Thursday, November 29, 2018

Craft Talk: Creative Cross-Training

Happy Poetry Friday. Enjoy the Round-up over at Carol's Corner today.

Recently, I met with my critique group. I love my crit group. Each of us brings something special that makes our work shinier than when we started. And, I like to talk process and craft.

I talked about a long term project I've been plugging away at. I believe in the project. I've spent  resources to move the project forward. Alas, as happens each school year, the project stalled and is now at a near standstill as my full-time jobs require more and more of me.


I found myself wanting to allow the writing life to guide my project rather than let my project to drive my writing life.

What does that mean?

I think -- I hope -- it means it's OK to take a step back for creative cross training.

I've never considered myself especially artistic. Yet, I enjoy making -- being crafty.

Give me  earbuds, an audiobook, or Netflix documentary and I and start stenciling, snipping, and mod-podging old book pages (thank goodness for the weeded books from libraries). I never thought of this as part of my writing life until I made PLAY my olw for 2018.

Creative Cross-Training--greeting cards

Creative cross-training is something that has been a fascination for me. If there is a better name for it, I'd love to know. Writers I admire sometimes share that they knit or bake, garden, quilt or photograph things. Is this part of their secret? Can I make it part of mine?

Some audio books I've enjoyed about creativity are: 

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (Gilbert, Elizabeth. “Big Magic.”, Penguin Audio, 2015,

Creative Quest by Questlove (Questlove. “Creative Quest.”, Harper Collins, 2018, 

I looked for a poem to capture what I mean by this creative cross-training. I didn't find one...but I'd like to. I think I need to write one.

Poetry Friday Friends what poem can you find or write to show creative cross-training? Do you creatively cross train? How so?


  1. I love this! I have been eyeing a set of special watercolor markers on Amazon for the last week or so. Maybe I will take the plunge!

  2. We need a poem about this process, and I agree that is part of the writing process. It's the last day of November, and I haven't done my November section of my art journal. Maybe this weekend (if Rocket doesn't come). You've inspired me and helped me to see this is not wasted time.

  3. Dear Linda, please write that poem! Playing cello is such an important part of my creative writing process these days... one feeds the other! xo

  4. I can't think of a poem about it off the top of my head...I hope you do write one! Earlier this week, I posted about making gifts, such as some lip balm I made last weekend. I think all these things we do feed each other.

  5. Yes to creative cross training. Anything that feeds the muse and gets those juices flowing is a good thing. Good luck with your poem!

  6. Creative cross training is the perfect term! I love your cards-so clever! I can't think of a poem off the top of my head, but agree with others that you should write one. I think its seeds are hidden right in this post. Enjoy the conference!

  7. you've got me thinking. I guess I have always considered writing (especially poetry) to be creative cross-training for teaching writing!

  8. I agree: "creative cross-training" IS the perfect term. Hmmm: Cooking(what interesting and delicious meal can I make with the limited ingredients in my kitchen?) Playing with my clothes (what interesting and delicious outfit that is especially appropriate for today's weather and activities can I make with the limited items in my closet?) Poetry (what interesting and delicious poem can I make within the limits of so many lines, this topic, this emotion?) Great post, Linda. I feel shinier than I did 10 minutes ago!

  9. This is great! Thanks for the inspiration!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!