I attended a free writing summit in January. No groundbreaking knowledge came to me but I did pick up a few useful knowledge and I’m now doing a free mini writing course that is helping to get me into touch with my emotions. Anyway, one of the useful knowledge that came via the summit was the idea to try other creative endeavours and new experiences as potential ‘research’ into characters or just to get into a different mindset. So I’ve dubbed my attempts at new experiences the new horizon outreach program.
To be honest, this is not the first I heard of this idea. After the set of writing courses I did, I founded a Facebook group for my fellow students and someone mentioned in passing about new experiences, though not in immediate context to writing. But somehow something just clicked in my brain this time around and I decided to give this a try. So in essence, every Saturday I am going to devote at least half an hour to doing something that I haven’t tried or done for a very long time.
I started with easy things. The first week, it was drawing. I had watched a commercial about children drawing kits and it had octopus among seaweeds. I thought it would be easy to replicate from the mental image I had from that- just a small circle (the mouth) within a big circle (the head) and then eight tentacles. The result I got was more like some kind of robot or evil monster. So I resorted to Googling how to draw an octopus and surprisingly, I enjoyed it. I don’t remember enjoying drawing as a child but somehow drawing brought back a short burst of child-like joy.
In the week that just went past, I did origami. Again, I had done origami before as a child but all that really stuck with me (besides the paper plane or paper boat, neither of which I can guarantee I still can fold) was this flower that looked nothing like its real-life equivalent. I only had rectangular A4 paper at home so I picked the only one I could do from Googled folding instructions which was those for making an envelope. I think I did moderately okay except that I could not complete the last step which required me to tuck in a triangle. I was reminded that origami was an art requiring precision in folded corners which I often fell short at as a child and apparently still do. But as an adult, I wondered about how potentially different this art is for an origami master. Like, for them, is it more about ability to replicate patterns via manipulating papers via folding?
Now, to bring this rambling post to an end, I have two other activities on my to-try list but then I think I’m running short of ideas:
- I am going to try being a Game Master (GM) in the dice rolling role-playing gaming that I do instead of just being a player. Instead of having a fixed GM, we are taking turns this time being the GM. But for starters, I’ve sold part of my fantasy ancient China setting to my gaming group and we are shortly going to start a game in it.
- Maybe I will try making a Chinese knot? I haven’t got the materials though so I might try calligraphy instead.