February 19

Two years art or visual journaling anniversary

This month marked the actual 2 year journalversary… two years that I’ve been journaling on a steady basis using art and words. I know it might not seem like a big deal to some, but to me it’s been a big deal. Not only has adding art to my journaling increased my creativity, lessened my anxiety and help manage my depression, but it’s also helped me with self-doubt and self-esteem.

I talk about much of this in this video about Fear, Self-Doubt, and Creativity:

Another thing I’ve realized is how far I’ve come with my art. By the way, I am not a professional artist. Nor am I professional writer (yet). But I am an artist. A writer. And I’ve learned that combining art and words in my journal, in my outlining for my novels (using Tarot is visual (artistic) and the Hero’s Journey is structure), has helped me figure out an outlining method that works for me.

I just started a new outlining series using Tarot and the Hero’s Journey on YT for my Witchy Business book, which is now called “The Cursed.”

I’ve also committed to a 3 (or 4 part) art/visual journal supplies video series, the first video (though I do have an older video about journal supplies) is about budget journal supplies and how to use them. I plan on doing one video about what I use on a regular basis (my favorites), along with a medium range supply video, and then another about my wishlist and high quality journal supplies. I will most likely demonstrate the products (most of which have been purchased by me or given to me via happy mail or were presents) in my videos.

So what does all of this have to do with my two year art/visual journalversary? I’m so glad you asked.

Two years ago if you’d asked me if I’d have almost 1700 subscribers (a good portion of those are more interested in my journal videos than in my writerly videos, which is funny because I started YT making writerly videos, specifically NaNoWriMo related videos), I’d have just shook my head and thought, “No way…” but as I look at my subscriber count now compared to my blog now I have way more subscribers on YT than I do on my blog/website, and back then I had a great many more blog followers. I was a blogger at heart back then. But as my horizons broadened on my journey into art/visual journaling so did my vlogging journey.

I’ve found that many creatives have more than one creative interest. For example, I am a writer who loves creating art. I am also a big DIYer. I can crochet, but I’m limited to scarves or blankets, maybe a pot holder or two. My husband is a musician–he plays guitar and sings. One of my friends is a writer; she also quilts and art journals. Or maybe she is a quilter who also writes and art journals. 😀 Being creative isn’t limited to art, writing, or music. Creativity is used when planning a garden, or building a treehouse, or decorating your home, or organizing your kitchen, or arranging pictures on the wall of your living room.

I would not have imagined two years ago that I would be on Patreon, that my YT channel would have almost 2K subscribers, or that I’d be thought of by some of my creative tribe as a sort of creativity coach. But I am glad that I am. Art and Words sooth my soul. Brightens my mood. And so much more.

February 8

New Outline Series for Witchy Business Novel

Last week I created the first video for my new outlining process of my “Witchy Business” novel. Since I am changing POV, and a few other things, and quite a few people asked questions about how I use Tarot and the Hero’s Journey to outline, I thought I’d work on my novel and make it a video series at the same time.

Today I posted the third video in the outlining series.

This week I’ll concentrate more on an actual blog post for this, but for now I have:

Hope you enjoy the videos.

January 30

Bullet Journal for Writers, Writer’s Bible, and Novel Notebook

Quite a few of my YT subscribers requested that I go back through my outlining process since I’m revamping my “Witchy Business” book, now titled “The Seventh: The Carolina Witches Chronicles.” The second book in the series is called, “The Curse of Seven: The Carolina Witches Chronicles.” In order to do the book(s) justice, I really need to revamp the outline, not just the POV. Originally I used 1st person POV. I soon realized, while working on a completely different novel, that the “Witchy Business/The Seventh” book needed 3rd person POV. Funny how that works… it’s not always shiny new ideas that tempt us while writing, it can be old ideas that won’t leave us alone that also tempt us.

My Writer’s Bible. An A5 bifold Jonelifish.

I took a look at the original outline, including the videos from the outline process, and I realized I had the right idea… at least for the most part, but my antagonist was not thought out enough, nor did I have a clear ending. I need to come up with my last sentence… that sentence just before I have my husband type “The End,” (like in Stephen King’s Bag of Bones”).

