Tag Archives: creativity

Communication Outlets

It is fascinating to watch the writers whose work I admire and appreciate share on social media right now. Good luck getting a writer to stop talking. By social media, I mean Instagram, as it’s the only place I still have a presence.

So many of the writers that I follow are turning to podcasting in order to communicate. Seriously, we just can’t shut up. A little more than a year later, it remains true that even a broken jaw couldn’t shut me up; and I’m still talking all the time.

Granted, I’m an exceptional listener just as much as I’m a writer and speaker. Communication is a word that follows me everywhere; I read between the lines of both verbal and non-verbal communication.

I adore being a part of creating podcast episodes and listen to ones I’ve been a part of, while also consuming the content of others. I am currently devouring the podcasts that other writers are creating. From Brené Brown to Cheryl Strayed, there are brilliant writers creating new content right now in the form of podcasts.

As much as I listen intently and communicate myself, there does come a point each day when I’m done speaking and need more silence. Usually it arrives in mid-afternoon once I’ve been awake and communicating for most of the day.

Those of us who are writers naturally just show up and talk. Some of my favorite relationships are with other writers; there’s an element of mutual understanding that’s impossible to manufacture.

Both of the crystal pendants around my neck are related to communication. I know sort of what they each mean but have had several friends much more versed in crystal meaning comment on how perfectly they blend and complement one another. They’re opalite and blue sodalite, and they match my actual and chosen birthstones; diamond and sapphire. They are also very yin/yang in appearance; integration is as much a theme as communication.

The first “communication” crystal arrived just after my birthday at the end of last April. The very next morning brought some unexpected (and unpleasant) communication. Which led to some decisions I hadn’t anticipated. Yet at the same time, that communication opened doors that I didn’t even know existed. Doors that I’ve trusted myself to choose to walk through.

Communication isn’t optional within relationships; it’s essential. That’s part of why I no longer have a dating profile: many men are unwilling to engage in mutual conversation. I had one blatantly ignore the fact that I shared how meaningful communication is to me; we never met, despite his insistence on going out for a drink.

I talk with people literally everywhere I go and it’s very true that people just tell me some very personal stories. Writers must talk and communicate. We do it with words and in conversation with others. We have a deep need to speak as well as to listen. We are always reading between the lines of what is and is not said. Combine being a writer with being an empath and I’m really fun to date.

One of the men I slept with after divorcing refused to engage with me in conversation. It didn’t take long for me to get bored and if I were to describe him: he wasn’t that cute, definitely wasn’t that tall, and the sex wasn’t that good. Date a writer…end up as material.

Communication could qualify as a core value of mine. Engage and debate with me; make me consider different opinions. I have fascinating conversations both with people in my life and with strangers all the time; the life of a writer intrinsically involves communication in a variety of forms. I’m more fully willing to admit and embrace that than ever before.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Communication Outlets”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

 

 

 

New Beginnings and Creative Scheduling

Spring has always been my favorite season and it is a time of new beginnings. How appropriate that I spent the first day of this season with some of my closest friends, creating new memories in a familiar place.

This time with friends was a direct result of what’s become much more common lately: creative scheduling.

Yesterday’s date was a reschedule from a few weeks ago, when I cancelled out of emotional exhaustion; I simply did not have the energy at that time to go out. Yet, by the time the reschedule date arrived, restaurants and bars were closed.

So…one of my highly creative and intuitive friends suggested an alternate location outdoors. At a place that I have a long personal history with, and often visit both alone and with others.

Rather than hanging out at some bar, we met and drank wine at a park. Enjoying the beautiful weather and peaceful setting. This creative socializing was one of the most fun wine dates I have ever had.

Creative scheduling also applies to some potential upcoming projects that are just beginning to be discussed. All of which are completely aligned with me, my work, and my creativity. A year ago, I wouldn’t have been ready to embrace any of these new experiences in the same way that I am today.

