Writing in Color’s Creative Quote Challenge

Writing - ledes - quoteOn Saturday, I wrote about productivity and creativity, and about how they can work together. Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a creativity break. New research says it can even make you more productive! Have you tried it this week?

I also presented a challenge. It was a list of 15 inspirational quotes and a list of the people who said them in incorrect order. The challenge was to put them in order. Did you try it? How did you do? I’d like to hear. Below are the answers. As promised I also put the challenge part into a PDF file that you can print out. It also includes an answer key. Have fun, stay productive and creative.

Here is a link to the original post.
The Quotes and the Quotable
  1. “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt
  2. “An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” Oscar Wilde
  3. “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams
  4. “If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “She’s going to hurt me.” Or, “I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.” Ray Bradbury
  5. “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs is making a chore for the reader who reads.” Dr. Seuss
  6. I’m a writer and, therefore, automatically a suspicious character. Alfred Hitchcock
  7. Don’t let schooling interfere with your education. Mark Twain
  8. This is the sixth book I’ve written, which isn’t bad for a guy who’s only read two. George Burns
  9. “I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” Steven Wright
  10. “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” Isaac Asimov
  11. Don’t be an “aspiring” writer. Be one today. Be a better one tomorrow. If you don’t say it, no one else will. Peter D. Mallett (Me)
  12. “I don’t dream at night, I dream all day; I dream for a living.” Stephen Spielberg
  13. “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” Thomas Edison
  14. “Humor is not the opposite of seriousness it is the opposite of despair.” Conrad Hayes
  15. “Fear is a poor chisel with which to carve out tomorrow.” Andy Andrews

Click the link and download the PDF of the Challenge. Writing in Color challenge answers

Where Do Creativity and Productivity Meet?

Creativity isn’t as mysterious as you think.

But it is a challenge.

Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

And yet, our fast-paced, career-minded, society has largely abandoned creative play.

Many companies have removed games from work computers and blocked interactive websites. But by grasping work too tightly have we lost the productivity that we seek? Albert Einstein believed creative fun was related to learning, effectiveness, and inspiration. I absolutely love what Hugh MacLeod had to say about our creative side,

“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with Writing Fixed Crayonsdry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”

Writing and Taking Breaks

(Why We Need Dancing Hamsters)

For that reason, it doesn’t seem odd to write this post after a post on goals. I’ve discovered that laser focus is wonderful when it happens, but it isn’t always possible. When your focus is on the fritz, many people have discovered that taking a walk, watching a show, or going out with friends is completely acceptable.

Allow yourself a break. Don’t browbeat yourself for a non-productive moment. You’ll likely short-circuit your creativity trying to be super-industrious.

Need proof? A recent study from the University of Illinois shows that brief diversions may increase focus and improve work performance. According to Alejandro Lleras, a professor at the university’s Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, attention doesn’t just run out after a lengthy period of focus. Instead, he likens it to a gas tank, which needs to be refilled during short breaks.

He went on to say, “We propose that deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused,” he said. “From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!”

I’ve been reading additional related research which I may share in another post. But for now I want to you to take a break. Not a long one. Not a distraction, but rather to pry open a door for inspiration.

Below are some quotes on inspiration, writing, and creativity. Below them are the folks who said them, but not in the correct order. Your challenge is to match up the quotes with the people who said them. Since we are all quotable at times, one of them is even by me. I think that a few are obvious, but maybe they’re not.

I challenge you not to simply use a search engine. Although, I have shared some of these on other posts or on my Twitter feed. So searching either of those is acceptable. I will post the correct answers on Wednesday.

If you want to make sure you don’t get overly productive and miss that post, you might want to sign-up for email updates.