When I first started writing again all I could think about was writing. I soon realized, after NaNoWriMo 2013, that pantsing wasn’t going to work. Not anymore. I hadn’t written fiction in almost two decades, so I needed to find my writing voice, figure out my groove again. That took a bit of time, but after a year (or more) I found my voice, and slowly found my groove, in part because of Arwen Lynch’s eCourse 33 Days to Finish Your Novel. (The original video playlist where I followed the course to outline my novel is on YT here.) After using Arwen’s eCourse to outline the Witchy Business novel for NaNoWriMo 2015, I found that I also liked the book Tarot for Writer’s by Corrine Kenner. Since then I’ve been finding my own groove using that combination.

I’ve also found that keeping my “writing stuff” in my Jonelifish (aka my “writer’s bible) has been helpful. When I initially set it up I had quite a few inserts in there, but as time passed, I’ve slowly but surely found my groove with that as well–and I now have what I am calling a writer’s bullet journal (based on Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal method), a writing journal, and a novel notebook. I write the bulk of my novel by hand, putting each chapter into the computer as I finish it (editing as I transfer my handwritten novel into the computer). 

The first time I set a bullet journal for writing it worked but not as well as I had hoped, and I soon realized it was because I had too many other things in there as well. Sometimes less is more. This time, I decided to do things a bit differently. The video above explains things in much more detail, but suffice to say, my writer’s bullet journal will be put to great use over the next few months–I am starting a new outlining series for my “witchy business” novel this Wednesday, February 1st. Since I need to revamp the novel, switch POV, change the first chapter, etc. I’m starting from (almost) scratch. The pen I’m using in the above picture is a TWSBI Eco Clear, M nib.

For additional information regarding Arwen’s method of outlining using Tarot check out this video.  Arwen’s YT video using Tarot for writing: https://youtu.be/V90tAWykxVY

Some of the Tarot Decks I use:

Wizards’ Tarot Deck by Corrine Kenner: http://amzn.to/2cC5xI2

Rider Waite Tarot Deck: http://amzn.to/2dfPRvb

Radiant Rider Waite Tarot Deck in Tin: http://amzn.to/2d16J9M

Lord of the Rings Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ct75Xk

The Hobbit Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ditJTQ

The Witches Tarot: http://amzn.to/2d16VWA

And if you would like your own Jonelifish Traveler’s Notebook check out the website for Jonelifish here: https://jonelifish.com If you use my code: “Burgess10” You can get 10% off your Jonelifish purchase—good  for all items except for custom orders, which are not listed in the shop but are made through contacting them.

 

**** This post contains some affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I might receive a small commission (this doesn’t cost you anything) if you purchase something through some of the links I’ve provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t used myself and love!

 

 

 

January 22

Journals, Planners, and More for 2017, part 2

Here is what I’ve setup in regard to journals, planners, and writing for 2017 (so far).

January 22

Coffee Chat, Journals, Planners, and more for 2017

2016 taught me a lot about what worked and didn’t work for me in regard to planning, journaling, drawing, painting, goal setting, editing videos, etc… I learned so much last year. Part of what I learned is the living a creative life is my passion, but it’s also part of my purpose.

Because there were a few things that did and didn’t work I changed things up this year.

Here is my coffee chat about some of this:

January 17

The Artist’s Way Week 1 2017

Have you ever thought “Why on earth did I ever think I could be an artist, writer, poet, singer, ____ fill in the blank?” Or “Why am I trying to do this? I’m never going to make it as a(n) ____, I should just find something else to do with my time.”  Last year when I first started working on Cameron’s 12 week self-guided course The Artist’s Way I couldn’t help but feel like I was an imposter… in the back of my mind I felt like a pretend writer/artist…This past week was week one of my 2017 journey with The Artist’s Way and I don’t feel so much like an imposter anymore, but I have realized that I do still have some self doubt, as well as the overwhelming need to pile too much stuff on myself, which equals stress, a lack of individual focus, and can lead to not following through with at least one or two things.

