When I’m Not Writing: Crafting

I’ve told you about some of my favorite things to do when I’m not writing, like watching musicals. Today I wanted to tell you about what’s probably my favorite of all my hobbies—crafting.

I’m a pretty creative person. You need to be in order to write. I love to make up stories and create new characters and places. But I also feel the need to work with my hands and use my creativity in tangible and visual ways. That’s where crafting comes in.

My love of crafting started at a young age. My mom was my Girl Scout troop leader, taught children’s classes at the park district, and taught my church classes. All of these activities involved a lot of crafts. I loved making anything and everything. As an adult, I still love to create art and other projects.

Jewelry-Making

I’ve been making jewelry for over half of my life now. I still love buying beads in all different colors and creating beautiful patterns. Jewelry-making is so relaxing and lets me clear my head when I’m stuck on whatever I’m writing.

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A few of my cases of beads

Coloring

Another activity I do to relax and clear my head is to color. I only got into coloring in the last year or so, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite activities. And not only is coloring really relaxing, it’s also one of my favorite ways to dig into God’s word. I do this through scripture coloring books which allow me to draw closer to God while I’m relaxing.

Planners

Being a stay-at-home writer, I don’t have too much to schedule in my life, but I have fallen in love with the creative planners that have been trending lately. Every Friday, I spend an hour or so designing the next week’s pages. I fill in everything that needs to get done, and then I decorate the pages with stickers and lots of color. I include inspirational quotes, decorative flowers and washi tape, and a prayer list for each week. I love getting to look at my decorations and the inspirational quotes as I get ready for each day.

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My planner and decorating supplies

Gift-Giving

Lastly, I love to craft when it comes to gift-giving. I have tons of card-making supplies so that I can make everyone a card that’s individual to them. I also love giving homemade gifts like fleece blankets. For my husband, I usually will make him something with pictures, like this picture wall I made him for Valentine’s Day last year.

Crafting allows me to be creative with my hands, clear my head when I need to work out a writing problem, and even draw closer to God. There is nothing better than creating something, whether I’m writing stories or making a homemade gift.

5 Writing Tools I Can’t Live Without

Writing is a craft, and you can’t be any good at a craft without the right tools. These are the five tools I can’t live without.

Scrivener
I don’t know why I waited so long to get Scrivener. I had heard so many good things about it, and three months ago I finally bought this amazing software. Seriously, Microsoft Word is nothing compared to this. I love being able to keep all of my writing, research, outlining, and notes in the same place. And I love being able to jump around to work on different parts of what I’m writing, or to switch quickly between writing and outlining. Or even to work on both at the same time.

There was definitely a learning curve to get used to Scrivener. I spent several weeks going through the demo multiple times and reading the handbook. I’m sure there are still many things I need to learn, but for now I’ve got the hang of it. I highly recommend this software to any writer.

Planners
I never get anything done unless I have it written on a To Do List. I tend to be forgetful and have a lot of things running around in my head at once. At the start of each week I have to plan out everything that needs to get done so that I can stay organized and can accomplish what I need to. I have my weekly list of writing tasks, a social media planner, daily writing task lists, and my personal planner. I don’t know what I’d do without all of them.

Colored Pens
I love being as organized as possible, and color coding is a big part of that. I have my set of colored pens that I use for just about everything. Ink Joy pens are my favorite because the colors are bright and they’re easy to write with. Each story I work on has its own color that I use to make edits on paper copies, and I color code in all of my planners as well.

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My favorite colored pens

Textbooks

I keep most of my writing textbooks on my desk so that they’re right in front of me and I can draw from them for help or inspiration. I have everything from a book on outlining to a book on language creation for science fiction to a baby name book. Some are from college, some I’ve read after college, and others I haven’t gotten to yet. But ever since graduating from college I’ve realized how important it is to continue my writing education, so I try to read from one of these textbooks every day. The craft of writing requires constant learning and fine-tuning in order to do it well.

K-Love

This last one is probably the most important. Writing is my calling, and I want to make sure that God is with me whenever I’m doing what he’s called me to do. So I have Christian radio play in the background all of the time when I’m writing. My favorite station is K-Love. Not only do I get to hear some of my favorite music and artists while I’m working, I get that constant reminder that God is with me and that I’m loved. This music has a way of pushing God’s promises, word, and love into your heart and mind, even if it’s just on in the background. I don’t think I’d be able to do the difficult task of writing every day if I wasn’t constantly listening to these good messages.