Check Your Creativity – Plan For Success

The best way to be successful with Check Your Creativity is to make a plan for each month. Click through to get the step-by-step process

Thanks to all of you who have signed up for Check Your Creativity – I’m so excited you all decided to join in! If you haven’t signed up yet (it’s free), you can right now by clicking here.  As you know for Check Your Creativity, each month you will come up with a new creative focus. When thinking about the year as a whole, it may seem overwhelming, that’s why for Check Your Creativity, it’s important to just take a month at a time.

For each month, in addition to picking a creative focus, it will be extremely beneficial for you to take a few minute and come up with a plan for that month. Some people will prefer an extremely specific plan, for others, a loose plan based on what you hope to accomplish will work. You know yourself best and what will work for you. Either way, making a plan before the month starts will help you be more successful in your creative pursuits.

Let’s get started. Here is my brainstorm of what I will focus on each month for the next year.

cyc brainstorm example

As I have said before, you are not locked in once you fill this out, you are always welcome to change it at any point. But, I do know for sure that starting September 1st, visual thinking will be my creative focus for the month. With that in mind, I will use these following steps quickly make a plan for the month.

Use this guide to quickly make a plan for each month of Check Your Creativity. Click through to learn more about the Check Your Creativity Challenge and how you can join today!

Step 1: Decide on your creative focus – How will you practice your creativity this month?

In my case, visual thinking. Done and done. (If you need some help brainstorming ideas for each month click here and here).

Step 2: Do you need to learn anything to get started? For some people, a creative focus will be chosen because it is the kick in the butt they need to finish a specific project (your son or daughter’s baby book) or to pick up a craft they have not practiced in years (sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc). However, some people will use their creative focus as a push to try something new (awesome!). If this is the case, you will probably spend much of your month learning + practicing, not just practicing. So when planning out your month, it is essential to take this into account.

In my case, in the past I have done a lot of reading on visual thinking, so this month will be more about committing myself to practice visual thinking rather than just thinking about how I wish I was better at it 🙂

However you might be in a very different situation. Let’s say your creative focus for September is knitting. You like the idea of knitting and wish you knew how to do it, but have no idea where to start. All you know is that you don’t know anything 🙂

First, determine how you will learn. Are you a DIY’er who prefers to checks books out of the public library and watch YouTube videos? Are you more social and prefer to sign up for a class at local knit shop? Or do you have a family member or friend who wouldn’t mind teaching you? Whatever route you choose is great, but you need to choose one.

Step 3: What materials or tools do you need for your creative focus?

For me, this is a pretty easy one. For visual thinking, I need paper and pen or Sharpie. Very simple. Going back to my other example of learning to knit, it’s very important to determine Step 2 first (how you will learn). If you are signing up for a class, the instructors will tell you materials you need to gather. If you are learning from a family member or friend, ask them what they recommend. If you are going the DIY route, I would pick a very simple pattern to begin with and just buy the basics, you can always get more later.

Once again, however you choose to go about it will be fine, but you need to make those decisions ahead of time so when the first of the month rolls around, you are ready to begin!

Step 4: Add it to your calendar.

Hopefully you printed off your Check Your Creativity calendar and hung it somewhere you are going to see it everyday. For some people that will be enough, for others you may need an extra reminder. Here’s a couple of options:

  1. Set an alarm to go off on your phone each day at the same time (make sure it is a time when you will be able to work on your creative focus).
  2. If you keep a digital calendar such as Google Calendar, add it to the days you plan on working on it. Remember to be realistic – you don’t have to work on it every single day. Are you someone who would prefer to work on your creative focus for the month every couple of days for longer stretches of time or every single day for just a few minutes. Decide which one is right for you and add it to your calendar.

I hope this helps you get ready for the creative focus you chose for September! If you need any help or have any questions – be sure to let me know!

p.s. If you think visual thinking sounds fun and you want to join me in practicing it in September, click here to read a post I did on how to get started.

2 Approaches to Check Your Creativity

Check Your Creativity - The year long creative challenge! Click here to learn more and sign-up!