I’m going to add a video to the bottom of the post where I talk about a few other things from week 1, my actual check in, and here on the blog post I’m going to delve into a few other things like how differently I feel this go round. How much trouble I’ve had delving into the Morning pages…

Last year when I was working on The Artist’s Way I knew I needed to work on the root of my writer’s block, on my lack of belief in myself as an artist, and my self-doubt in general. I am a creative person. I owned that shit! I learned to say “I’m a writer!” loudly and proudly. And by the end of 2016, I’d learned to say ‘I’m an artist,” proudly. After a thirty years plus some hiatus from creating art, and then to jump into the “Fauxbonichi/Hobonichi/etc” style journaling, adding doodles and watercolor to my journal pages, and then to actually creating art on watercolor paper, and even on canvas, and signing up for Patreon this past year–well, let’s just say I climbed more than quite a few hurdles.

However, for every two or three hurdles I manged to climb over, it felt like there was yet another (or three) obstacles…I learned a great deal about myself last year, and I’m learning even more this year. I learned quite a few things just last week. One of the things I need to remember is that I need to have patience with myself. I could make a list, but instead I’m going to say that Self-Care has become an even more important part of my life. This week as I work on week two,  I’ll be working on Morning Pages first thing. I’m going to make it my top priority first thing in the morning. Another thing I am going to work on is taking Wednesday, and maybe even Friday, off from YT. I need a bit of a break, some time to get a few things together–I’m going to make a few changes, and I need a few days to figure things out.

There is this part of me that feels guilty because I need a break… I shouldn’t feel guilty for needed a break. For taking a bit of “me time.” In the video I have linked below, I say “I’m sorry, but not sorry,” and that is the truth. Rationally, I know I need this break, but it does bother me that people might be disappointed, and yet if I am to continue to make at least decent content than I have to take a break. I’m still healing, I need a bit more rest than I’ve been getting, and my body is screaming at me to get that rest. My mind is screaming at me to figure this shit out because I’ve piled too much on myself for the beginning of this year, and I need to spread out the projects a little better.

January 9

Journal/Planner Overlap

As I was getting everything together for 2017, my planner/journal systems, I realized I had a bit of overlap. Last year I started out the year with a Leonie Dawson planner, a bullet journal in a Leuchtturm 1917,  my Omni Journal, and my writer bullet journal, along with a few other things. Within a month or so I knew that I wouldn’t really use the ring bound planner–I’m not a fan of ring bound or spiral bound notebooks, journals, planners. I have a large ring binder that I store my writing stuff in: research, printouts, etc, but it is for reference only, I don’t work out of it.

And as the year progressed, I soon realized that bullet journaling was being merged with my art journal/chronicle your life journal/Hobonichi-Fauxbonichi style journaling, so I (once again) combined bullet journaling with everything else that was in my Omni Journal. My hybrid/everything/catchall journal. 🙂

 

For #onebookjuly2016 I used my Omni Journal for everything, except for the writing stuff. I learned how to use the “one journal for all” and as the month progressed I learned that I could even include my writing stuff in the Omni Journal, at least the basics, like shiny new ideas that pop into my head, or a line that kept bugging me, or a character that didn’t want to act right… Working things out on paper is so much easier for me… ADHD and all that. Thanks to #onebookjuly I learned how my brain works in regard to planning, journaling, and what system works best for me.

After #onebookjuly, and on into the end of the year,  I worked on putting my systems in place, systems that work for me.

My Omni Journal: the Hub, sort of the Grand Central Station of everything, which is usually in my trifold Jonelifish Mermaid TN, along with a few inserts for specific things.

My Writer’s Bible, a Jonelifish TN (traveler’s notebook) that houses my writer bullet journal, my novel insert, and my writer journal.

My Projects Jonelifish TN, which housed my project bullet journal, an insert for the Dark Tower reading project, and a few other inserts for certain projects.

And my Hobonichi Techo Cousin (A5) that was sort of an art journal.

For 2017 I knew I wanted to change a few things. Make changes that would help me stay organized, still be creative, and would utilize my strengths and yet help me improve my weak areas (getting distracted easily, forgetting things even though I wrote them down, etc). So I took a look at the systems I had in place, what was working, what was only working so-so, and what I knew I wanted to change. Then I did a bit of research into what was out there. I love the Hobonichi. Love Tomoe River Paper. My Omni Journal has 68 gsm Tomoe River paper, it’s an Enigma from Taroko Design. 😀 And my prefered journal size is an A5, so I knew I wanted another Hobonichi Techo Cousin, but did I really have a need for it? And I wanted to try the Hobonichi A6 English planner, but (again) did I have a need for it? And then there was the Hobonichi Weeks. Need or Want?