The Quote List

  1. “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” 
  2. “An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”
  3. “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
  4. “If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “She’s going to hurt me.” Or, “I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
  5. “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
  6. “I’m a writer and, therefore, automatically a suspicious character.”
  7. “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.”
  8. “This is the sixth book I’ve written, which isn’t bad for a guy who’s only read two.”
  9. “I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.”
  10. “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”
  11. “Don’t be an “aspiring” writer. Be one today. Be a better one tomorrow. If you don’t say it, no one else will.”
  12. “I don’t dream at night, I dream all day; I dream for a living.”
  13. “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
  14. “Humor is not the opposite of seriousness it is the opposite of despair.”
  15. “Fear is a poor chisel with which to carve out tomorrow.”
Can you match these quotes with the people who said them?

The Quotable List

  1. Andy Andrews
  2. Steven Wright
  3. Alfred Hitchcock
  4. Ray Bradbury
  5. Oscar Wilde
  6. Scott Adams
  7. Peter D. Mallett
  8. Isaac Asimov
  9. Dr. Seuss
  10. George Burns
  11. Mark Twain
  12. Thomas Edison
  13. Stephen Spielberg
  14. Eleanor Roosevelt
  15. Conrad Hayes

As an added bonus on Wednesday, I will provide the quiz portion of this challenge as a downloadable PDF document so that you can easily print it out and have your literary friends try their hand at the challenge without having to be on the computer, or having the distraction of the internet. I hope this challenge helps you make other connections and stimulates many new ideas. Write on!

Finish Strong: End of the Year Writing Goals

NOTE: This was originally published Saturday (Aug 9) but due a site problem, it was lost. I re-posted it to keep myself accountable and because it’s an important post.

Year end goals? What? It’s only August. Yep, seven months are already history (plus a week or so, in August).

What do you want to accomplish before 2015? I’m sharing my goals, hoping that it will inspire you too.

Did you set some goals at the beginning of 2014? If you did, I hope you’re on track. If you haven’t, you can start now and plan to finish the year strong.

My main goal, of course, has to do with actual writing. My goal is to have 125 writing submissions, or writing inquiries, sent out, or new contacts made by December 31st. Five months are left. I am including blog posts in this goal. Two of them will share my progress. One in Mid-October, and one around January 1st. Working this goal backwards equates to about 25 per month, or about one a day with a few days break in-between. For a professional freelancer this isn’t lofty. My Writing - Keys - Notepadfriend Thomas Smith who writes full-time told me he shoots for two to three a day.

In the past I set a goal of 20 in a month and I hit it. But I also wanted to do it for 6 months and only hit that goal twice in that six month period. So for me, it’s a challenge. I want to build momentum again, after an intentional slow period in my writing life.

Whatever writing goals you set you can use this simple process.

  • Set the longer goal.
  • Work the goal backwards.

(figure out what it requires, each month, week, and each day)

  • Decide if it is doable.
  • Commit to doing it.
  • Check yourself mid-week, mid-month, and mid-point for the entire goal.

(Are you on track or do you have to catch up?)

I would also like meet more creative people and increase the number of people following the Writing in Color blog. This is a less tangible goal, but I am learning new things every day about twitter, traffic, and audience.

If you meant to sign-up for Writing in Color blog updates, but you zipped off, after being highly motivated to write, that’s ok. You can do it at the bottom of this post, or at the top left column of the page (I could put a form here in the middle too, but I don’t want to seem too presumptuous). I started using MailChimp so that the update emails look amazing. As a thank you, you’ll receive a link to a fun 5-page glossary of writing terms you should know.

I’ve recently hit a thousand followers on Twitter and I have enjoyed meeting people through that medium. If you are new to Twitter you might want to read this article I wrote on the things I’ve learned.

If you have a blog that is about any aspect of writing, art, or photograpy, give me a holler and I will check out your Twitter page. If we have similar interest I’ll follow back and if your interests mesh with my followers I’ll retweet when I can. There is a little puzzle for you to figure out on my Twitter page (only a few people have answered correctly). If you figure it out, sent me a DM (direct message) rather than tweeting it out.

