New Beginnings: how do you begin a new writing challenge?

An increase in personal responsibilities has forced Rhobin Courtright to retire as the leader of our monthly round robin, but Skye Taylor has grabbed the baton.

Isn’t English a wonderful language? This means she has taken over the relay race of conducting an orchestra.

Skye is a remarkable person, so much so that some time ago I interviewed her. She is also a powerful and versatile writer, as you will discover by visiting her.

Her first topic, starting in a new year, is a selection of considering new beginnings. I have chosen one of her three alternatives.

So, how do I begin a new writing challenge? Let me tell you about a few recent ones.

1.I went for a walk.

I chose to do walking meditation, and soon ended up in the Nowscape, a concept I’ve stolen from Jon Kabat-Zinn (he doesn’t mind). The experience was so wonderful I thought, I’ll write about this.

That was it. No further planning needed, no special effort to memorise anything. When I got home, the little essay was ready to write.

2. I chatted with my wife about our grandchildren.

Our young but growing grandbabies in Sydney are both keen cooks. Years ago, when our son was a university student, he phoned us from interstate to get a recipe, because he’d invited a girl’s parents for dinner, then decided that in order to feed them, perhaps he should cook a traditional family dish. So, the two of us decided to write a family cookbook with a difference. It is a filler project in between others (like writing this post), and it is also young but growing.

3. I went to sleep.

I’ve been attending lots of online meetings while campaigning in two elections within the one year. A majority of my friends in the Australian Greens find it necessary to put a gender label after their names. This leaves me hovering between amusement and very mild eyebrow-raising. I woke about 6 a.m. the morning after one of these zoomfests with an essay begging to be recorded.

4. I requested inspiration.

A current ongoing project is an anthology about REAL human nature. Having finished one story, I told myself I needed another idea. When it was ready, it came to me.

What’s in common to these beginnings?

“Necessity is the mother of invention?” Don’t you believe it. Obsessively pushing for a new idea almost guarantees that it will hide from you.

Want to start a new writing project? Relax. Trust your intuition. Be playful and let the idea cook in the background of your mind.

I wonder which of Skye’s three options my fellow round robiners have chosen, and what they wrote about it.

You can solve this mystery by clicking on the links below. Only, don’t you dare to do so before commenting on my offering.

Skye Taylor
Marci Baun
Victoria Chatham
Anne Graham
Connie Vines
Diane Bator
A.J. Maguire
Fiona McGier

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
This entry was posted in Rhobin's round robin, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to New Beginnings: how do you begin a new writing challenge?

  1. fionamcgier says:

    I often get the best inspiration when I’m not thinking about writing. So that works for me as well. Finding the time to write–aye, there’s the rub!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Now that I am immensely retired, I have slowed down in my writing. But when I worked 10+ hours a day, I squeezed in writing 10 minutes at a time. Since the content was clear in my mind, it was a matter of recording it.


  2. Hello Dr. Bob, I like the idea of a walking meditation. Bit chilly here in Canada for that, but there so much good can come out of quiet time.


  3. Marci says:

    First, how did your elections go?

    Second, I have lots of ideas. It’s getting them into the computer. 🤪


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Same here, Marci. Old Winston said, “The problem is not finding a solution,but to select from among the dozen solutions.”
      Elections? It’s a complex answer.
      The state government is Labor, something vaguely like the Democrats. Four years ago, they got in with a landslide. This time, they won even one more seat, because the rightwing mob have fallen apart.
      The Greens regained the number of seats lost last time, but no more.
      The area where I live is conservative heartland. The local rep. is a good lady. She and I are friends. Only thing I dislike about her is her politics. She got back with a 6% increase.
      All we can do is the best we can do. 🙂


  4. Hi Bob, I see how many have gone with the advice to relax. Me, too. At least for the initial idea. Thereafter, I do need to bring a bit of application. Lovely post. anne


  5. ajmaguire says:

    There is something to be said about giving your mind creative space to wander. I also go for walks – with my dog, so sometimes my mind can’t quite wander at will since she is a border collie who thinks all lesser beings ought to be herded – and take naps or stare out the window. In fact, if I’ve been staring out the window long enough, that’s when I go lay down with my eyes closed and try to summon the characters and scene to mind.


  6. Connie Vines says:

    Dr.Bob, always a great post. Your mention of going for a walk gave me pause. Then I remembered your seasons are the opposite of mine. And a nap is a way to fast track creativity.


  7. Skye Taylor says:

    First off, thanks for the lovely praise- not sure I deserve it but I’ll take it!
    I like your advice to RELAX. Very sage. I also find going for a physical walk can often surprise me with ideas about a current project or a new one. Let’s all be inspired in 2023!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Of course you deserve praise, Skye. I am not light with it. I may occasionally give that appearance, because if I can’t say good about someone or something, I prefer to say nothing, and I do that often.


  8. Don Lubov says:

    “Want to start a new writing project? Relax. Trust your intuition. Be playful and let the idea cook in the background of your mind.” You are right on for me. I let intuition contact me and, being a ‘pantser’, I just write down what comes. BTW, a ‘pantser’ is one who writes by the seat of his pants…spontaneously.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s