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Musings: On Constraints, Cupcakes & Prayers…

04/03/2012

“The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self. And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution.” Igor Stravinsky

Musings: On Constraints, Cupcakes & Prayers…

For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it. W.W. Bartley

Thanksgiving by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

Doe: What should I write about?
Joe: What tone or style would you like to adopt?
Doe: I don’t know…
Joe: Have a cupcake and then say a prayer. Creativity will come visit.
Doe: Really? Even for the constraint of Writer’s Block?
Joe: Yes… a bit slow on the uptake, eh?

“The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise man sees in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.” Walt Whitman

Musings: On Constraints, Cupcakes & Prayers…

Musings: On Constraints, Cupcakes & Prayers…

If there’s a remedy when trouble strikes,
What reason is there for dejection?
And if there is no help for it,
What use is there in being glum? By Shantideva of Nalanda University

Help Me To Remember by Samuel F. Pugh
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted. Amen.

Doe: What genre should I write in?
Joe: What exactly is your piece’s point-of-view?
Doe: Seriously, I don’t know…
Joe: Have a few more cupcakes, say a few more prayers, remember to pray for others and the rest will follow.
Doe: Hmm mm I think it’s working… Is it the sugar? the constraint? Perhaps, the prayers?
Joe: Sure thing. Now listen… Constraints, like obstacles, force us to consider other ways of doing the same old thing. Need to Create? Get a Constraint.

More below… 😎

“The constraints of melodrama can be a great blessing, because they demand that all the characters involved – as absurd and extreme as they may initially seem – must stay utterly rooted in their own reality, or the whole project collapses.” Stanley Tucci

Musings: On Constraints, Cupcakes & Prayers… = Creativity 😉

Aztec Prayer by Anon
Lord most giving and resourceful,
I implore you;
make it your will
that this people enjoy
the goods and riches you naturally give,
that naturally issue from you,
that are pleasing and savory,
that delight and comfort,
though lasting but briefly,
passing away as if in a dream.

The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr
God, grant us the…
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your Love for us and our love for each other and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.

Doe: You’re a genius. What else can I do to help my writing?
Joe: Try something new. Write in dialogue or avoid it.
Doe: Sure, thanks!  This little chat helped… Anything else?
Joe: Use only active verbs. Or better yet, write something made up of rhetorical questions.
Doe: Hmm mm  So if I write rhetorical questions and obviously respond to them, I’ll be in like Flint?
Joe: Well, maybe not Flint, but you could rock it like Alice in Wonderland; especially if you use a fairy tale as the framework for your writing.
Doe: That is incredibly C 😎 😎 L! I’m learning slowly but surely…
Joe: Right! Before I forget, don’t use adverbs so often or use exactly one adverb after every three sentences.
Doe: Thx buddy! You rock! Maybe I’ll borrow an idea from Ernest Vincent Wright “Now, any author, from history’s dawn, always had that most important aid to writing: an ability to call upon any word in his dictionary in building up his story. That is, our strict laws as to word construction did not block his path. But in my story that mighty obstruction will constantly stand in my path; for many an important, common word I cannot adopt, owing to its orthography.”(Ernest Vincent Wright, from Gadsby, 1939, wrote a story of more than 50,000 words that didn’t contain the letter e)
Joe: You are welcome… just watch the lipogram, will ya!? 🙂

What are your thoughts? What constraints are you experiencing of late? What will you do abut it? Do you use specific techniques to help you overcome? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by a post from WP Daily Post: Constraint by Daryl L. L. Houston. Sometimes we confront a similar anxiety in writing…

Positive Motivation Tip: Embrace the constraints and then get creative to find your way around the limitations… Grace resides there…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my Personal Collection, or Reclining Figure by Henry Moore Praying Hands, via Wikipedia and/or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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40 Comments leave one →
  1. 05/03/2012 12:23 am

    I do like the way you have weaved in the meaning of ‘
    Musings: On Constraints, Cupcakes & Prayers… True, if we could understand the constraints paced upon us and how it adds or takes away from the outcome then we would be able to overcome its chain.

    Like

    • 07/03/2012 8:06 pm

      TY Savira! I enjoyed Daryl’s post so much that I decided to try a new approach on my blog and follow his tips… I was nicely surprised how it turned out. 🙂

      Like

  2. 05/03/2012 12:34 am

    Loved this~ although I suddenly have a nearly inexplicable craving for cupcakes!