Those are my goals and I’m eager to see what happens in the next 5 months. What about you? What are your goals for year’s end? Did you set some in January? Are you catching up? On track? Are you inspired to set some goals and run the race with me?

I’d love to hear, leave a comment below so we can encourage each another.

And if you’re still looking for that chance to sign-up for blog updates here it is:

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Newsflash: Writers Work Conference

1 Tracy Sayre

Reserve a seat

Hi Folks, I just found out that fellow writer, and tutor Tracy Sayre is organizing a writer’s conference in New York City. Tracy runs the HeSo Project Blog (Visit her blog to discover what HeSo is).

Writer’s Work: A Conference for Emerging Authors

If you can be in New York City on Saturday, September 20th, this is a great opportunity.

The cost is an excellent price for a one-day conference that includes lunch with an agent. In fact the cost is the reason for this announcement. Tracy’s “super-motivated” discount price is 75.00 dollars until August 11, 2014. After that the price will increase to 90 dollars.

In addition, Tracy has arranged for readers of this blog to receive an additional 10% discount (67.50 or 81.00 after Aug. 11th). Simply use the discount code “MALLETT” (all caps) to apply the discount. How cool is that?

The conference will run from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EDT). This day includes 4 presenters and Tracy as host and organizer. This will be a smaller intimate setting of seventy-five to one hundred people.  Here are links to all the details you need.

Writers Work Official Website
Buy Tickets: Use discount code: MALLETT
10 Reasons Why Every Writer Should Come to This Conference

Feel free to pass this information on to anyone who may be interested.

New post coming this Saturday, “Finish Strong: Setting Year-End Writing Goals,” See you then.

 

 

Writing Process Blog Hop

I’m doing something a tad unusual.

I’m excited to participate in the Writing Process Blog Hop. I don’t do blog awards, but this is different.

  • I introduce the writer who invited me.
  • I answer 4 writing questions.
  • Introduce 2 or 3 other writers.

This fits with my blog’s purpose to encourage writing and writers.

It also interested me because there were no rigid rules as to when I had to fit my post in either. So grab a cup of coffee (sorry we ate all the donut holes) and then let me introduce to the welcoming writer who invited me.

Cate Macabe:

1 CateCate developed a love of reading early on – it was the perfect escape for a shy and introverted child. Reading led naturally to writing and creating her own worlds, but she never thought to pursue a writing career until mid-life. During those intervening years, she served in the military, raised four children, and studied computer programming and accounting. Then a story about a family marooned on a desert planet formed in her mind and brought her back to her first love.

Fantasy and science fiction are the genres she enjoys writing the most (as KL Wagoner). There is something exciting about having a strange world spill out of one’s brain and onto paper, and then grow into a very real place with a history of its own. Some of these tales fit perfectly into short stories or novellas, and others stretch out to fill novels or a whole series of them.

In a departure from speculative fiction, she wrote the memoir This New Mountain for private investigator and grandmother, AJ Jackson. Cate first met AJ when they both worked for the same attorney. The stories she told as she paused in her rush through the office were so remarkable, it wasn’t long before Cate offered to write her memoir – and so began a twelve-year journey culminating in the publication of This New Mountain (Casa de Snapdragon Publishing, 2012).

When Cate isn’t reading or writing, she goes on Lego adventures with her nine-year-old granddaughter, takes long hikes in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico, and enjoys spending time with her newly-retired husband.

You can connect with Cate at her blog for memoir: http://thisnewmountain.com/blog/ and her blog for speculative fiction: http://klwagoner.wordpress.com/.

These are the four questions I was asked to answer.

4 writing Questions

What are you currently working on?

My most recent accomplishments is a devotional published with Upper Room (July/August). A scan of the printed copy is here. I was also asked to contribute a corresponding blog post which you can access here.

