and “mind-wandering”. None of these habits would go with a person uninterested in inventing a creative process, creative thinking or any creative mind.

Wharton University of Pennsylvania wrote an article in 2014, about 4 feet long, including tons of complicated words, unnecessary studies and quotes, and at the end came to the conclusion that creativity cannot be taught. I had to read the post twice to be sure of the result. (Source: Wharton)

Monica Malhotra, Managing Director of the MBD Group, an interior designer and decorator without a technical degree, clearly declared in 2016: “Creativity cannot be taught to anyone. It’s a quality which is god-gifted. People can help you polish this quality but no one can imbibe it into someone,”

Even Steve Jobbs said: “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

How do you teach fantasy, imagination, vision and painting pictures in your head to someone? I believe it’s as simple as that: “You can’t.” I’m with Steve Jobbs and Monica Malhotra on that. Creativity is a God given talent that cannot be taught nor learned.

Share your opinion about this conclusion in the comments, please. I’m curious.

Soul Taker On The ‘When Angels Fly’-Blog

This week I’m a guest on the ‘When Angels Fly’-Blog. Thank you so much for the great interview and the wonderful way you presented ‘Soul Taker’! I can’t thank you enough!

The post contains an interview, a book excerpt, the book description, the book links, and my social media links.


This week, we are pleased to feature on our blog, Aurora Jean Alexander, author of Soul Taker. Aurora – this blog is yours for now.

When did you start writing and how did that come about?
I doubt I can tell you one particular time or even time frame when I started writing. I felt that’s what I wanted to do. Since I lack a talent in painting and drawing I had to do something with my creativity and decided that’s the way to do it.
I’m not sure there ever was “a start”. I learned to write at the age of four and I remember developing little stories since I’m a Kindergarten kid. In school, when others complained about essays, mine were easily 6 – 10 pages long, I enjoyed it so much.

Tell us about you, what you want readers to know.

…..

Continue reading the post here:

https://whenangelsfly.wordpress.com/2019/01/18/soul-taker/

 

Updating Character Sheets

In January 2017 I published a blog post, asking if OneNote is a writer’s tool?

Since then many of you know that I use OneNote as a writer’s tool, not only to take notes, but to actively use it to take information, writing notes, reminders, and lists with me.

Since I am a big fan of OneNote, I also use it to create my character sheets.

Writing a series as the one I do now makes it necessary to keep track of my recurring and new characters and what better way is there to keep my characters as close to me as possible at all times than to use OneNotes?

Now, changing from my former desktop to my current laptop has lost me my entire OneNote. It almost broke my heart, until I realized that I did have one local copy on an external memory device. This means I got my brains together when I made a OneNote data backup. Unfortunately, this was an older version of all my notes. Big chunks of the writing notes were missing, and the character sheets were more or less on the basic character drafts.

Nobody can say I’m not learning from my mistakes and this disaster taught me a few things:

1. save your writer’s notes on a current device
2. make sure the data isn’t only on the cloud but also on the device
3. keep your character sheets as current as possible at all times

Point three has caused me sleepless nights. I realized that I occasionally took notes on the characters wherever I was and on whatever piece of paper I found, but rarely updated the character sheets with new developments.

In a series as of mine, there are definitely a number of characters, the planned returning ones and new ones that come up with the story of new books. When I started my series I had fourteen returning characters on the ‘Good’ side and at least eight characters on the ‘Bad’ side to begin with, and no matter how good I am, I cannot memorize every single small development each of these characters took with the progress of the series.

That means, right now, I’m busy searching my finished manuscripts and drafts for the developments that I had not written down in the character sheets.

I’m therefore spending some of my time reading, taking notes and updating character sheets, with the defined resolution to keep my character sheets up-to-date from now on! It is a lot of work, but I know it’s worth it.

After all, I want my books to be comprehensible and with no obvious character flaws.

While I wrote this blog post, I was asking myself if I’m the only one working like this? Am I complicated? Does that make sense? And how are other authors developing character sheets? Where do other authors keep them? If you can give me some advice, I’d be grateful to hear it in the comments. Thank you!