While the first half of March felt like an emotional train wreck, the second half is bringing in lots of new beginnings, opportunities, and creative possibilities. All of which just feel really good. Perhaps now that I’ve cleared out all of that emotional baggage, I’m more ready than ever to welcome even more new beginnings.

I have a lot of highly creative people in my life and collaborative endeavors seems to be a current theme. As does getting creative with scheduling, both virtually and in-person. A year ago, I couldn’t imagine how many virtual conversation opportunities would soon begin arriving.

Certainly, with what’s going on in the world, accessing the bright side of technology to connect virtually has become a highly accelerated trend; and there is tremendous opportunity in embracing that.

It turns out that I really enjoy participating in virtual meetings and conversations. I get to be comfortable at home in workout clothes and still have brilliant conversations, with connections all over the world. The expansiveness of that format and how much I enjoy it has been one of the most joyful discoveries of the past year.

It’s true that a lot can change in a year. A lot can change in even a week or a day. There is magic available when we choose to surrender to embracing possibility, new beginnings, and collaborative creativity.

In the midst of chaos, I am choosing to say “yes” to new creative and collaborative projects myself, while also witnessing creative friends launch their own new endeavors and projects. All of which is quite a lot of fun.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “New Beginnings and Creative Scheduling”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

 

Embracing the Unknown

No one is more surprised than me at the experiences I am choosing to say “yes” to in all areas of my life. Including solo travel in what I’d describe as stealth mode; most people don’t know where I’m going until after I’m back.

For about a year, I’ve been threatening to take my laptop and run away to the mountains. But really, it’s not so much running away as leaning toward an area I want to explore. Both on my own and with friends.

I enjoy traveling alone, and an intuitive friend pointed out that choosing to travel on my own is bringing opportunities to meet new people. This came up in conversation after I shared that I actually would like to be in a relationship, and while I haven’t had great experiences with online dating, it’s true that I do meet new people all the time in the course of my daily life.

Traveling by myself is just another avenue to meet and connect with new people. It’s also a distinct way of continuing to embrace the unknown and explore. Which isn’t necessarily my default style, but it’s been a very strong recent trend.

In re-writing what my birthday celebration will look like this year, I’ve decided it is the anniversary of turning forty and will involve travel with friends. Last year, my birthday came and went without any significant celebration; I went out for drinks with friends…but I do that all the time.

So this year is an opportunity to embrace something much more meaningful and new as a way of celebrating. At the end of April last year, I had a lot going on, and didn’t have the capacity to really consider how I wanted to celebrate. This year, things are different, and it’s a new opportunity to do something different.

Embracing the unknown may not be my default style, but it is getting easier the more I lean into practicing it.

Continuing to shift professionally toward writing brings with it endless freedom, as it’s a totally location independent career. Which feels intoxicating and also terrifying. I can write and read from anywhere, including while exploring the mountains of NC. I’ve finally run out of excuses and am more willing than ever to allow myself to explore new experiences.

Just as New Orleans was an undeniable conversational topic prior to being there, the mountains have been strongly pulling me toward them for quite a while. It’s about time I chose to just go and explore that area. Continuing to embrace the new and unknown; while creating new memories for myself.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Embracing the Unknown”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

 

Letting Go of Excuses

In what seems to be the season of making large purchases, many are related to travel. I keep reminding myself that these are business expenses because they are…and I tend to forget that.

If change is truly the only constant, this new version of me is saying yes to things that are a bit surprising. Many of which involve travel to places I’ve never been before.

Since I’ve been single I have traveled, but it’s mainly been family related rather than inspired by what I want to do and where I want to go. That has certainly changed recently.

Instead of clinging to all of the excuses and reasons why I can’t go, lately it seems I’m choosing to say yes without questioning myself. Which has led to my name on plane tickets, hotel reservations, and the waiting list for a workshop I really want to attend.

Rather than holding myself back and staying in familiar routines, it seems I’m quite comfortable getting out of my own way and experiencing new places. Even when I’m traveling by myself.

I do love being at home, I work from home and it’s absolutely where I retreat when I need space apart from other people. But I also enjoy exploring new places. Letting go of excuses seems to be opening me up in unexpected ways, but I do like this version of myself.

She’s not at all fearless, but she’s much more bold and willing to trust her own sense of what feels right for her; and I love that.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Letting Go of Excuses”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

Getting Unstuck

Writers block is very real, and it is beyond frustrating. My recent encounter with it has been one of the worst episodes I’ve ever experienced. I tried absolutely everything to alleviate it, and nothing worked. Locked in a massive battle with words, having things to say and knowing they’re right below the surface but won’t come through is maddening.

More than the typical productive procrastination, writers block is a special kind of agony. It’s the absolute worst. And it makes me rather irritable and cranky to say the least. A frustrated writer is no fun to be around.

What finally allowed me to move through this most recent bout arrived through another writer. And it involved playfulness. Through a guided activity, designed to loosen our grip on the pen and get out of our own way, I was finally able to move through and beyond the point that had been incessantly tripping me up.

The relief following getting unstuck is like a high, and maybe that’s part of what keeps us coming back to whatever creative endeavor we prefer. For me, it’s writing. I cannot stay away from words, nor can I escape them. Ironically, the point that had me so frustrated recently…involves words and the meaning we attach to them.

Much of the process involved in writing and publishing a book can be a lot of fun. It’s creative, unique, and very much a collaborative process. Much more collaborative than I ever realized, but I like that aspect of it. I’m as independent as I am collaborative.

At the same time, the process involves massive amounts of frustration. Points at which it feels like you’re making absolutely no progress and can’t see how to move forward. It feels impossibly hard and makes me want to throw the laptop at the wall, because…fuck this!

I was warned that I would reach a point of being totally and completely sick of the damn book I’m writing. Well, that point has certainly arrived. I’m sure there are more experiences of feeling completely stuck ahead. But I can keep using a variety of methods to move through them. Including a perspective of playfulness and curiosity, thanks to the reminder from another writer to get out of my own way, and loosen my grip on the pen.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Getting Unstuck”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

New Levels of Awareness and Freedom

Months ago, I could not have predicted just how many new experiences would follow letting go of an old identity. Had I known, I probably wouldn’t have grieved it as much as I did.

I’m now someone who willingly shows up at writer events and writing workshops. Someone who regularly attends entrepreneur events, and connects with new people anywhere and everywhere. I’m now also someone who is seriously considering travel to places I haven’t yet visited…I continue to surprise myself.

Over the weekend, I was even more aware of the fact that I have very deep roots within the Charlotte community. Roots that continue to expand. Any time I attend an event or find myself in familiar places, it’s common for me to run into people that I know. It’s true that Charlotte is a big small town.

One of the recent full moons felt like it was inviting me to look more deeply into what was being illuminated, so I dug out my astrology chart to see how it related; that moon was right next to my midheaven in Aquarius. I’d never researched that particular placement but it influences my professional or vocational life.

Midheaven in Aquarius indicates an unconventional or free-spirited style. In my entire life, I’ve had exactly one “traditional” job and lasted no more than eight months before leaving for a more flexible pathway. That job was pure torture to me and I’ve always leaned toward the unconventional in my work. Recognizing the expansive flexibility of writing has been a very welcome gift this year.

This awareness also reminded me that my writing company is an Aquarius. Which was not in any way consciously intentional on my part, the end of January is just when I finally took the action of creating it.

In all areas of my life, the increase in awareness and freedom continue to feed my capacity for new experiences and deepening connections. Conversations full of possibility and potential are everywhere I turn, but instead of alarming me; they feel like they’re arriving right on time.

Every single piece of art or picture in my home is meaningful to me. Looking at the two most recent additions, I love their complimentary nature. They each look as though they’ve always been there. Estko Creative is behind these latest additions and she’s a local artist I’ve really enjoyed getting to know.

