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Creative Joy

Creative Joy

There Is Space for All of Us

December 6, 2017
Worried someone else is creating "better" than you? Click the image to discover one simple phrase that will help >>>

A few weeks ago, I received an email from an acquaintance and fellow blogger, someone I respect a lot and whose work complements mine. Her message revolved around a topic I had covered myself on Becoming Who You Are a few months back. I read her words, savouring them and enjoying how she approached the subject. And then I felt a twinge:

This is fantastic. I wish I could have expressed it like that.

The twinge is something we all face at one point or another. It’s a natural part of creative work. Watching someone tackle the same ideas or techniques we’ve tackled and watch them do it in a way that, in our opinion, is better. Watching someone take a conversation we had and transform the ideas we discussed from good to great. It’s fun—this is part of why I like this kind of idea-based work—but it also pushes an insecure button inside me that says “I wish I could do it like that too.”

And then we have a choice. We can buy into the idea that the way the other person has done something better, more useful, more valuable, etc. We can use that twinge to fire up our inner critics and give them ammunition for weeks.

Or we can notice the twinge, think “Oh look, a twinge,” and then read like a writer, unpacking why we like their words so much, what we like about them, how they’ve done things differently, and so on. Not so we can berate ourselves for not matching it, but so we can appreciate it and to learn.

If theirs is a style we want to emulate (not copy, emulate) we can examine their words and pick out aspects of the structure, tone, vocabulary, and voice we want to use. We can make a mental note of how that writing feels to read and think about how we want the people reading our words to feel, and so on.

But we can also just acknowledge a simple truth: there is room for all of us. Reading this acquaintance’s words, I noticed that while I felt the twinge, I was also aware we have very different writing styles. While I love reading her writing coming from her, it’s not a style I could adopt myself without crossing the line into creating a persona that’s not authentic. And while I wouldn’t write like that myself and feel like I was being authentic in doing so, I love reading her words and I love reading that coming from her because it is her. I am not that writer. But she is, and it fits her personality and her ambiance perfectly.

Some people will love reading her words on the topic, some people will love reading mine. Some people will love reading both and appreciate the different perspectives we each bring.

There is room for everyone. Someone somewhere is waiting to read what you have to write. They might not read your words today, tomorrow, or even this year. But the wonderful thing about writing, and sharing is that those words will be there, in your style, expressed in your way, when they most want or need them.

Photo by Taylor Leopold on Unsplash

Action & Momentum, Creative Joy

Every Day Is a New Opportunity

December 28, 2016
Newsflash: you don't have to wait until next week, month or year to start that thing you want to do. Every day is a new opportunity, starting right now.

How often do you think about something you’d love to do more of, less of or differently, then think “Great, I’ll start on Monday”?

Yes, there is something to be said for pacing ourselves. We can only take on so many commitments at one time and we do ourselves and our work a disservice when we spread ourselves too thin.

But there is also something to be said for harnessing our enthusiasm, for using that drive as steam power to create, for engaging that energy and using it to drive ourselves forward. Continue Reading…

Creative Joy, Entrepreneurship

How to Generate Creative Ideas

September 21, 2016
Do you struggle to generate creative ideas? Keep reading for eight ways to inspire your creative spark and turn you into an idea machine.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.”
—Steve Jobs

As a writer (and someone with an interest in creativity in general), I’m deeply curious about how we come up with creative ideas. This isn’t just an idle curiosity: with two blogs, several books on the go, and a business that relies on me to come up with new content and ideas each week, generating ideas is a necessary part of me being able to do what I do. Here are some of the things I’ve found most helpful for generating creative ideas:  Continue Reading…

Creative Joy

Not Sure How to Follow Your Passion? Try This Instead.

September 7, 2016
Not sure how to follow your passion? Here's a more realistic alternative... >>> |

If you’ve spent any time in the online sphere over the last few years, you’ve probably heard the rallying cry to follow your passion. While this cry comes from a well-meaning place, working in the personal development sphere as a life coach, I’ve also spoken to plenty of people who have heard this call, want to heed it, but are left with the big question: but what if I don’t know what my passion is?

For some people, picking something as “your passion” can feel like a lot of pressure. Continue Reading…

Creative Joy

How I Read 100 Books Per Year

August 24, 2016
Discover 7 ways to read more, indulge your curiosity and inspire your writing >>> |

I’m a big believer in the idea that a voracious reader equals a better writer. The more we read, the more we’re exposed to different styles, topics, inspiration, ideas and knowledge.

I’ve always been a big reader, but the last few years I’ve read well over 100 books each year—not counting the countless blog posts and articles I read online too. To some people, this sounds impossible. For me, it’s impossible to think of a life without reading. I’m a huge advocate for reading more, especially if you’re involved in creative pursuits. Here are a few things that help me read at volume: Continue Reading…

Creative Joy

Have You Discovered the Magic of Artist Dates?

April 6, 2016

Artist dates are an invaluable tool in any creative’s toolkit. Not only are they useful for replenishing our creative energy, but they also provide us with inspiration and opportunities to follow our curiosity with no agenda or distraction.

The concept comes from Julia Cameron’s 12-week course, The Artist’s Way. She introduces artist dates early in the course as a foundational practice, explaining:

The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” — think mischief more than mastery…When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to ask yourself, “what sounds fun?” — and then allow yourself to try it.

The beauty of these occasions is they have no agenda or motive, except to follow your curiosity. And they’re not just for artists (I certainly don’t consider myself any kind of art aficionado). Creatives of all persuasions can use artist dates to invigorate their craft.

Last week, I share two posts about this over on Becoming Who You Are. The first was about the magic and science of these dates: why they work, how they work and a few important guidelines for creating your own. The second included 52 ideas for artist dates (one for each week of the year) plus a free artist’s date planner you can download and use to plan, schedule and review your dates.

Check them out here:

The Powerful Magic (& Science) of Artist Dates

52 Easy & Inspiring Ideas for Artist Dates (+ Free Planner!)

Do you use artist dates? If so, what are your favourite suggestions? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!


Image: Sebastian Unrau

Creative Joy

13 Inspiring Quotes About Creativity from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

December 16, 2015

bigmagicBig Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is a wonderful packed with inspiring quotes about creativity. Although parts of the book might be a little “out there” for more rationally-minded readers, her insights into dealing with fear, courage and other parts of the creative process make this book a must-read for anyone engaged in personal or professional creative pursuits (for more details, check out my review here).

If you’re looking for creative inspiration for your next project, check out some of my favourite quotes from the book below: Continue Reading…