Last week I shared with you the details of Check Your Creativity, a year long creative challenge that I can’t wait to start! What would make it even better? If you joined me of course! For a refresher on the details or to sign-up, click here.

After last week’s email, one question I received was:

When thinking about taking on a year long creative project, I’m not sure that I can come up with 12 different creative ventures. Any thoughts?

Per usual, I have many thoughts on this.

Check Your Creativity was designed to be flexible to fit the needs of anyone who wants to join, but also to provide enough direction to keep you on track to having your most creative year yet. Taking this into account, you can complete Check Your Creativity anyway you want, but two approaches quickly come to mind:

  1. Choose one overarching creative venture for the year and make each month’s creative focus a different aspect of it. For example, if you chose photography, your year might look something like this:
  • September – Learning the basics of using your DSLR in manual mode
  • October – Composition
  • November – Lighting
  • December – Exposure
  • January – Depth of field
  • February – Perspective
  • March – Editing your photos
  • April – Focus on portrait photography
  • May – Focus on nature photography
  • June – Photo Challenge: take a photo at the same time everyday.
  • July – Photo Challenge: take a photo of all of the people you love
  • August – Photo Challenge: Go for a walk each day and photograph something outdoors

By going this route, you know what to expect each month. In addition, you will be continually building on your skill set so that by the end of the challenge you will be much more skilled than when you began. Finally, this also cuts down on any costs for the project. Assuming you already have your camera, you do not have to spend anything else for the rest of the challenge.

  1. If you decide that you were more interested in trying out 12 different creative ventures throughout the year, your year might look something like this:
  • September – sewing
  • October – knitting
  • November – photography
  • December – weaving
  • January – watercolors
  • February -crocheting
  • March – hand-lettering
  • April -acrylic painting
  • May – drawing
  • June – candle making
  • July – calligraphy
  • August – jewelry-making

By going this route, there is no chance of you getting bored! This is a great approach if you feel like you are someone who has several (or many) creative sparks, or even if you are still not sure what yours is and you want to experiment a little. This is also a great approach for people who have started many projects over the years (or even just bought the materials) but have not quite seen them to fruition (I’m definitely guilty of this). Check Your Creativity can be the kick in the butt you need to get going.

Remember, whichever route you choose, you can always change it later!!  So important to remember this. Even if it is in the middle of the month, if something is not working for you, can change it. You are in charge of everything.

In order to be ready for our September 1st kick-off, you need to sign-up here to download the calendar. Then, brainstorm ideas for your creative year. Remember, you really only need to decide what you will be focusing on in September.

Next week, I will show you how to quickly make a plan for the upcoming month’s creative focus so that you are ready to go when the 1st of each month rolls around.

Any questions about Check Your Creativity? Leave a comment or email me at greensandbluescoATgmail.com

 

Check Your Creativity – The Only Challenge You Need This Year

Check Your Creativity: Who's up for a challenge? Click here to sign up a year long creativity challenge broken down into month long mini-challenges - all designed by you! Click here to find out more and how to sign up.

Hey there. Today I am so excited to share with you something that I have been working on for awhile. I hope you will love it as much as I do!

Check Your Creativity

All right, so what is Check your Creativity? Check Your Creativity is a year-long creative challenge, starting September 1, 2016 and finishing up on August 31, 2017. Hold on. A year long?  I know that sounds like a long time for one challenge, even a little crazy. Normally I would agree, but Check Your Creativity is a year long challenge broken down into 12, month long challenges. The best part? You have 100% control over it. You get to decide what each of your challenges is. The only guideline (not even a rule, but a guideline) is that each month you must challenge yourself creatively in some way.

Easy peasy.

Why should i Participate?

By participating in Check Your Creativity, you will:

  • learn new skills by challenging yourself in different ways each month.
  • be inspired by your own creativity and the creativity of others.
  • allow yourself time to create.

Sounds perfect, right?

How Do I Participate?

In order to participate in Check Your Creativity, you need to sign up here. When you receive the confirmation email, download and print the calendar. As you can see below, the Check Your Creativity calendar looks very similar to a one line a day calendar. 