If I’m being honest, the Hobonichis’ were wants, not needs. The Enigma–my Omni Journal is more than sufficient for all of my actual needs, but if I used it for every single thing I’d go through it in 3 months, which means I’d need 4 for the year instead of 2. I write a lot. Draw a lot. Write big…

Here is the video of my Coffee Chat about Journal/Planner overlap if you’d like more detail. Soon I’ll be doing a show and tell of exactly what I am using and how. 😀

 

 

January 8

Revisiting “The Artist’s Way” for 2017

This year I’m revisiting (and recommitting) myself to following the self guided course by Julia Cameron called “The Artist’s Way.” I hope you’ll join me on this creative and self-improving course for the next 13 weeks. I’ll be posting my opinions, feelings, thoughts, and experiences with you every Sunday via this blog/website, along with videos on YT. *My previous journey with The Artist’s Way YT Playlist: .)

“The Artist’s Way is a course that guides you through the process of rediscovering your creative self. It dispels the ‘I’m not talented enough’ conditioning that holds many people back and helps you to unleash your own inner artist.” (Cameron)

If you’re like me then you’ve often wondered why you’re bothering to

  • draw
  • write
  • paint
  • create

That you’re not good enough, not talented enough… you’re not sure of why you’re even bothering… I hear those things in my head when I’m creatively blocked, and that block is actually fear. Fear rearing its ugly head. But I’ve found  that using the tools of The Artist’s Way has helped me not only to become more creative, and helped me start living a creative life, but also helped me become more sure of myself.

This first week of January I read the Introduction  and the Basic Principles, as well as the section about the Basic Tools, which include morning pages, artist dates, filling the well/stocking the pond.

The Basic Principles:

  1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy; pure creative energy.
  2. There is an underlying, in dwelling creative force infusing all of life–including ourselves.
  3. When we open ourselves to your creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity within us and our lives.
  4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
  5. Creativity is God’s (or the Universe’s) gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God (the Universe). [*If you are uncomfortable using the word “God” then use whatever you feel comfortable with.]
  6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.
  7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God (the Universe): good orderly direction.
  8. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
  9. It is safe to pen ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
  10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come form a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

Morning Pages: “Three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness.” It might read “Oh, god, another morning. I have NOTHING to say. I need to wash the curtains. DId I get my laundry yesterday? Blah, blah, blah…” or it might say, “I am not a morning person… it’s cold outside… damn! Is it raining again?”  (The actual beginning of one of my pages from last year.) There is “no wrong way to do morning pages.” They are not mean to be read by anyone else. Cameron also calls them a “brain drain,” which I found to be true for the first month or more.

*The “morning pages are the primary tool of creative recovery.”

The other main tool is called an Artist Date, which works in conjunction with the Morning Pages. Cameron calls the combination of the two tools: ” a receiver and transmitter: it is a two step, two-directional process: out and then in. Doing your morning pages, you are sending–notifying yourself and the universe of your dreams, dissatisfactions, hopes. DOing your artist date, you are receiving–opening yourself to insight, inspiration, guidance.

An Artist Date is a section of time that you reserve for yourself on a weekly basis. One -Two hours each week, that you commit to “nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist.” It’s a play date for your inner artist (your inner child). She says that “spending time in solitude with your artist child is essential to self-nurturing,” and it can be anything from a walk in park, time at the beach, a coffee shop, a museum, a movie, a visit to an aquarium, an art gallery…

Another tool, Filling the Well/Stocking the Pond: “In order to create, we draw from our inner well. This inner well, an artistic reservoir, is ideally like a well-stocked trout pond…if we don’t give some attention to upkeep, our well is apt to become depleted, stagnant, or blocked…we must learn to be self-nourishing…we must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them–to restock the trout pond–filling the well.”

Next Sunday I’ll talk about Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety.

Here’s my video for the Introduction:

 

**** This post contains some affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I might receive a small commission (this doesn’t cost you anything) if you subscribe or purchase something through some of the links I’ve provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t used myself and love!

Thank you!

