Writer’s Treasure Chest has grown significantly in the past year.
almost 7,300 comments
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
In December 2018, we announced our decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations. We want to thank you for being part of Google+ and provide next steps, including how to download your photos and other content.
On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created will be shut down, and we will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. You can download and save your content, just make sure to do so before April. Note that photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.
The process of deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts, Google+ Pages, and Album Archive will take a few months, and content may remain through this time. For example, users may still see parts of their Google+ account via activity log and some consumer Google+ content may remain visible to G Suite users until consumer Google+ is deleted.
As early as February 4th, you will no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events. See the full FAQ for more details and updates leading up to the shutdown.
If you’re a Google+ Community owner or moderator, you may download and save your data for your Google+ Community. Starting early March 2019, additional data will be available for download, including author, body, and photos for every community post in a public community. Learn more
If you sign in to sites and apps using the Google+ Sign-in button, these buttons will stop working in the coming weeks but in some cases may be replaced by a Google Sign-in button. You’ll still be able to sign in with your Google Account wherever you see Google Sign-in buttons. Learn more
If you’ve used Google+ for comments on your own or other sites, this feature will be removed from Blogger by February 4th and other sites by March 7th. All your Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted starting April 2, 2019. Learn more
If you’re a developer using Google+ APIs or Google+ Sign-in, click here to see how this will impact you.
From all of us on the Google+ team, thank you for making Google+ such a special place. We are grateful for the talented group of artists, community builders, and thought leaders who made Google+ their home. It would not have been the same without your passion and dedication. (Source: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/9195133?hl=en&authuser=0)
More information I got from the following three websites:
The latest beleaguered Google product to get a death date is Google+. Google’s controversial Facebook clone is shutting down on April 2. Google has been backing away from the service for years, but it gave the site a death sentence in October after revelations of a data leak were made public. Now we have a concrete shutdown date for the service.
Google’s support page details exactly how the G+ shutdown will go down, and it’s not just freezing posts on the site. The whole site will be taken down, and everything will be deleted. “On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created will be shut down, and we will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts,” the page reads.
After a security vulnerability impacted more than 500,000 of its users, Google announced in late 2018 that it would be shuttering the Google + social network. Now several months later, it is providing an update on the shutdown, noting that after April 2 all content on the platform will be deleted.
Though the date is still a couple months away, Google is warning that starting April 2, all Google+ pages will be removed. Content from personal Google+ accounts will also be deleted on the date, including photos and videos from Google+ in Album Archives. In the meantime, an archive of all your important information and specific data from the social network can still be downloaded easily According to Google, the full deletion process will take a few months, and some Google+ content might remain visible to G Suite users. To read the entire article, click the link below: (Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/google-shutdown-april-2/)
To us, this means, the era Google+ is coming to an end. Whether or not it was a ‘Facebook clone’ as ArsTechnica writes, or why it wasn’t used as much as Google hoped for, at least to us writers the communities were an excellent platform for exchange and networking – and yes, for promotion. April 2, 2019, this will be over. Goodbye, Google+.
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.
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!