Check Your Creativity: Who's up for a challenge? Click here to sign up a year long creativity challenge broken down into month long mini-challenges - all designed by you! Click here to find out more and how to sign up.Each month you will fill in your creative focus for the month. Throughout that month, whenever you practice that particular creative venture, check the box for the day (Check Your Creativity, get it???) and you jot down a brief description of what you accomplished. By the end of the month, your calendar will look something like this: 

Check Your Creativity: Who's up for a challenge? Click here to sign up a year long creativity challenge broken down into month long mini-challenges - all designed by you! Click here to find out more and how to sign up.

As you can see from my example, I did not practice visual thinking every single day. This does not mean I failed – pretty much the complete opposite. By the end of the month (I actually did this in June), I was so much better at visual thinking than I was at the beginning of the month. Now without “making myself” practice visual thinking as a part of a challenge, it is something I just do on my own. I don’t do it every day, but often enough that I continue to get better at it. #winning

No matter what you are better off at the end of the month than when you started. Check Your Creativity is not about being perfect, it’s about making progress.

Each month you will pick a new creative focus. Your choice of creative focus can build off the previous month or be completely separate – it’s up to you!

I encourage you to try something new each month as opposed to picking the exact same creative focus for the entire year. This will not make you an expert at 12 different creative ventures, rather it will help you to expand your creative thinking and perhaps even find something new that you like.  You don’t have to pick 12 creative ventures ahead of time. Your first few projects might determine where the rest of your year is headed.  For example, if I choose photography in October and I get hooked, other months throughout the year might have a photographic focus (i.e. nature photos, get better at taking portraits, etc.).

I Need Ideas for My Creative Focus for Each Month!

It is only crucial for you to come up with your creative focus for September now. However, if you are like me, you might be getting excited and want to plan the whole year out now. That’s totally fine, just be opening to allowing yourself to change your mind if you feel like it. When you download the calendar for Check Your Creativity, one of the pages is the graphic below, a place to brainstorm what your creative focus is going to be for each month.

Check Your Creativity: Who's up for a challenge? Click here to sign up a year long creativity challenge broken down into month long mini-challenges - all designed by you! Click here to find out more and how to sign up.

Below you can see how I filled out mine. These are just the ideas I have now. Most likely, many of these will have changed by the end of the year. If you read through them, you will notice that some topics are very broad, such as visual thinking, and other times I wrote a very specific description of what I want to accomplish: knitting – finish the projects that I already currently have started. It’s probably better to have a specific goal, however you can choose those at the beginning of each month.

Check Your Creativity: Who's up for a challenge? Click here to sign up a year long creativity challenge broken down into month long mini-challenges - all designed by you! Click here to find out more and how to sign up.

Here are some more ideas you can use (but are definitely not limited to: 

  • photography
  • hand-lettering
  • sewing
  • painting
  • drawing
  • illustrating
  • visual thinking
  • knitting/crocheting
  • working out
  • take a photo of my kids
  • learn to code
  • go on a walk/hike 
  • each month could be a Pin that you saved on Pinterest and have never made yet
  • each month could be a different project you have started and not finished: baby books, a half-knitted sweater, etc.
  • your creative focus could be personal or have a family component: do a craft project together, read before bed every night, go for a walk together, etc.
  • your creative focus could be personal or be completed with a significant other, with your kids, with a friend that lives near or far.

Here are some of my past posts that may help you find a creative focus for each month: 

How Can I Be Successful With Check Your Creativity?

There are a few steps that you need in order to be successful with Check Your Creativity: 

  1. Join in – Don’t just observe the challenge, sign up and be a part of it. When you sign up, you will get your calendar to download. Print it right away. (You can sign up by clicking here.)
  2. Hang your calendar somewhere where you will see it every single day (or add it to your digital calendar). Actually check the box when you practice your creative venture.
  3. Make a plan for each month. It is not enough to say, “my creative focus for September is knitting.” This will not get you anywhere. You need to actually create a plan so that you follow through. Are you going to watch YouTube videos to teach yourself to knit? Are you going to set up a date with your neighbor for a time when she is going to teach you to knit. What materials will you need? If you need help creating a plan, click here to read about a post I wrote about it.

I’m so excited for Check Your Creativity to start September 1st. To join, click here now. I can’t wait to see what everyone creates throughout the next year!

To join in on Twitter and Instagram, use #checkyourcreativity.

BYOC – August Prompt

Looking for a fun, easy way to practice your creativity this summer? Join BYOC: Bring Your Own Creativity. Click to find out more.

Throughout the summer, I (and some cool creative ladies) have been participating in in BYOC: Bring Your Own Creativity. It’s an extremely simple, fun way to practice your creativity this summer. Hopefully you have joined in at some point, if not, this is your last chance (until next summer).

I’ll be sharing the August prompt today. Interpret the prompt and complete it in whatever way your creativity speaks to you and makes sense.  These prompts are completely open-ended and can be interpreted by writing, drawing, sewing, knitting, hand-lettering, painting, taking photos, songwriting, building something, etc. The possibilities are endless!

On the 25th of August (or shortly thereafter), anyone participating BYOC, will share how we completed the prompts…and we truly hope you will do the same! The prompts we are using were specifically chosen to allow room for true creative expression. Share how you responded to the prompt using #byocreativity.

Your prompt for August is…travel

Your response to the prompt could be about a trip you have taken, somewhere you want to go, or even something you could use on an adventure! Use both past and future adventures as your inspiration!

If you have an idea of what you might create, then awesome, go create! If you need some help getting started, keep reading.

First make a list of past trips and potential future trips. Don’t include every trip you have ever taken, but the ones that stand out the most to you for one reason or another. Take a look at my list below if you need some help.

Join the Bring Your Own Creativity Party! The prompt for August is...travel. Click to learn more and join in on the fun!

Go back through your list and choose the trip you feel most inspired by – it doesn’t matter if you experienced it 5 years ago or if it is in the distant future – if you are excited about it, then you should choose it.

Once you have chosen your trip, you need to decide what medium you will use to create:

  • Photography
  • Song-writing
  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Painting
  • Construction
  • Drawing
  • Other???

It is totally up to you to determine how to best answer the prompt. Remember, the prompt is open-ended for a reason – so you don’t feel too constrained. If you have an idea, just go with it. Don’t forget to share using #byocreativity. I can’t wait to see what you create!

 

Starting a New Creative Venture? Use This Plan.

Use this step-by-step plan to help you get started with your next creative venture.

If you missed last week’s post (click here), I shared how all you need to start a new creative venture is:

  1. An idea
  2. A plan
  3. Confidence (which you can truly only get from practice).

Today, I want to share a detailed plan with you. It’s not complicated, but it can be difficult to know where to start with something new, so I did the heavy lifting for you 🙂 The plan with help you #1 and #2 on this list. #3 is all on you!

Before we dive in, just a reminder that the term “creative venture” can apply to just about anything: a new business, a new hobby, a new craft, etc. No matter where your ideas falls, this plan can help you get started.

Use this step-by-step plan to help you get started with your next creative venture.

Step-by-Step Plan for Starting a New Creative Venture:

Number 1: Come Up With Your Idea

Decide what you want to do – you might already know, or you might just know that you are feeling the itch to try something new but have not narrowed it down yet.

If you aren’t sure what you want to do, figure out which one of these sounds more like you:

  • I have no idea what new creative venture I want to start.
  • I have too many ideas and don’t know how to narrow it down.

If you have no idea, you need to brainstorm. Come up with as many ideas as possible. Here are a few to get you started: drawing, web design, baking, knitting, animation, sewing, candle-making, coding, jewelry-making, interior design, quilting, architecture, carpentry, the list goes on and on. Hopefully this helps you come up with your IDEA.

If you have too many ideas, you need to brain-dump. Make a list of all the ideas you have. Then decide which one is the most feasible. Consider the following criteria (or come up with your own): time, money, interest level, combine similar ideas into one. Choose one.

Number 2: Gather Resources + Materials/Tools

If you are starting a new creative venture, most likely you are going to have to learn something new. Even if you are an expert knitter, but you have not picked up yarn and needles for the past ten years, you likely are going to need a little help brushing up your skills. Or the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe you are a complete novice and are looking to try something new – to flex your creative muscles a bit more. Either way, decide how you are going to learn: visit your local knit shop and sign up for a course, watch some Youtube videos, set-up a date with your neighbor who knits – whatever it is, make a decision about HOW you will learn.

In addition, mostly likely you will need tools or materials of some kind. Figure out what they are (Google it, ask someone, etc.) and get them. Remember, when starting a new creative venture, it is not necessary to have every fancy tool. Just start with the basics. If you find that you enjoy this venture, you can always upgrade later.

Number 3: Make a Plan

It’s awesome that you are starting a new creative venture, but when are you going to work on it? Just buying the tools and materials is not going to get you anywhere – except with a craft room full on projects you are “going to get to someday.”

How often can you realistically work on this new venture? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Be honest with yourself; be realistic with your time and your ability. As you are learning something new, everything is going to take longer than it will down the road. Add it to your calendar – be specific on your calendar. What time of day are you going to work on it and for how long.

Number 4: Start

Get started. Learn it. Make it. Create it. Design it. Build it. Whatever you are planning, do it. Start.

Number 5: Reflect

After you have tried out your new creative venture, it is vital that you stop and reflect. Are you enjoying yourself? Do you want to learn more/increase your skills? Is there a better way to spend your free time?

If you are enjoying yourself and happy, keep going with it! If you are not, do not be afraid to quit and try something new. 


I can’t wait to hear how you implement this plan to start a new creative venture. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

BYOC July – Show Your Work!

Looking for a fun, easy way to practice your creativity this summer? Join BYOC: Bring Your Own Creativity. Click to find out more.

Today’s the day – time to share how you responded to the July prompt.

July’s Prompt:

Make a gift for someone

The inspiration for this prompt came from the notion that many of us give gifts around the winter holidays or on birthdays when it is expected, so wouldn’t it be fun to make something for someone when it is completely unexpected?

How I responded:

I didn’t have any ideas going into this month of how I wanted to respond to the prompt. So I gave it a few days to see if an idea would just come to me. Didn’t happen.

Instead of trying to think of who I wanted to make something for or what specifically the gift should be, I tried something a little different. I made a list of possible activities I could focus on this month:

  • Knitting
  • Sewing
  • Hand-lettering
  • Card-making

From there I decided that it had been awhile since I sewed anything, so it would be a great way to challenge myself and get back into sewing. Next, I decided I would force myself to finish my project without buying any new materials. This is not as difficult as it sounds because like many people I have a decent size fabric stash as a result of not being able to pass up pretty fabric when I see it (even if I have no idea what I am going to use if for).

After going through my fabric stash, I decided on the fabric shown below. I absolutely love it. I bought it when I was pregnant with my daughter knowing that I wanted to make something special with it for her.

July BYOC - Make a gift for someone. Using this fabric, I made a gift for my daughter.

I spent way too much time searching on Pinterest for different ideas before coming back to what is very likely the easiest project to sew ever: a pillowcase! Not very exciting, but after giving it some thought, it made a lot of sense. It is not clothing that she will quickly grow out of, instead it is something we can pull out every Christmas and she can use for the full month.

It was an incredibly easy project, but one that I am happy with the results.

Once again, I am loving BYOC not only because it is a great kick in the butt to make my creativity a priority, but also because by creating/making one small project, I am inspired for a number of other projects – big and small. Since I had my sewing machine out, I quickly finished a few other small projects that I had been putting off for awhile.

**I didn’t actually give it to my daughter yet, because she is only 16 months and won’t know the difference, but I am excited to pull it out around Christmas for her to use.

Now that you saw how I responded to the prompt, don’t forget about these inspiring ladies who practice creativity in different and awesome ways, Be sure to check them out and see how they responded to the July prompt.

Jenn from The Spare Room Project: website; twitter; facebook.

Emily from Eltscott.com: website; twitter, instagram.

Julie from In Tandem: website; instagram, facebook.

Allie from Allie Explores: website, twitter, instagram.

Gabrielle from A Life of Gab: website; twitter; facebook.

Now it’s your turn. I can’t wait to see how you responded to the prompt and what you created. If you haven’t already posted, be sure to use #byocreativity.

If you missed the instructions for BYOC, click here to read more. DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER SO YOU DON’T MISS Any BYOC UPDATES.  

What You Need to Start a New Creative Venture

What You Need to Start a New Creative Venture. It's even less than you think. Click to learn more.

Starting a new creative venture can be exciting, and also a little scary. Many of us hesitate to try something new because not only do we know we will suck at it at first, but it can also be overwhelming to figure out where to even begin. Sound familiar?

If this is your first time here, understand that when I speak of a creative venture, I mean anything that makes you happy and fulfills you. If you have read anything I have written in the past, I hope I have made that clear that your creativity can look however you choose. So whether your new creative venture is a hobby or a business – or something in between – it can be scary when you first start, it’s no fun to suck at anything.

So how do you gain confidence in your creative venture? Easy. You practice. Then you practice some more.

Confidence comes from practice. Everything gets easier the more often you do it. Creativity takes practice. Driving takes practice. Painting takes practice. Sharing your work takes practice. Writing takes practice.  Each part of the creative process takes practice. We all know this, but often we avoid starting new ventures because we know we are going to be bad at them first.

There is a great quote by Maya Angelou, “creativity, the more you use, the more you have.”

It is so true. I feel as though this is the most creative I have ever been. I am flowing with ideas (some good, some bad, some horrible) and I find that if I challenge my creativity each day, it keeps getting better and better. Truthfully, I am not actually more creative now than I was five years ago. I am just practicing my creativity on a daily basis, therefore it seems to come more easily for me compared to when I was not making my creativity a priority in my daily life.

Over the past year, I have tried a lot of things that I have never done before – all related to the creative venture of launching Greens & Blues Co.

  • set up a website
  • designed a logo
  • created an email newsletter
  • tried to learn how to take better photos
  • writing blog posts/email newsletters
  • Contacted people I don’t know and pitched them ideas

I have never done any of these before. I am not a web designer. I am not a graphic designer. I am not a writer. I am not a photographer. I do not know how to market. But, that’s okay. I do not have to be an expert at any or all of these in order to try something new and put myself out there. I learned how to do them by spending hours Googling LOTS of stuff, actually reading the Pins I saved on Pinterest, and putting in the time to try them. In the end, if this (Greens & Blues Co.) is all an epic failure: my courses suck and people hate me, I will have at least tried something new, grown as a human being, and learned a lot of new skills. Not so bad.

Each time I write a new blog post, take photos for my website, or email someone new with an idea it all gets a little bit easier and I get a little better at them. Or at the very least, I THINK I get better at them, so none of them are quite as scary as they were to begin with.

What You Need to Start a New Creative Venture. It's even less than you think. Click to learn more.

So what do you need to start a new creative venture?

  1. Your idea. Decide what you creative venture is. (If you need help with that, I wrote about it here and here).
  2. A plan for embarking on your new creative venture so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and just quit – or worse, not even start. Don’t miss next week’s email for details on this (sign up here to make sure you get it).
  3. Confidence. How do you gain confidence? You have to put in the work. You have to practice.

Your homework: Between now and next Tuesday, I want you to come up with an idea for a new creative venture – remember it can be a hobby or business, but something new that you will try in order to push yourself creatively. Next Tuesday, we’ll talk about how to start.

Daily Acts of Creativity: 10 Ways to Inject Creativity Into Your Daily Life

Daily Acts of Creativity: 10 Ways to Inject Creativity Into Your Daily Life. Click to find out more about each.