Yin and yang are words I cannot escape from, they seem to follow me everywhere. From these recent art works, to the pendants around my neck…light and dark are constant companions. So are themes of forgiveness, healing, compassion, and creativity. All of which I’ll happily continue to lean into embracing, with new levels of awareness and freedom.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “New Levels of Awareness and Freedom”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

 

 

The Joy of Creative Collaboration

I’m involved in a wide variety of creative projects right now. Some are personal projects, others are helping clients share their wisdom and stories, others are so random and involve people I’ve never met other than online.

In each and every one of those projects and relationships, there is such immense joy and creativity, it is absolutely stunning to witness and experience. Alignment and levels of synchronicity beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. It makes my synchronistic experiences last Fall look like child’s play.

Whether I’m the writer or the ghostwriter, each one of these projects is just so damn FUN and a powerfully creative endeavor. In most cases, these are people and connections that I didn’t know even a few months ago. They arrived and showed up in so many completely unexpected ways, but all have been undeniable.

I’m now actively in the editing process of my first book, and the editor I’m working with arrived through a mutual close friend. In one conversation, I knew that I had zero interest in talking with any of the other editor contacts I’d received. Historically, I’m not one to jump into such a commitment nearly immediately. Clearly, times have changed. Or maybe it’s more that I’ve changed.

Because these types of creative collaboration relationships keep showing up. And they’re offering me the experience and awareness that while writing can be (and often is) a very solitary activity, it can also be a creative partnership.

In opening up to possibility, new creative opportunities are invited in. Sometimes with people I may never meet in person. One of my current projects was a result of responding to a request for writers willing to create content based on an assigned word. And the word I received is one that I can indeed take in a number of different directions. How fun, exciting and wildly detached from any specific outcome.

I’m not at all sure who this version of me is, all I know is that joyful experiences are everywhere. My favorite writing projects are with people who aren’t just open to me using my creativity, they welcome it. Because what ends up being created is a blend of their voice with mine, and that type of writing feels so expansive.

Friends or acquaintances have asked why I’d want to ghostwrite and never get credit for it. And my answer is always that it’s not about the byline. My passion is about expressing the message. Might be weird, but I genuinely find it so very fun to see things I’ve ghostwritten. It’s so cool to witness them being shared and know that I was part of creating that.

Joyful creative collaborations are not just possible, they’re also incredibly meaningful. And I really do love being a part of them.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “The Joy of Creative Collaboration”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

Relationships as Creative Alliances

I recently saw relationships described as “creative alliances” and I really love that description. It very much implies a collaborative connection and that’s certainly my style.

Within recent months, as I chose to end an aspect of my life that had been a significant commitment, the impacts of that choice on all kinds of relationships in my life were fascinating.

Ending one commitment has opened flood gates of opportunities, and I’m continuing to say yes to things that are at times astonishing. Many connections and relationships have intensified and deepened once space was cleared for new experiences.

Recently when a friend asked if I’d be willing to partner with her on a creative endeavor the absolute brilliance of it stunned me. I had no idea her invitation was even a possibility and the magic of it was undeniable. It was like realizing “of course we’re going to collaborate on this together” and it’s totally aligned with one of my passions: communication.

Viewing relationships as creative alliances speaks to both their potential and expansive nature. It implies possibility which of course all connections include.

While interviewing book design and editing connections it became clear that I’m not interested in or looking for clinical. Being a very personal creative endeavor, publishing my first memoir, I want to collaborate with people I sense and feel a connection with – I want partnerships that are creative alliances.

It’s been a wild couple of months and while I continue to encounter experiences and connections that simply defy logic, perhaps the most surprising insight has been that I’m actually ok with not being able to explain or rationalize any of it.

I am completely surrounded by relationships that embody creative alliance in ways that I never could have imagined. And all of it just feels so damn fun.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Relationships as Creative Alliances”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression