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The Kindness Bench for SimLit Writers - For All Games!

CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,671 Member
What is a kindness bench?

Kindness benches are inspired by the Buddy Bench movement which is in practice in many schools. With Buddy Benches, children who need someone to play with or talk to at lunch sit on the bench, and then others come around to ask them to play and offer friendship.



With the Kindness Bench for Writers and Storytellers, we provide a thread where writers can go when they're feeling discouraged, frustrated, or in need of a shot of inspiration and encouragement.

With writer's block, game glitches, drops in readership, plot complications, and more, it's easy to become temporarily discouraged when writing. The Kindness Bench offers a way to get back on track so that you're writing again and inspired by the value of your stories.

We invite all Simming writers, bloggers, and storytellers to stop by when they can use some friendly encouragement, and when they've got some friendly encouragement to share with other writers and storytellers.

We welcome writers using any and all versions of Sims!
Post edited by CathyTea on
Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy

Comments

  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,671 Member
    edited June 2016
    How Can I Help?

    Whenever you notice that someone has posted on the Kindness Bench, you can stop by to see what friendly words of encouragement you might be able to share with that person.

    Sometimes we need different types of responses to help us get back on track. Here are some of the ways you might offer support:
    1. Listen: Sometimes people just need to vent. Knowing that someone is hearing what we're saying can help a lot!
    2. Lighten the mood: Being able to laugh about something and see that it's not so serious, after all, can sometimes be a great help!
    3. Share similar experiences: When we hear that others have been in the same situation we have, it can often help us feel better. And often, we can learn from others' experiences.
    4. Offer suggestions and solutions: When we are open to advice, hearing others' suggestions can be a great way to find solutions we might not have thought of.
    5. Provide a different perspective: Sometimes, being able to look at our writing, gaming, and creative projects in a new way is just what we need.
    6. Offer to read the other person's work, to provide feedback, or to brainstorm.

    You might ask the person what type of help they'd like. Sometimes we know when we just need to vent, or when we need somebody to brainstorm with us, or to help us see things in new ways.

    For more thoughts about different ways to help, check out Tara Mohr's 6 Kinds of Conversations.
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,671 Member
    edited June 2016
    How can I get encouragement, inspiration, advice, or just someone to listen?

    If you're feeling like you could use a lift with your writing (or your attitude about your writing or Simming), stop by here and post. Someone will be by within 24 hours (and likely much sooner) to reply.

    You might think about what kind of help would work best for you...
    • Do you just need to vent?
    • Do you want to find out how others have handled similar things?
    • Do you want help shifting your perspective so you can look at this situation in a new way?
    • Do you want some feedback on a particular chapter, plotline, scene, or idea?
    • Do you need technical advice (like where to get a certain pose or how to write dialogue)?
    • Do you just want someone to read something that you feel especially proud of?
    • What else might you want to help you get your mojo back for your SimLit writing and storytelling?

    Also, please feel free to help out others who post here, too! Sometimes the best way to encourage ourselves and solve our own writing challenges is when we step up to encourage others and help them with their writing challenges!
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • AdamsEve1231AdamsEve1231 Posts: 5,920 Member
    @CathyTea This is yet another awesome idea from you. I love how thoughtful you are in the SimLit world... and well, kind. I appreciate our online "friendship" if we can call it that, and your posts always make me smile. I hope people will be encouraged by this page. :)
  • DreamsInPixelsDreamsInPixels Posts: 4,469 Member
    This is a fabulous idea. I know I need the encouragement sometimes...and so does @BabyDollAnne (tagging her so she find this.)
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  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,671 Member
    @CathyTea This is yet another awesome idea from you. I love how thoughtful you are in the SimLit world... and well, kind. I appreciate our online "friendship" if we can call it that, and your posts always make me smile. I hope people will be encouraged by this page. :)
    This is a fabulous idea. I know I need the encouragement sometimes...and so does @BabyDollAnne (tagging her so she find this.)
    This is a fabulous idea. I know I need the encouragement sometimes...and so does @BabyDollAnne (tagging her so she find this.)

    Thanks, @AdamsEve1231 and @DreamsInPixels ! I think we can call this online friendship! :)

    This idea's been playing around in my head for a while... I keep trying to let it go, and it keeps coming back... Today, it came back with a solid feeling, which, for me, is a signal of the time being ripe!

    And...

    I can use some encouragement and suggestions!

    I think I want to discover how I feel... so first, I'll just share.

    I'm in my second year of blogging. The first year was so intense, so full of inspiration, and so fast! I posted nearly every day, with nearly 500 posts during the first year! I never ran out of energy to post, and somehow, every day, I found the time to write! I must have written over 500,000 words!

    Now, this second year... things are slower. I'm in a challenging astrological transit until Octoberish, which seems to slow down and restrict my creativity, my expressions, my inspiration, and my understanding of my aesthetic values.

    Ok... so now I've just discovered how I feel, which is "slowed down and restricted." (The specific transit is Saturn conjunct Natal Moon/opposite Natal Venus, for those of you who think in terms of astrological energy.)

    And now that I've discovered how I feel, I'd love some advice, suggestions, encouragement, and sharing!

    How can I make the most out of this time of slowing down and feeling restricted, so that by the time I come out of this epoch in late October, I will feel that I've gained from it?

    How have you profitably used and grown from your own times of creative slowdown and restriction?
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • DreamsInPixelsDreamsInPixels Posts: 4,469 Member
    @CathyTea when I'm in my slowed down time, i either step away for a little bit (usually when I have no creativity left at all) or I look back at what I've been writing to try to get inspiration and some more creativity.

    As for profiting from the slow times, I don't...but that's just me. I do feel like I grow in terms of understanding what blocks me though.
    Tumblr: Stardew and Plumbobs
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    Patronus: Dolphin
  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,239 Member
    @CathyTea this is the sweetest idea!! I am too new to be of much help but I hear you. I am good at just sitting on the bench together :)
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  • Julyvee94Julyvee94 Posts: 6,529 Member
    @CathyTea this is a great idea! As to your question: I think Periode of destruction and slow down can help you relax and releive the feeling of being overwhelmed with everything. You can be more laid back and then Start again in October with renewed energy. That way we don't get burnt out.
  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,145 Member
    edited June 2016
    You are such a wonderful human being @CathyTea <3 Thank you for setting this up, I cannot imagine the community here without you! <3

    Regarding feeling slowed down and restricted:

    I think the most important thing is to not try to fight it and listen to your energy flows. From what I've read, you're more in tune with that then most, which means you've already got a head start!

    We have it tough, since we're constantly trying to battle two restrictions - the external ones (such as work projects and other real life responsibilities that carve away from our time and creative energy) and the internal ones, when inspiration is generally at a low. When those two meet, which happens often to those of us with busy lifestyles, it's important to embrace it. Don't beat yourself up. You need rest to become refreshed again.

    I went to a spinning class the other day and the instructor had some surprisingly insightful advice. Towards the end of the class, he made us alternate between 10 seconds of very high intensity exercise, where you were going really fast and at a really high strength setting, and 50 seconds rest, when you were either going slowly or just stopped altogether. He said the idea of these quick bursts from a spinning perspective was to increase our stamina, but that he felt it was an important reminder for today's lifestyle too; that people often think they need to go at a 100% all the time, but rest is needed and not something you should feel guilty about. Allowing yourself to have that time to recoup is the only way you can give it your all when the next burst of high intensity comes along.
    Post edited by ThePlumbob on
  • Rainydayz179Rainydayz179 Posts: 4,003 Member
    @CathyTea Thank you for this. I believe a bit of my crying on your shoulder last night was the push you needed to start so I feel better knowing that in some way I helped make this happen. ;)

    As to feeling slowed down... I was thinking if you could somehow inform your readers and potential readers about this slow-down and show it as an opportunity for them to catch up on some of your stories? Knowing there won't be a bunch of updates that they'll have to keep up with? <shrug> It was just the first thing that came to me, oh this is a good time to catch up on CathyTea's writing.
  • Rainydayz179Rainydayz179 Posts: 4,003 Member
    *Sits down on the bench*

    I keep typing things out and then deleting them. I'm not sure how to explain. What I want to know is if anyone else builds up things in their heads... and then gets terribly discouraged when nobody else shares your enthusiasm?

    I always seem to do this to myself. I'll get so excited about a new story or a post that I worked really hard on or in this case the end of the first generation of my legacy. Then when I don't get a response or not the response I had expected I get discouraged and depressed.

    Any advice is welcome if you think of anything but mostly I just feel like I'm the only one that does this.
  • InfraGreenInfraGreen Posts: 6,099 Member
    Agh I love this thread idea. I always felt strange searching for help in the Writer's Lounge. I'll try not to make my first post full of venting (but boy do I need it-).

    @Rainydayz179: SimLit takes time and effort, and it is pretty discouraging to see it go unrewarded.

    Sometimes I feel better looking at my page hits. Or gushing about the work done to a listening friend.
    The demon whispers in my ear, the hurt has found a home in here.

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  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    @Rainydayz179 I often feel like that.

    Some things that can help a bit:

    Remembering that most people on the internet are lurkers and they aren't going to comment, but that doesn't necessarily mean that no one is reading and enjoying it.

    Remembering what a friend told me once about the WordPress stats page showing lower numbers than another stats program she had for her blog.

    Remembering that a lot of people will read the post later, rather than when I first post it.

    And, also, the biggest lesson for me in the last few years:

    Learning that people all have different tastes, different expectations, different boxes that they are trying to fit into through their consumption choices. So it's not a personal judgement on you or your work at all if they don't read it. No matter how well you write, you're not going to get someone with prejudices against Sims stories, against work presented on the internet for free, against whatever genre you're writing in, against your blogging platform, against you, or whatever else they're being irrationally prejudiced about, to look at your work. And the most important thing to remember about that is that it's their loss, not yours.
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • moonswirlsmoonswirls Posts: 2,350 Member
    *takes nap on bench*

    I have issues committing to a story. My mind goes mad with ideas and I always think of new stories.. but none of them connect, nothing intertwines and nothing has an ending. And when I think I have a good thing going... nobody reads it.

    So, I feel yah @Rainydayz179
  • Rainydayz179Rainydayz179 Posts: 4,003 Member
    @InfraGreen Thanks for your encouragement. I think watching the stats page was one of my mistakes. A post that I was super excited about got literally no views the day I posted it. I never know who to gush to about my work because usually I'm so far ahead in my writing compared to where my readers are in the story.

    @MedleyMisty Thank you as well. I'm one of those that normally just lurks on others blogs but have tried to make an effort recently to comment on posts because I know how good it makes me feel when others do it. I recently moved blogs from Blogger to WordPress. It's kind of depressing looking at the stats page and I think I'm going to have to force myself to stop because of that. My old blog still averages 200 hits a day but pretty much all of those are for the runaway teen challenge rules. You're right even I don't read others stories as soon as they're posted other than a few exceptions. I try to look at it like I'm writing for me and if others read it then it's just a bonus but sometimes I really want someone else as excited as I am about something ya know?
  • rednenemonrednenemon Posts: 3,108 Member
    @Rainydayz179

    You're not the only one. Every now and then, I look at what I've written, and feel bad that no one seems to want to say how they feel about it. (Yes, I get the views and the likes, but that usually doesn't tell me if they actually liked it, or if they're just doing it out of pity) I know it sounds selfish, but I guess I just need the reassurance that what I've written isn't completely terrible.

    I've had plenty of posts written out and then deleted due to changing my mind. In fact, I would often go into the Settings and debate just...deleting the whole blog. ("No one would miss it...") Why I backed out at the last minute, I don't know for sure.

    So don't worry. You're not alone.
    AO3: Silver_Shortage_in_Markarth <(Where I'm usually at nowadays)
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  • Rainydayz179Rainydayz179 Posts: 4,003 Member
    @BabyDollAnne I know exactly how you feel. I swear people must just roll their eyes every time I start something new because I do it so often. I usually start off saying yet another challenge. Do you think that your failure to complete any of them is due to feeling that nobody is reading it?
  • Rainydayz179Rainydayz179 Posts: 4,003 Member
    rednenemon wrote: »
    @Rainydayz179

    You're not the only one. Every now and then, I look at what I've written, and feel bad that no one seems to want to say how they feel about it. (Yes, I get the views and the likes, but that usually doesn't tell me if they actually liked it, or if they're just doing it out of pity) I know it sounds selfish, but I guess I just need the reassurance that what I've written isn't completely terrible.

    I've had plenty of posts written out and then deleted due to changing my mind. In fact, I would often go into the Settings and debate just...deleting the whole blog. ("No one would miss it...") Why I backed out at the last minute, I don't know for sure.

    So don't worry. You're not alone.

    Wow I too have hovered over that delete button more than once. I often wonder who I'm tying myself up in knots for in the first place?

    You're so right that getting feedback from someone, anyone would make it all so much easier. I forced myself not to play my legacy for 2 weeks just so I could get feedback on how to improve moving into the second generation. When I didn't get that feedback I keep wondering why I wasted all that time?
  • moonswirlsmoonswirls Posts: 2,350 Member
    @BabyDollAnne I know exactly how you feel. I swear people must just roll their eyes every time I start something new because I do it so often. I usually start off saying yet another challenge. Do you think that your failure to complete any of them is due to feeling that nobody is reading it?

    Maybe. But nobody reading it is never exactly going to encourage us to write it, is it? xD
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,671 Member
    rednenemon wrote: »
    @Rainydayz179

    You're not the only one. Every now and then, I look at what I've written, and feel bad that no one seems to want to say how they feel about it. (Yes, I get the views and the likes, but that usually doesn't tell me if they actually liked it, or if they're just doing it out of pity) I know it sounds selfish, but I guess I just need the reassurance that what I've written isn't completely terrible.

    I've had plenty of posts written out and then deleted due to changing my mind. In fact, I would often go into the Settings and debate just...deleting the whole blog. ("No one would miss it...") Why I backed out at the last minute, I don't know for sure.

    So don't worry. You're not alone.

    Aack! I'm just lurking as I'm on nook, but I had to pop out to say to you, dear @rednenemon , don't delete your blog! I seriously love it. I don't often comment because I need to process and internalize the story first which takes time and which is also why I read so slowly. But I am seriously in love with your story and would feel heartbroken if it were gone . I'll try to be ready to share real thoughts and feelings about it with you in our circle soon. Thank you for writing it. It's a gift for readers.
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    rednenemon wrote: »
    @Rainydayz179

    You're not the only one. Every now and then, I look at what I've written, and feel bad that no one seems to want to say how they feel about it. (Yes, I get the views and the likes, but that usually doesn't tell me if they actually liked it, or if they're just doing it out of pity) I know it sounds selfish, but I guess I just need the reassurance that what I've written isn't completely terrible.

    I've had plenty of posts written out and then deleted due to changing my mind. In fact, I would often go into the Settings and debate just...deleting the whole blog. ("No one would miss it...") Why I backed out at the last minute, I don't know for sure.

    So don't worry. You're not alone.

    *hugs*

    I will be reading it soon, so I hope you don't delete it before I get to tell you what I think about it.
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • DreamsInPixelsDreamsInPixels Posts: 4,469 Member
    I totally relate to the feeling of "I think no one reads my stuff because I start new stuff and never finish anything." Which is why I did an entire outline from beginning to the end.
    I guess the outline advice really helps for scripted stories -- which is another thing that I feel like no one reads so it discouraged me for a while (still does sometimes.)

    Another thing I'm going to do is reward myself for reaching certain parts in my stories. That way I encourage myself to write. Maybe that's something people can do to keep writing when they feel down or discouraged?
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  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,239 Member
    edited June 2016
    Reading this is so interesting. I attributed these (same) feelings I have to my being new and unseasoned. I thought with time the feeling would abate ... but it does not look that way!

    This activity/hobby we have chosen is a very odd experience. I have never felt so vulnerable or exposed as when submitting a part of my story (and the short story was magnified a gazillion times more so). It is as tho we open up a very deep personal part of ourselves .. and leave it filleted for all to examine or worse to ignore. I have played sims for many years and done FB stories for a good few now and never felt this exposed. It is an odd rollercoaster with a lot more downs than ups.

    I hit a really bad patch a month or so ago and I was so blessed to receive good counsel from Ra3rei. She gave me an analogy that resonated strongly with me and has been an amusing (encouraging) thought ever since. She likened it to a bird feeder (I have and enjoy the past time of feeding the birds and my pup enjoys running the squirrels off). Some birds come and they eat the seed and fly off to other feeders more to their liking. Some birds come and they eat up all your food and never leave so much as a peep. The other birds (like the mourning dove) eat your seed and stick around to give you a sweet song to cheer your heart! I try very hard to be that singing bird .. truth is that I love the seed and giving a few "notes" to bless a heart is not difficult. I have been criticized in the past of "liking" too much but whatever .. like my fat little mourning doves, I love the seed even if it is not all cracked corn :)

    So blessings today to all my fellow bench sitters :)

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  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,671 Member
    @DreamsInPixels @lisabee2 @JulyVee94 @ThePlumbob @RainyDays179 Thank you for joining me when I was sitting on the bench! :)

    It was scary-vulnerable to sit there and wait, and it was SO worth it! Your kindness makes me feel awesome!

    @DreamsInPixels That's neat to feel that your grow by getting insight into what's causing the blocks!

    @lisabee2 :)

    @Julyvee94 That's a great way to look at it! I like times of relaxing and taking it easy, so this is a really useful perspective!

    @ThePlumbob I love your story about spinning! What do you notice that you gain during the periods of rest? In my yoga practice, I adore the shavasana at the end of every practice. One of my favorite instructors says to include the shavasana in order to integrate into the body all that we've gained from the session. I really like looking at this current period that I'm in as a time of integration--it's giving me a chance to integrate all the growth that I experienced during my first year of blogging. I also feel that I'm making a shift--but then, that's part of the process of integrating, isn't it? For as we integrate the new aspects into us, we shift and grow and become something new. That's very much what it feels like is happening now!

    @Rainydayz179 I like your suggestion! :) In fact, when I noticed that my posting rate had slowed down, that was one of the first things I did, include a note on my home page about what I was currently working on and my current frequency of posting. It was funny: the moment I posted that, I felt such a relief! It was like I didn't have to worry about readers anymore: I could just focus on my own processes and write at a pace that worked for me and my life.

    Thanks, guys, for your feedback and suggestions! They were really helpful and I feel relaxed and settled with my new slower pace now! :)

    (Also, in the chapter I posted last night, I began to notice what some of the gifts of the restriction of creative energy are, which is more of a focused expression. In writing more slowly, I'm able to focus more clearly on the specific meaning I'm moving to create.)
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,671 Member
    *Sits down on the bench*

    I keep typing things out and then deleting them. I'm not sure how to explain. What I want to know is if anyone else builds up things in their heads... and then gets terribly discouraged when nobody else shares your enthusiasm?

    I always seem to do this to myself. I'll get so excited about a new story or a post that I worked really hard on or in this case the end of the first generation of my legacy. Then when I don't get a response or not the response I had expected I get discouraged and depressed.

    Any advice is welcome if you think of anything but mostly I just feel like I'm the only one that does this.

    So, first I'll say that you're definitely not alone in this! I've experienced it. And nearly everyone I know here has expressed something similar to this to me about their own work, too. So it is very much a shared experience.

    Giving advice on how to handle this can be a dicey thing because so many of us write for different reasons and motivations. I recently took an online creativity style quiz which I really enjoyed! (Note: this quiz is part of the marketing for Doreen Virtue's new book on creativity. It is centered in a New Age spirituality--just so you know what you'll be experiencing, if any of you take the quiz. I personally have really been enjoying Virtue's current work, angel cards, and videos a lot, including her free videos related to this book.)

    My results: You are a “Meditative Creator.” You find creativity a form of meditating, where you lose track of time and your surroundings while engaging in a project. To you, it’s not about the end-goal of the creative endeavor, but about the relaxing creative process and its therapeutic effects. You may never try to sell or show your creative work to others, but that’s okay because you’re engaged in creative expression for relaxation and inner peace—not for an external reason.

    This very much rings true for me! During most of my life, no one else read my writing. Only my boyfriends and the critters in the garden hear me play the piano, for I play for my own relaxation and inner peace. And I don't play the cello to perform or share my art work much. For me, it's all about the process and my own internal experience of growth, expression, and relaxation. If others happen to enjoy my work, that's an added bonus: it's not my motivator.

    However, there are many other types! I haven't been able to find the list of the types that Virtue identifies, but I can tell from the quiz answers that I didn't select that there are types who create to bring about changes to others, to sell or market their work, or to fill needs they see in the world. Lots of different reasons!

    For me, as a "Meditative Creator," it's very easy to say, "Write for you. Write because of the experience that you have." But if one is a different type of creator, this might not be satisfying: you might need to share your work with others in order to fulfill your own creative purpose!

    I guess that might be a first step is to consider what one needs in order to have a fulfilled creative experience. And then, if an element is missing (such as an audience), we can develop strategies for filling that missing element!
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
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