Everybody is busy. It doesn’t matter who you are, most likely you have a lot going on. However, lack of time cannot be an excuse to stop (or never start) practicing your creativity on a daily basis. Finding a creative outlet that fulfills you and inspires you is too important to not pursue. It can be difficult to figure out how get started, so I did it for you! You’re welcome 🙂

Here are 10 ways to inject creativity into your daily life – and the best part? Each of them will take 10 minutes or less each day!

Number 1

Start a visual thinking journal – similar to a one line a day journal, you illustrate one aspect of your day. Could be as simple as the weather or a happy face if it was a good day. I bought a blank notebook from Michaels and I write several entries on each page. Usually it takes me less than 2 minutes, but even still I feel as though it is pushing me to up my visual thinking game because I have to think of a creative way to illustrate something from my day. Each day that I do it, I get better at visual thinking.

Number 2

Write for 10 minutes a day – set a timer for ten minutes, hit start and get writing. You can hand write in a notebook or just start a Google Doc and continually add to it. Write whatever comes to mind – fiction or non-fiction. The next day, just pick up right where you left off, or start a new strand of thinking if you feel like it. In the future, when you get stuck, you can return to your writing and steal one of your own ideas!

Number 3

Photo Challenge – Set an alarm on your phone to go off at the same time everyday. Take a photo of whatever you are doing at that moment each day. At the end of a set amount of time (a month, 6 months, a year, etc.) look back and reflect. Are you happy/satisfied with the way you are spending your time? Is there anything you would change?

Number 4

Read for 10 minutes each day – read a book, e-book, newspaper, graphic novel, online article, etc., – it doesn’t matter what you read, just read something. Even though reading is consuming information rather than creating, I still consider it a creative act because learning something new can help you be more creative as it can provide you with skills or insight to create something that you previously would not have been able to do. Reading can also serve as inspiration for your next idea!

Number 5

Spend time alone – spend 10 minutes by yourself (preferably outside) just thinking about whatever you want: your goals, dreams, new ideas, what you are thankful for, etc. . Record your thoughts  in some way.

Number 6

Talk it out – open the audio recorder on your phone, hit record and start talking. See where it takes you. I use this more often than I ever thought I would, especially when I have an idea for something but I’m having trouble fleshing out it. If I sit down in front of the computer, it doesn’t go anywhere. But, if I hit record and just start talking about an idea, eventually I am able to make sense of it. Later I play it back and type up my ideas in a Google Doc. Seriously, this helps me every time I do it!

Number 7

Chunk a Big Project – Think you don’t have time to complete a long project? Find one (sewing, building, knitting, etc.) Break it down into ten minutes chunks. Add it to your calendar – be specific. What do you need to accomplish each day? After a while, you will have made something or completed something!

Number 8

Chunk Your Learning – Same ideas as above but instead of making something learn something new. Decide what you want to learn. Gather all of your resources. Break it down into ten minute chunks. Add it to your calendar – be specific. What do you need to accomplish each day? After a while, you will have learned something new!

Number 9

Sign up for a free course online. There are so many free courses available on so many different subject areas. It’s pretty likely you can find a course about something you are interested in. The best part of a free course is that it is likely self-paced. You can work on it just ten minutes a day (or more if you want). Of course, I am partial to one of my free courses such as Challenge Your Creativity or the Find Your CREATIVE SPARK Adventure. Sign up for one of them today!

Number 10

Brainstorm 5 new ideas everyday  – start a Google Doc or a new journal just for this purpose. Each day, add 5 new ideas. Guaranteed that most of them will be absolute crap, but amongst all that crap will be a couple of pieces of gold. Whenever you are feeling stuck, return to it and read it.

Do you need to do all ten of these? Of course not. Read through the list again. See what one speaks to you. You can do it exactly as described or your own interpretation of it.  Or, you can come up with your own. Are you going to paint for at least 10 minutes a day? Are you going to dance? Sew? Draw? Write? Design? Build? You definitely have ten minutes to spare everyday – how will you make the most of that time?