    Like

  3. 05/03/2012 4:42 am

    Yummy. I’m hungry now. 🙂

    Like

  4. 05/03/2012 5:24 am

    I suffer from time constraints. I rise up early enough, but easily get distracted. Maybe more prayer….more cupcakes.

    Like

    • 07/03/2012 8:10 pm

      Maybe more prayer and more cupcakes… I’m with you on that one. 🙂

      Like

  5. 05/03/2012 5:28 am

    What special prayers…and cupcakes. I love that quote you have in your post by Shanitdeva. I also am inspired by another prayer by Shantideva, called “Shantideva’s Prayer” ….I find it very very special. http://reflectionsfromafriend.wordpress.com/extra-special-pages/shantidevas-prayer/

    Like

    • 07/03/2012 8:13 pm

      Ty for the link, I’ll check it out. I love the prayers and I thank you for your feedback. 🙂

      Like

  6. 05/03/2012 7:51 am

    I like that sculpture.

    Like

  7. 05/03/2012 8:43 am

    I loved the way you wove cupcakes and deep thoughts together to make a fun and powerful post!

    Like

  8. 05/03/2012 9:58 am

    wow. nice collection.

    Like

  9. 05/03/2012 10:14 am

    I love Doe and Joe’s conversation!

    Like

    • 07/03/2012 8:19 pm

      It was a fun exchange and I considered using Daryl’s name for Joe but felt I would be crossing a line… 🙂

      Like

  10. Bree permalink
    05/03/2012 10:24 am

    I’m impressed by the way you wove Daryl’s wise advice into a conversation and teaching tool. Remarkably, you demonstrated what Daryl, Stravinsky, and the author of the article you added in the post said about the power of Constraint. Great post!
    B

    Like

    • 07/03/2012 8:28 pm

      TY for your observations! I loved the idea of trying a new approach and I’m glad I did. 🙂

      Like

  11. r b frank permalink
    05/03/2012 10:39 am

    I’m praying for some cupcakes. Amen.

    Like

  12. 05/03/2012 11:33 am

    How very freeing of constraints serenity does become!

    Like

  13. Freedom, by the way permalink
    05/03/2012 3:08 pm

    I think I need a cupcake!

    Like

  14. 05/03/2012 7:47 pm

    My constraints? Usually time.
    Parts of that Doe/Joe conversation sounds like one I’ve had.

    Like

  15. 05/03/2012 8:25 pm

    I love the writing tips, and the poetry you shared. I think I need to go make a batch of cupcakes now though. I’ll pray while they’re in the oven.

    Like

  16. 05/03/2012 10:05 pm

    Always inspiring and lovely. I quite enjoy being resourceful and constraints push you to think about things differently which is often quite a good thing! Thanks for sharing! ❤ Shannon

    Like

    • 07/03/2012 8:35 pm

      TY! It was an eye opener to have to consider the idea that a constraint is a blessing in disguise. 🙂

      Like

  17. 06/03/2012 3:16 am

    My constraint is not enough time – unless I stop sleeping. Sadly, I am not sure a cupcake would help. Not even 10 would help.

    I just have to try to organise better…..

    Like

    • 07/03/2012 8:40 pm

      I don’t have enough hours in the day either… The cupcakes were intended to add a touch of sugary humor and I wish it would do the trick… sometimes it does give me an energy boost. 🙂

      Like

  18. 06/03/2012 9:07 am

    No constraints . . . except the waistband on my pants! 😆

    Loved your Joe & Doe convo!

    Like

  19. 06/03/2012 1:29 pm

    Thank you I’ll try to embrace the constraints!

    Like

    • 07/03/2012 8:43 pm

      TY Gilly! Same here… it’s not always easy to do but I’m all for pushing ahead anyway. 🙂

      Like

  20. 06/03/2012 8:19 pm

    So, you come right out and say you’re the muse here, right? 😉

    Interesting theory. I wish I could check it’s validity by throwing back a few cupcakes but alas, I will not break!! I do enjoy the idea of placing some arbitrary constraint on the writing to see if I can come up with something new. It’s motivational. But, my goodness, when i saw the title, I must confess I was confused, until I read, which makes the title absolutely perfect! :ike everyone else, I love the conversation between Doe and Joe and the quote from Stanley Tucci. Great post!

    Like

    • 07/03/2012 8:47 pm

      Well, I’m not the muse… I used the tips Daryl offered to develop a conversation and another character. The title was deliberate because I wanted to add humor to the post. TY! 🙂

      Like

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