Part of it

The creative life can seem like tackling one hill climb after another. Some times you can be trudging, almost crawling, up the steep ascent of Pen-y-Ghent; others, it's the long old haul along the vast ankle-grabbing limestone pavements of Ingleborough. You might see breathtaking vistas or sheeting rain on Whernside - then wrap your hands around a pint pot of tea at Horton-in-Ribblesdale in celebration.

You'd never tackle the Three Peaks alone - and I'd recommend teaming up with other writers and illustrators in your creative journeys. If you're on the tops, experiencing the highs of the creative life, it's good to share your knowledge. Put an article up on your blog - or Words & Pictures, help others by volunteering, say for the Conference - and if you have a reason to rejoice, let everyone know. [We even have a special Celebrations spot for this!] It can really encourage others.

Mass Book Launch 2014 c/o Candy Gourlay
What if you're deep in the boggy lows? That's where being part of something larger really helps.
  • Ask for help - someone will know. 
  • Find advice - we have absolute heaps. 
  • Accept support - it thrills the giver, you know.
Molly the Mountain Rescue Dog knows just how to help
And how about the daily routine? Check in, measure your progress, develop your understanding. There's always a small new thing you can gain, or give. Someone in the Facebook group, on Twitter or the yahoo email group will want to hear from you, or share their goodies.

Sugary treats optional

In your work-in-progress, do you have anything collective? Is there some larger event for your character to join in?

Such as:
  • a hockey game- they could play - or support the team with drinks and snacks
  • putting on a show - are they a performer or behind the scenes?
  • preparing a feast - will they get stuck in or hang back, overawed?
Larger scenes give scope for great diversity - both the obvious and more internal kinds. It's a great opportunity to be inclusive. Have a go to widen your range, and give contrast with quieter solo moments.

Ensemble pieces also heighten the drama. Everyone involved shares in the success -  or the failure. And if you give the group a tough challenge, how much more joy in the completion for the reader or viewer? Pop a communal scene in and see if it brings more depth to your story.

The Railway by William Powell Frith photo credit: Royal Holloway, University of London 

Written by K. M. Lockwood , who keeps a blog and twitters rather too much.

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