Creative Outlets for Writers…Stepping away from writing

I have done a lot of guest author interviews over the last year and have asked authors what they do to get away from the stress of writing. Oddly enough, most of them responded that writing was their way of getting away from the stress of life.  But many also mentioned that they have interests and hobbies as well in their limited spare time.

Personally, I have several creative outlets that I enjoy when I take the time to step away from my writing schedule. I have always been somewhat artistic, having tried my hand at a number of art mediums. I’m not saying that what I produce is great, but I enjoy it.

One of my most recent new efforts is creating wall hanging art quilts. I don’t have the patience for working on a full-sized quilt, but I respect the true quilters who do so. As with writing books, I get bored working too long on a particular project, which is why I write several story lines at the same time. What I enjoy doing on my small quilts is taking a favorite photo from a place I have visited and then turning it into an art quilt. One of my favorite places is a small tea shop restaurant, the Tuck Box, in Carmel, Ca. This is a place my daughter and I like to frequent when I visit California.




One of my first projects was something I created for my accountant husband for Christmas a couple of years ago. No way did he guess he was getting something like this! It is on display in one of the hallways at the firm and clients love to stop and look at it, seeing something different every time they look at it. I borrowed a French street scene from a calendar and personalized it to suit my desires. The main building is his office, with him sitting behind a desk, his certificate is on the wall. The windows of the other building have mini tax return front pages from various years and photos of him over the years (with various stages of hair loss). The street lamp has signs indicating each of the accounting firms he has worked for. The little boy on the tricycle is him as a child. There are lots of other “accounting” elements: dollar bills mixed with the leaves on the trees, the little bull for stock markets, coins, a piggy bank, etc.  This was actually kind of a nightmare project, but it has been enjoyed by so many that it was worth the trouble. And it will be included in a quilt show this summer.

My latest project was more tame, but still provided a creative outlet for me. The main thing starting this project was the background style, which came from a quilting group I now belong to. Most of the members use the idea presented and turn it into an actual quilt. I just create a sample of the project and then add my own other elements, in this case, a basket of flowers. The flowers have buttons as centers.





I also take a gazillion pictures wherever I travel. Thank goodness for digital cameras! I’m in love with scenery, especially unique trees. One of these days I’m going to do something with all of my tree pictures, although I don’t know what.

The point of this blog is that there are lots of ways to be creative beyond writing. I find that doing some of these other things helps me be creative when I write. My imagination runs wild when I design a quilt project, paint something, visualize a photo I want to take, or work in my garden. And then my imagination takes off when I come up with a new story.



6 thoughts on “Creative Outlets for Writers…Stepping away from writing

  1. Heather

    Wow, Starla, those are stunning. I admire anyone who is adept with a needle. The reason I took up scrapbooking is because I love pattern and texture but am a complete and utter failure with fabric. 🙂
    Beautiful job!

    1. Starla Kaye

      I have done some scrapbooking, too, and need to do more. I love going back over photos (fairly new ones or old ones) and remembering.

      Thanks for the compliment on the quilts.

  2. Angelita

    The hanging art quilt is so gorgeous! When it comes to any kind of sewing or design project, I’m sideways. I too write several storylines at once as I’m one of those authors that writes until the words stop coming, then I go on to something else until my muse returns. My creative outlet is taking ballet classes for fun. It’s very therapeutic and the music is so romantic to me, it really moves my soul. I burn off those snacks I wolfed down while writing for hours at my laptop and I’m more than a little inspired afterward. Win-win 🙂

    1. Starla Kaye

      I took ballet lessons as a child, but now I’m pretty clumsy that way. I still remember the basic steps, though. I work in my gardens or take walks to burn off the snacks eaten while writing. Walking revives me, too. A win-win, like you said.

  3. Naomi Bellina

    Gorgeous wall hangings! I like to indulge in art projects for relaxation too. I recently joined a group and we painted wine glasses. While drinking wine, of course! Art and writing go well together. I’ll be engaging in a short kayak adventure with my loved one very soon, and I hope floating on the water will not only relax me, but give me story ideas. Nice post, Starla.

    1. Starla Kaye

      Writing goes well with wine, yes, but especially chocolate.

      I go on several 5 mile kayak “adventures” every July with some family members. It is great fun, often very wet (okay, I tip over or get stuck on rocks occasionally), but I love it. When I do manage to stay in the kayak and just float, it is really relaxing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *