Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.

Keeping the Creative Spirit Alive


For most creative types, creativity is not a choice. It’s a must. Like breathing, we need to create in order to function and maintain a sense of emotional and mental balance. On a practical level, this means we need the space, time and necessary equipment to do our art. 12000898_10153586813975930_7373778667979507386_o

One of the things I love about writing is that it’s something I can do anywhere. I don’t have to rely on anyone else or any fancy equipment. All I need is my computer, or a pen and paper, and my imagination.

Filmmaking, on the other hand, requires technology – a camera at the very least, sound, lighting and editing equipment. This all takes money and usually a lot of planning. Often it requires working with a team, even a small team.

These days, the filmmaker in me is a little lonely and antsy. It’s been a long time since I’ve directed anything or even visited a film set. I’ve met some filmmakers in upstate New York, but I miss Los Angeles in this respect.

The one thing that keeps me going, however, is photography.


Like with writing, photography is something I can do anywhere. I’m not a professional. I take most of my photos with my cell phone while walking or hiking with my dog. But what it gives me is so much more than that. It’s my new creative outlet.

These are some recent photos I took of the Catskills.

I’m lucky that where I live is very photogenic. The light is quite dramatic and it changes throughout the year. Winter light is even and diffused. Summer light is bright. Fall light creates these very long shadows.

Taking photos has developed into more than a hobby. It’s a way for me to practice my directing eye. When I take a photo (and edit it), I try to say something with it… convey a mood, a feeling, a thought, even a very, very tiny story.

The animals around here are also photogenic starting, of course, with my favorite model, Ruby.

I hope to get back to moving pictures soon, but in the meantime capturing these still moments is keeping my filmmaking spirit alive.

How do you keep your creative spirit alive?

Author: nivaladiva

Freelance writer and independent filmmaker.

10 thoughts on “Keeping the Creative Spirit Alive

  1. Your photos are beautiful, Niva. Can’t believe they’re taken from your smart phone (I don’t have one….I know, I know). We bought a good camera for our trip to S Africa but I barely used it. More comfortable with my point & click.

    • Thanks! Yup, just a phone… though I have a really good one (that I bought specifically for its camera). Point & click cameras are perfectly fine too! Whatever is comfortable and easy to use. 🙂

  2. Beautiful pics,Ms. Dorell. I’m with the post person above. Hard to believe these were taken with a phone camera. Maybe you should submit some of them toe manufacturer of the phone – for advertising purposes – to show how good the camera in the phone works and its potential. (of course it doesn’t come with a director’s eye, which only you can supply.) Especially admire the b&w photo of the car and the pic of the dog staring down that long, lonesome highway.)

  3. Beautiful photos. I went to Seneca Lake tonight to get the last glimmer of western light at the end of a gloomy day. Photography is my way, too. I also go to a weekly writing class and have for over six years. It keeps me writing new things even when I get discouraged.

    • Thank you, Elaine. I know you love photography too, and I love your photos! The writing class sounds great too. Still want to meet up with you one of these days. I’m about to start a whole thing with my dog that I think you went through with yours, though trying non-surgical route first. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! xo

  4. I wanted to tell you that I have been following your blog for almost a year now. My husband died 12/29/14. You are so amazing. Your writing and photos are beautiful. Ruby is adorable. You have done inspiring things and I wish I had 1/4 your abilities. I appreciate how you have felt the fear but did it anyway since your husband died. The move, the book, and even the shelf take my breath away. Your husband had quite a wife and I think, if any, couple’s love is eternal yours is. He must fall in love with you again and again everyday when he sees your spirit and what you have done. I want that. I want the love I shared with my husband to be the fuel that gets me through.

    • Hi DJ, thank you so much for leaving this note. When I read it a few days ago, it brought tears to my eyes. As writers, all we want is to know that our words are reaching people and making a difference, so thank you. I am sorry for your loss and the pain that you are going through. Channeling our loved one’s love is so important (IMO). Doing so honors them, b/c we know they would want the best for us. Also, love makes us strong, right? With love in our hearts, we can do and face almost anything.
      Good luck to you and please stay in touch. I’m so glad you are here.

  5. Pingback: Looking Back / Looking Forward | Riding Bitch

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