Now that you have decided how practice your creativity for at least ten minutes each day, make a plan to implement in your life. Instead of just saying I am going to start tomorrow at some point. Decide when. Your lunch hour? First thing when you wake up? Before bed? If you don’t make a plan it is very unlikely that you will follow through with it.

I can’t wait to hear how you are going to practice your creativity. Leave me a comment and let me know how you are going to practice your creativity on a daily basis!

BYOC – July’s Prompt

Looking for a fun, easy way to practice your creativity this summer? Join BYOC: Bring Your Own Creativity. Click to find out more.

Whether you are just joining us for BYOC or you participated in June as well, I’m so happy you are here. In June, I had the pleasure of seeing so many creative ways to respond to the prompt of summer. I’m really excited to see how everyone responds to July’s prompt.

Once again, this prompt is very open-ended. However, I think that is part of what makes this project so great is that it allows for all different types of creatives to participate and share their ideas with others.

July’s Prompt:

Make a gift for someone

Many of us give gifts around the winter holidays or on birthdays, but what better time to give one than when it is totally unexpected?

BYOC - Summer 2016. July's Prompt - Make a gift for someone!Your response to this prompt can be simple or elaborate – it’s totally your call. It can be as easy as taking 15 minutes to make a handmade card for someone (don’t forget to send it!) to something much more elaborate such as building a treehouse. Mine probably won’t be that elaborate:)

I like this prompt because by making something for someone else you are sharing your creativity + you are giving yourself the gift of time to practice your own creativity. Win Win!

I can’t wait to see what you make!


Don’t forget to follow along with these creative ladies and see how they respond to July’s prompt:

Jenn from The Spare Room Project: website; twitter; facebook.

Emily from Eltscott.com: website; twitter, instagram.

Julie from In Tandem: website; instagram, facebook.

Allie from Allie Explores: website, twitter, instagram.

Gabrielle from A Life of Gab: website; twitter; facebook.

FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER SO YOU DON’T MISS ANY BYOC UPDATES.  

Did You Give Yourself Permission?

Did You Give Yourself Permission to Create? Struggling to make your creativity a priority? Download and fill out this permission slip now!

I just finished up with the first month of a 3 month project. If you missed it (sorry if you didn’t and this is like the 14th time you have heard me mention it), I (with the help of some other creative ladies) started a fun, easy way to practice your creativity this summer. It is called BYOC: Bring Your Own Creativity. All it is is one creative prompt per month for June, July, and August. An easy way to make time for your creativity this summer.

After completing the first month of BYOC, something became very clear.

Why don’t we give ourselves more time/permission to do the stuff we love?  It seems like it should be obvious but yet many (not all, but many) of us struggle with it.  A few months ago I talked about creating a creative to do list because often our to do lists our filled with stuff we don’t want to do: get an oil change, make a dentist appointment, etc., so it makes sense that you should also make a list of things that you actually want to do and will make you happy and fulfilled.

Taking that one step further would be giving yourself time and permission to actually do the stuff you put on your creative to-do list. As I mentioned, we are only one month into BYOC, but I have found that it is the best project because I am giving myself permission to create and making it a priority to create.

So far I have planted a garden (with the help of my friend Tracy). No joke, this has been on my to do list for at least 4 years. Like everyone else I am busy, so I just never did. I thought it fit the June prompt of “summer” perfectly, so I made it a priority – done and done. It took just a couple of hours.

As soon as I finished, that, I thought what’s next? Not because BYOC is a competition to see who can create the most, but because doing something creative energizes me and leads to more creativity. Right away, I got started on a scarf (yes, even though it is about 90 degrees most days right now) that I have been wanting to work on for a few months.

So why now? I could do these creative activities anytime. So why are they actually getting done now? Because I gave myself permission to and made it a priority to take time to create. I know how happy and fulfilled it leaves me, so I decided to make it a priority.

It’s time for you to do the same. Need a little help getting started? Click here or the graphic below to download your creativity permission slip and figure out what you need to make your creativity a priority!

Did You Give Yourself Permission to Create? Struggling to make your creativity a priority? Download and fill out this permission slip now!