4 Ways Travel Can Help You Be More Creative

4 Ways Travel Can Help You Be More Creative, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

A while back I read a great article about how travelling can enrich your writing. In it, the author outlines how travel is unpredictable, fosters empathy and reflection, and creates authenticity in your writing. Now that travel is slowly getting to be possible again, it seems like a good time to remind ourselves of how much it can add to our lives. Here are four more ways travelling is good for creativity (even if you don’t go any farther than the other side of town)…

It breaks up your routine

Even the most imaginative person needs inspiration, and, as many of us have learned these last couple of years, nothing is less inspiring than doing the same things and seeing the same few places over and over again, day after day. Going somewhere new shakes you out of your rut, gives you a fresh perspective, and re-ignites creativity.

4 Ways Travel Can Help You Be More Creative, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Alex Zhernovyi on Pexels.com

It helps you learn

If you go somewhere you’ve never been, you’re bound to learn something, whether it’s a few words in another language, facts about local history, or even a new skill (so many places offer classes and workshops for tourists). What you discover can be the spark you need for your current project, or the inspiration for something new.

4 Ways Travel Can Help You Be More Creative, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It gives you the chance to be a different kind of creative

There are all kinds of opportunities to be creative while you travel, and if you can do so in a new (to you) way, even better (I’ve written before about how creativity begets creativity). Take pictures, write a journal entry (or poetry, short fiction, a song…) about your trip, sketch what you see, take part in a workshop, visit galleries and bookstores, talk to interesting people you meet along the way. Use it all as creative fuel.

4 Ways Travel Can Help You Be More Creative, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

It can help you in unexpected ways

When I was having trouble finding the right image to use for the cover of Love Lies Bleeding, a photo I’d taken in Paris turned out to be just what I needed (I posted about it here). My Paris trip photos also came through for the cover of Blood Magic, and I have a third one in mind for the next book. I didn’t go to Paris to take photos for my covers, but my travels led to exactly what I needed. You never know what going somewhere new could end up doing for you.

4 Ways Travel Can Help You Be More Creative, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Mohamed Almari on Pexels.com

You don’t have to travel to be creative, but it really does help. Even if you can’t make it to another country, try exploring a different nearby town, or visit a neighbourhood in your own town that you’ve never been to. The important thing is to break out of routine and try something new. It could lead you to places you never expected.

Has travel helped your creativity? Share in the comments…

Download my books and find out how my travels have influenced my stories, and not just the covers…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

Books in Miniature

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale
Found on Etsy

Miniatures are perpetually fun. I don’t know if it’s because they remind me of my childhood toys, or if it’s simply the wonder of seeing everyday objects rendered tiny, but I never get tired of miniatures. And if those miniatures happen to be books (especially the kind that can still be read), then get me a shrink ray and point me to the nearest dollhouse with a library (finally, an affordable real estate investment)!

If you’re a bibliophile, mini or otherwise, I think you’ll appreciate these tiny works of art….

I’ll start with a mini bookcase and books after my heart (found on Etsy). Can I also get this full sized?

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, vampire. vampires. coffin, creepy

This is a library I would love to get lost in (check out the artist’s site!)

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, Marc Giai-Miniet
Room by Marc Giai-Miniet

Or how about this amazing doctor-themed bookcase?

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale
Found on Etsy.

The only thing better than this book with a secret hiding spot for a potion (or poison?)…

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, secret potion

…Is this Illuminated Medieval Manuscript by the same artist! Anyone who doesn’t think this is a work of art probably also says beige is their favourite colour.

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, illuminated manuscript

According to the etsy listing, each of these 150 miniatures has been designed to resemble a real antique book. Who wouldn’t love to explore these shelves?

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale

I adore this little book on bats. Unfortunately, I found it on Pinterest with no source given (an image search didn’t help). If anyone knows the artist or source, please share in the comments!

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, illustrated, illustrations, bats, Pinterest

This is the library from Astolat Castle, the world’s most expensive dollhouse, appraised in 2015 at $US8.5 million. I take back what I said earlier about affordable real estate. But at least looking is free (see more here).

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, Astolat Castle, world's most expensive dollhouse

Finally, if you’ve been inspired by all these miniature books, here’s a tutorial for making your own (and here’s Part 2, as well). You never know– you could end up building your own miniature library (or castle!)

