May Carnival of Creative Possibility

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Creativity and Verve

Happy May 1st! Whether you view May as the beginning of summer as in the festival of Beltane or as underlining the definite appearance of Spring (in the Northern Hemipshere at least) it certainly is a month that promotes the feeling of energy and creativity.

On Head above Water we’ve had creativity months before. In January 2013 there was a whole month of posts surrounding creating ideas, promoting writing energy through physical pursuits, motivation and producing work and I’ve been planning to have a similar focus for the month of May. After unfortunately spending most of April either in bed with the flu or recuperating from it some of my personal plans for creativity seemed to begin to feel out of reach but now that I’m beginning to get back on track I think it’s even more important to orient myself towards optimism and possibility and to share that with other writers. After all this blog is about writing alongside (or despite) our busy and challenging lives.

May Carnival of Creativity

I’d like to invite you to join my on this blog for a May carnival of creativity. Once again I’ll be posting links and resources to sites about creativity, articles and creative challenges and writing prompts. With my articles I’ll start at the beginning with orientation, how we move towards beginning to write (either as a novice or towards a new project), then I’ll go through the various challenges that arise as you proceed. I’ll also be asking you to contribute your unique view on struggles with motivation, idea generation, finding time and interupptions, despair, lethargy, resilience as well as your successful ways of finding time to write. My posts will be short and snappy where possible as we want to maximise verve but minimize procrastination time!

Personal Goals

Continuing this blog alongside my own creative writing stems out of a background and interest in the forces of motivation, self-esteem, mental energy and creativity in general. I want to encourage and support others as I know how challenging it can be combining creative pursuits along the responsibiltiies of daily life. Both illness and family pressures have certainly put obstacles in my way but writing means so much that I want to keep going. In particular there are three goals I have in mind for May and the coming months.

1) Adding to my current project (Novel). 2 years ago I wrote a flash fiction (recently published in the Stinging Fly) from which a book is now developing. I have about 50,000 words. To me, the book has always had a ‘May feeling’ and I’ve been hoping to add substantially to it this month. More on this in a minute!

2) I’ve been writing this blog since 2009 and many people have enjoyed posts on creativity, how to be a writer when you’re not writing, how to incubate ideas etc. I’m hoping to collate these blog posts into three key elements, Space, Time and Energy, to add new material and to make the publications available online in the next couple of months.

3) In conjunction with my pal Liz and sister Sharon of Down at the Gate craft courses, I am going to be giving a Beginners creativity and short story writing course locally in Bray on June 8th. This is a new departure and should be fun!

 Many ways to get involved in the Carnival!

  • Come as you are!
  • Return here each day to get involved in the debates and creative challenges and to be inspired and supported.
  • #30KinMay

While I’m not a fan of rigidity (You don’t need to write every day or when mental resources or physical are low but there’s always merit in discipline and setting yourself a challenge. I’m setting myself the challenge of writing 1000 words a day (more or less!) in the month of may and I invite you to join me. There will be a 30K post each day for us to compare our progress (or complain about the lack of it) and I’ll use a #30kinMay hashtag on Twitter


What a lovely time of year to make writing time by getting up early! (I can hear some of you groan!) It certainly doesn’t happen every day but from time to time myself and some other writing pals are up early (London time) and writing at 5am. We use the  #5amwriteclub hashtag on twitter and while we use our quiet time diligently, we post on twitter to let each other know that we’re working away and we compare progress later. The camaraderie spurs us on and makes getting out of bed (slightly) easier. We’d be delighted to meet you there! By the way I’m @alisonwells on Twitter.

Head above Water on Facebook

I’ve just set up a Facebook page for Head above Water to post articles and details of publications and courses, so please Like the page if you want to keep up to date.

The Twitter handle for Head above Water is @31HAW if you want to follow!

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