Burgess

December 20

Wrapping Up 2016, Goals for 2017, and more

With the New Year fast approaching I’ve been doing quite a bit of reflection. This year was a good one. I accomplished quite a few things I would not have thought I’d have done, things like team up with three other women and open a group called Destination Me: Adventures at the Round Table for women: “Destination Me is about all of US. Women. It’s about inspiring and challenging ourselves and others to be creative, to share our thoughts and ideas, our advice with others. It’s about challenging all women, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc to take care of themselves, to nurture themselves, to be creative and to share their thoughts, feelings, ideas, advice, and more. Destination Me provides women with fun, safe place to be creative and to share their creative pursuits, as well as creative ways to bring back or to bring a sense of purpose and vitality that we may have lost or just misplaced due to various circumstances, or that we find we need, along our journey.
This group is all about diversity, acceptance, tolerance, creativity, self-love, self-acceptance, self-care, as well as inspiration. We welcome all women.”

I didn’t stop there. As part of DM (Destination Me), and here on this blog, I created a Dark Tower (and connected books, by Stephen King) reading project. I also opened my own Facebook group about omni journaling: Omni Journaling with Burgess. I joined Patreon.

I tried two new journals for my Omni Journal when the SevenSeas Crossfield by Nanamipaper wasn’t available… The new one’s are by Taroko Design, and are the Enigma and the Mystique (the link for this is the comparison I did, and here is the video I did comparing them.

And another highlight of the year… I became a Brand Ambassador for Jonelifish. I’ve been talking about my Writer’s Bible, and my other Jonelifish Traveler’s Notebooks for almost 2 years now. 😀 I love, love, love Jonel and Jonelifish.

I cover some of this in the video I’m going to link below, but my goals for 2017, which I’m still working on, are:

  • Blog every day
  • Write every day
  • Create art every day
  • Thrive… (my word for 2017)
  • Continue purging and organizing things in the house
  • DIY projects (flooring, clean carpet, paint master bedroom and paint mural, etc)
  • 2K subscribers on YT
  • Increase my presence on IG, Pinterest, Twitter
  • Pay bills off, save money and purchase new Canon camera for creating videos and photos
  • Upgrade computer
  • Learn how to better use CyberLink Power Director
  • Seek Joy, Spread Joy, Pay it Forward

December 7

Discussion Questions for “The Stand”

The Stand by Stephen King. Burgess Taylor

Stephen King’s “The Stand,” is a post apocalyptic novel that many have said is King’s “Lord of the Rings.” It is a monstrosity of a novel. The uncut version is around 1153 pages, but what makes it epic isn’t the length, it’s the characters and the story.

The first third of the novel is about the spread of a man-made super flu virus that has gotten loose. In the first 100 pages, the super flu has wiped out a little over 99% of the population, and those who survive are left with survivor’s guilt, as well as having to learn how to survive and cope with the tragedy that has occurred.

Many of the survivors dream about Mother Abigail, while some dream of the Dark Man (Flagg). The theme of good (Mother Abigail) versus evil (Flagg) is quite obvious, and yet there are other themes in the book as well: themes like fate, the government, and others. What other themes to you think Kind included? And why?

One of the things that really hit me hard when I first started reading “The Stand” this time around was the fact that flu season had started and every where I turned where advertisements for people to get their flu shots. Captain Trips… The slightest sneeze or sniffle and I was thinking about Captain Trips, Mother Abigail, Stu, Nick, Larry (“Baby …dig your man…”), and M-O-O-N….

In the beginning of the novel, Campion is headed straight towards Hapscomb’s Texaco, in a small town named Arnette, TX. Stu saves the pumps from blowing but has no idea he’s signed a death warrant for Arnette and his friends when they’re all exposed to Campion. Fate? Pre-destined?

Much of the middle of the novel is about the road trip to Boulder, Colorado–a long ass road trip, and then setting up their new community, complete with meetings, minutes of the meetings, etc. Do you think King’s attention to detail added to the novel or took away from it?

What do you think about the characters?

Mother Abigail’s flock?

Flagg’s army?

Who  are your favorite characters, and why?

Least favorite, and why?

Which characters are the weakest links? Which characters are the strongest links?

Which characters change the most?

And last but not least…

Once again, we see Flagg in a King novel. The Dark One, the Dark Man, the Crimson King, the Man in Black… what do you think about Flagg in this novel?