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Re-Discovering Creativity Outside Book-Writing

When I had a 9-5 job – actually it was usually 4am-2pm or 2pm-12am, but you get my meaning – my only creative outlet was writing. I dedicated every spare moment to planning, writing, and editing books that might make it to a digital shelf somewhere in the future. These moments were fractured, broken up with undesirable work hours, house work, and somewhere in all of that, trying to have some fun outside my one-bedroom plane of existence.

With the events of 2020 and 2021 confining us inside for the most part, the past year I have barely done anything outside of writing books, but this time for a living. While I consider video games a viable hobby – and I’ve played them a lot during the “panorama” – looking at screens for more or less every waking hour gets old.

I keep my purse-strings pretty tight. I’ll only have a haircut if it’s absolutely necessary because parting with £50 isn’t something I do lightly. But in a sale-induced moment of madness, I bought some colourful dual fine-tip and brush pens and resolved to do something with them.

Calligraphy has been a passion I’ve let fall by the wayside for months now, and I’ve got pens, kits, and instruction books up the wazoo. This time, when I arranged my pens and practice papers around me in my little sofa-nest, I realised that calligraphy practice just wasn’t the same when you sat down at a desk to do it. It felt too much like being back at school again. While I already knew in theory that environment makes a big difference, experiencing it in practice hit the message home harder.

Me and my multi-coloured brush pens have practiced modern calligraphy, re-hashed my daily schedule and created graphics to make it prettier to look at. If it looks pretty, I’ll pay more attention to it, right? The worst lies I tell are to myself.

Alongside the feel-good sensation of improving a skill, calligraphy and bullet-journal-style amateur illustrating has absorbed me the same way Skyrim and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have. A relaxing yet engaging activity that gives me more to show than a digital armour set or cool-looking bow.

When I start getting better at calligraphy, I’ll drop photos over all the social medias I use – currently only Facebook and Instagram, though I’ll move on to TikTok one day. Hopefully it’ll document my improvement and who knows, maybe one day I’ll be making the YouTube videos instead of studiously watching them.

Thanks for reading! Grab my book, Valkyrie Cursed, on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!

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