I’ve written devotions, short stories, articles, blog posts and even sold an idea for a greeting card. I recently submitted a story to Glimmer Train, which is a great resource for anyone writing short stories. I go through cycles of writing and researching writer markets. I have set a goal for submissions by the end of the year, but I’m saving this for a later post.

How does my work differ from other genres?

Unlike many others on the writing process blog hop, I’m not working on a book. There may be a point in the future when I compile stories, or even write something instructional. My writing often makes unusual connections or looks at common concepts in a surprising way. So, it shouldn’t shock you that Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Serling and Ray Bradbury were some of my early influences.

Why do I write what I do?

That’s simple. I believe in people and in the power of words. I think all people can benefit from the process of writing, whether or not they consider themselves a writer. Writing helps creativity, relaxation and problem solving. Writing helps you express gratefulness in good times and assists you in navigating dark times.

How does your writing process work?

First, my process requires coffee and something chocolate. OK, neither one is a requirement, but they do help it along. I’m usually a planner. For articles, I outline at least the basic points I want to cover. I then flesh them out and work on the openings, and the closings.

With stories, it is usually a similar process. There are times that I simply sit down and write. I make a mess on the page and then go back, clean up, and organize after I have it out of my system; but I’d rather organize and edit some as I go along. This usually ends up being less work. And although I can write just for pleasure or practice, I usually like to know what I am going to do with the work before I start doing it.

Now I’d like to introduce you to two other writers whom I’m inspired by, and respect.

First is writer Jillian Lisa Pearl:

1 JillianHello, for the last fifteen years my family and I have called the stunning Rocky Mountain region of Denver, Colorado home. Due to injuries my mom sustained in two car crashes she needs help to care for herself and the house. I live with her and act as her caregiver and I’m happy that I can do this for her. The unexpected benefit of this is that I was able to begin telling stories again. I believe that the three keys to a happy life are live, laugh, and love. All my writing revolves around these ideas.

The Fire-Pit is my début romance novel. Here is short synopsis.

Jake’s life is moving along according to plan. He wants a wife and kids, but not until he can provide a good life for them. All his plans go haywire the day he sees a beautiful redhead dipping French fries into her strawberry shake. Even though he’s never believed in love at first sight his heart insists Kari is the one.

Kari enjoys working with her mom and aunt at The Hideaway Inn, a bed and breakfast started by her great-grandfather in the 1920s. When she was a little girl, her dream had been to have a husband and kids, a dozen or so, and run the family business. Kari isn’t sure she wants that life after a callous ex rips her heart out and casually throws it away, along with her trust in men. So why does Jake’s handsome face keep flickering at the edges of her mind?

Visit my blog to read the full book blurb or to read the wacky romantic short story, The Set Up. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and here at my website.

The other writer is Deanne Schultz:

1 DeanneHi, I’m a freelance writer specializing in human interest stories, newsletters, press releases, and proofreading. When I’m not doing all that serious stuff, I read; political and historical biographies, murder mysteries, and books with a little sand in their teeth. (Think Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and you’re on the right track.)

I’m often asked who my favorite historical figures are, a kind of “who would you have to lunch?” scenario. If Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, Abigail Adams or Eleanor Roosevelt would stop by for grilled cheese sandwiches, I’d be in my glory. Imagine the things I could ask them, the stories they’d share! Questions bubble in my mind when I think about this.

Stories motivate me. Whether I read them in a book or meet an interesting person, the possibilities are endless. I believe everyone has a story. Everyone. That’s one thing I’ve learned from doing hundreds of interviews over the years. Never dismiss someone, because their story could be one that changes things for you. Be open to what everyone has to share. And enjoy!

Deanne is working on a book, The Green Hornet Suit & Other Musings. Find out more about what’s behind this title at, http://dmswriter.wordpress.com/

Deanne has summed up some the same reasons for the existence of this site. I respect people and the power of words. If that describes you as well, then go ahead and sign up for future blog updates. Please also show some love by visiting the other writers presented here. Until next time, keep writing.

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