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, tutorial

What do you think of miniature books, or miniatures in general? Share in the comments…

Looking for a good book that you can read without a magnifying glass? I’ve got you covered…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

Confessions of a Slow Writer

Confessions of a Slow Writer, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com, writing, am writing, writers, writers life, writing life
Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

I am a slow writer. I’m talking snail slow. Molasses on a cold day slow. George R.R. Martin slow.

I don’t like writing at this pace. I have ideas, stories, entire series impatiently waiting to be written– but they all just have to keep waiting. It’s not only the ideas that are on hold, either; interested readers have been waiting for the follow-up to Love Lies Bleeding since… *checks calendar*….2017. Yikes. I’m really sorry, guys. I promise I’m working as fast as I can.

It’s especially frustrating for me when I see other authors putting out books like clockwork. Some can get one completed every year, some every few months. Some even manage to deliver new books every few weeks. Meanwhile I’m over here trying not to think about all my lost potential.

I have reasons, of course. Too many to list, some probably more valid than others. The last several years I’ve been dealing with a lot: grief, major disruptions in my living situation, an ongoing attempt to buy a home and finally settle down, and– oh yes– an apparently never-ending pandemic. Isaac Newton may have been able to discover the theory of gravity while isolating from the Plague, but I find the stress of trying to not catch a deadly disease isn’t particularly conducive to the creative process.

Even if all these issues disappeared tomorrow, I’m pretty sure I’d still be a slower-than-average writer. That’s because the main reason I take as long as I do is one that will never go away. Simply put: I don’t want to force it. When the Muse is with me, I can get pages and pages done. Those are great days. But the Muse isn’t always so generous. The thing is, you can still write when you’re not inspired. You can sit in front of your keyboard and tell yourself you need to produce X number of words, and then you can do it. We’ve all been there, with a word count and a deadline and grim determination.

But just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it.

Reality is, no one produces their best work when they’re forcing themselves. They’re lucky if they produce anything halfway decent under those circumstances. I could churn out books like some writers do, but those would never be books I’d be happy with. I’ve read my fair share of rushed books, and I think it’s safe to say that the authors who write that way probably aren’t really happy with their work, either.

When I take my time with my writing, I can make sure I’m producing something worth the effort. I can put together a story I would want to read and, hopefully, one that readers will find worth reading.

Maybe once life settles down a bit, I’ll be able to pick up the pace. But I hope my readers will understand if I can’t get a new book to them as often as we’d all like.

How about you– is there something you prefer to take your time doing? Share in the comments…

My next book is coming along, but in the meantime give these a read:

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

Home Library Inspiration

Home Library Inspiration, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, decorating, interior design, home design
Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on Pexels.com

If I weren’t a writer or in publishing, I always thought I’d be a decorator/interior designer (I’m not sure I have the artistic skills for it, but I could try). Although I’ll never make a career of it, I still love decorating at home. My tastes are eclectic, but I’m most drawn to spaces that are comfortable, warm, colourful, and a little whimsical. Books everywhere are a must. (Minimalism? What’s that?) With that in mind, I thought I’d share some pictures I found online of home libraries that inspire me. Hopefully you’ll find something to be inspired by too…

I love the cozy feel of Vita Sackville-West’s library. And you can never go wrong with a tower.

Home Library Inspiration, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, decorating, interior design, home design, Vita Sackville-West
Author Vita Sackville-West’s Tower Library / photo: Writers´ Houses

Bookcase art, flowers, and a comfy couch– when can I move in?

Floor-to-ceiling books and an old-fashioned library ladder– these are my goals. The arched doorway is a nice touch (although the books wedged in above it are a little painful to look at).

So many books (the climb would be worth it)…

This is just the definition of cozy. I would never leave.

Happy colours, orchids, and built-in shelves. I’m not a fan of the books being used to prop up the coffee table, though.

Based on the way the shelves are set up, this is probably a bookstore, but I don’t even care. I would love a room packed with shelves and featuring a window seat. Great floor too.

This is the perfect reading spot: plenty of books, a comfortable window seat, and a table for working.

Cozy and comfortable. Not to mention those gorgeous sofas.

Everything about this. I need to get a blanket like that for my boring grey couch.

For those of us who can’t afford a Parisian apartment like this one, the look could probably be emulated with wallpaper, paint, and similar furniture. And a whole lot of books ♥

What do you think– do any of these appeal to you? What do you look for in a home library? Minimalism or maximalism? Share in the comments…

What’s a home library without books? Get one for yours:

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas