Home » Blog » Uncategorized

Category: Uncategorized

We all have a creative beast lurking inside of us, just waiting to be unleashed. Use these 5 exercises to help you unleash your creative beast.

5 Ways to Unleash Your Creative Beast

We all have a creative beast lurking inside of us, just waiting to be unleashed. Use these 5 exercises to help you unleash your creative beast. 

We all have a creative beast lurking inside of us, just waiting to be unleashed. Use these 5 exercises to help you unleash your creative beast.

Here’s the story.

Whether you believe you are a creative person or not (we can argue about that another day), within each of us is some untapped creativity. It’s time to let that creativity out. It’s time to unleash your creative beast. Easier said, than done, right?

Actually, no. It might not happen instantly, but if you start to practice your creativity, I promise you will see results.

If you start writing *everyday, you will become a better writer.

If you start knitting *everyday, you will become a better knitter.

If you start drawing *everyday, you will become a better artist/illustrator/other.

*You don’t actually have to do it everyday, but you need to practice with some regularity.

You get my point. If you want to think of yourself as creative person, you have to put in the practice. There’s no way around it – sorry!

But, getting started practicing your creativity can be a little intimidating, especially if you haven’t done it in awhile – or ever! So here are 5 quick ways you can use to get started practicing your creativity today. You probably won’t use these ideas forever, but it’s a good place to start. If you go through each of these, by end you will likely have come up with an idea of how you want to practice your creativity (writing, drawing, knitting, welding, jewelry-making, weaving, carpentry, painting, illustrating, card-making, photography, writing/playing music, singing, etc.)

Download your workbook here and get started with these 5 Ways to Unleash Your Creative Beast.

We all have a creative beast lurking inside of us, just waiting to be unleashed. Use these 5 exercises to help you unleash your creative beast.

 

Number 1 – PLAY WITH COLOR

Color is all around us, whether you find beauty in palette nature provides us with or if there is nothing more inspiring to you than opening a new box of colored pencils, this one’s for you.

Go on an adventure and hunt for colors. You get to make up the rules for this adventure: can they only be colors you find around your house? Colors found in nature? Colors you see as you take a walk around your block? You decide. Grab a camera or notebook and head outside. Let the world around you inspire you.

Now that you have colors on the mind, it’s time for your challenge.

Choose a group of people. It could be your friends, your family, or even your characters from your favorite book or TV show. Assign each person a color based on personality traits. Use what you know about this person to get it just right. Get creative – you don’t have to just use a basic color like “purple.” You can create your own specific names for a very specific shade of purple or combination of blue and purple. Try it now!

Number 2 – DO SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU

When it comes to creativity, many of us have felt the fear. It grips you and doesn’t let go until you decide to back away and not try that new creative practice. Or you decide to not share your work with the world. Or you decide not to stand up and say yes to an opportunity. Whatever the reason for it, it’s that fear that overcomes you, even if you are normally a confident person.

When I first started greens + blues co., I didn’t tell anybody besides my husband about it for a long time. It even took me a few months to share it with my best friend and my sisters. Why? Because I had never done anything like this before. What if they didn’t get it? Or they thought it was dumb? Or that I was bad at it? Specifically when I first started greens + blues co., I didn’t know really how to explain it or how to explain why I started it other than I wanted to and felt like I had to – it was calling me and I couldn’t escape. Also, I just felt stupid talking about creativity out loud because all of the previous conversations I had about it took place in my head.

Here’s the thing, I have never had a problem with confidence. But, launching greens + blues co. was so different than anything I have ever done before. It took me a long time before it got easier for me to talk about (almost two years, yeesh!)

Beyond just launching greens + blues co., every step I have taken a long that way was scary at some point – continually pushing my out of my comfort zone. However, I have not regretted any of it. Even when I have pitched people ideas and I get a no (or more often, no response). Every scary thing I have done has been beneficial for me.

Okay, enough about me. Back to you. What scares you when it comes to your creativity? That’s a great place to start!

Is it starting a new creative practice? Maybe you have always thought about painting, but as an adult it makes you feel so silly to take a beginner class or to just be bad at something.

Or does the possibility of sharing your work scare you? Maybe you have written story upon story upon story so you clearly have no problem practicing your creativity, but the idea of someone else reading any of it scares the shit out of you. In that case, you definitely need to share your work.

Or is it saying yes to a new opportunity that scares you? Maybe someone has asked you to collaborate on something outside of your comfort zone, or you have an opportunity to learn something new. Whatever it is – say yes and do it!

Your challenge is simple: write down what scares you and do it. It doesn’t have to be major like self-publish a book, but rather something you could do in the next five minutes, like email a friend a copy of a story you wrote. Or, Google “knitting classes near me” and sign up for one. Take the first step.

Number 3 – DO SOMETHING YOU ARE BAD AT 

When it comes to creativity (and in life in general), many of us are guilty of never stepping out of our comfort zones. We stick to things we are good at because it’s no fun to suck at anything. Who likes that? No one. However, it’s the only way to eventually get to a place where you can create/make awesome stuff, you have to start with the ugly.

This is why I have been putting off learning to draw for about 15 years. I have always known deep down that I want to be able to draw, and I have started to learn so many times, but I have found so many reasons to move on to other creative practices. The only real reason I have always moved on is because I am bad at drawing. Horrible. But, I should be! I never practice. I really have never learned how. So, now I am. I have no major plans for it currently except I want to get past the point where everything I draw is crap. Not too lofty.

What about you? Make a list of some creative practices that you are bad at. Then, go back and circle the ones you want to be good at. Choose one. Now you know where to start.

Number 4 – SEE IT THROUGH

I imagine most of us start a new project or creative practice in a similar manner. We are super excited and inspired, we are going to learn everything about it, and we just can’t wait to create something! We get started with it, work on it for a few days (maybe even a few weeks), but then something happens or life just gets in the way and we don’t think about it again for months.

Then we get a new idea for a project or creative practice and the process starts again. We seem to be stuck in a cycle of excitement and inspiration, followed by a little bit of work, and then nothing. So how do we do it? How do we push past the part when it first gets tough?

Unfortunately there is no life hack for this one. Your challenge this time is to simply see it through. Often we give up way too quickly. The second a project becomes a little more work than fun or it is no longer easy, we are out. Quit on something because it doesn’t interest you or inspire you, not because you are too lazy to keep working at it. (sorry for the tough talk).

Think about a creative project or practice you have quit on recently (that you are still interested in). Pick it back up and see it through. When you are finished, see where your creativity takes you next.

Number 5 – LISTEN TO THE MUSIC

Music is a creative activity that most of us participate in everyday. You don’t have to play music or write music in order to be inspired by it. Many of us do our best thinking as we listen to music and let our minds wander.

Your challenge is to do just that: listen to the music. But, this time, do it more thoughtfully. Choose a song that you have always loved but haven’t necessarily paid attention to the lyrics. Listen more closely this time. Actually think about the artist meant by the lyrics and what you want them to mean.

Try one of the following challenges:

  • Make up new lyrics to the song.
  • Or is drawing more your thing? Listen to the lyrics and illustrate them.

All right, if you haven’t downloaded the workbook for these 5 ideas, you can do that here. Then get going! Start creating. As I mentioned, this is just a starting point. Truthfully, these ideas might not interest you, but they are supposed to be a jumping off point for your creativity – one of the first steps to unleashing your creative beast.

p.s. If you are looking for more ways to practice your creativity, check out this post – 10 ways to Inject Creativity Into Your Daily Life.

p.p.s. I stole the phrase “unleash your creative beast” from my cousin Jim. He’s the best.

 

Clean Slate Creativity is a 4 week, step-by-step guide to help you wipe your creative slate clean and start fresh. Up in Week 3 is analyzing your responses. Let’s get to it!

Clean Slate Creativity: Your Responses

Clean Slate Creativity is a 4 week, step-by-step guide to help you wipe your creative slate clean and start fresh. Up in Week 3 is analyzing your responses. Let’s get to it!

Clean Slate Creativity is a 4 week, step-by-step guide to help you wipe your creative slate clean and start fresh. Up in Week 3 is analyzing your responses. Let’s get to it!

Here’s the story. (In case you missed it, here’s week 1 and week 2).

Welcome back to the Clean Slate Creativity Series. 

To recap, so far you have wiped the slate clean + started fresh with your creativity. Last week, I had you try 4 different exercises in order to look at your creativity with fresh eyes. Pull out those worksheets again.

Now, take a step back. Let’s play pretend for a minute here. Make up a fake person. My fake person is going to be Meghan. Meghan is struggling to figure out how she is creative and and asked for my help. So, if Meghan gave me these worksheets, what feedback would I give her?

It seems like a silly way of going about this, but for most of us, we are much nicer to other people than we are to ourselves. I’m sure (hopefully) that you would never give fake Meghan the feedback of, “you are horrible at drawing.” Or, “this doesn’t make any sense.” No. You would take the time to analyze and reflect on what Meghan said and what she didn’t say. Then you would provide her with some constructive feedback.

Let’s take a closer look at each exercise and you can determine what specific feedback you would give to your fake person.

Exercise #1

Look at your page for this exercise. To be perfectly honest, this one may or may not help. It is so open ended that it might not be related in anyway. Let’s take a look at Meghan’s (my) response to Exercise #1:

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 1.40.20 PM

Using the information from Meghan’s response, it would be simple to give her feedback: she has a number of creative practices she seems interested in. It’s not clear whether these are creative practices she already does or practices she is interested in learning more about + getting started with.

*When I wrote these responses I had creativity/creative practices on my mind, so my response is rather on point whereas your’s might have been on something completely different – like your grocery list. So no worries if you didn’t get a lot of great information from this first exercise. The other 3 will help!

Exercises #2 – 4

Read through your fake person’s response for each of these exercises. Do you see any patterns forming? Take a look at fake Meghan’s (my) responses for these exercises:

 

My feedback to Meghan is that she doesn’t seem to be lacking ideas for how to practice her creativity. That’s awesome. However, if she tries to focus on all of these at once, she will probably get overwhelmed and end up not doing any of it. Instead, she should write all of these ideas down on a list. Then go through the list and determine which one she is actually interested in learning + practicing now.

This is the point to actually think about time, cost, skills required, etc. Narrow the list down to one and that is where she should start practicing her creativity. But, she should hang that list somewhere she will see it often. That way, if she starts weaving but soon decides it’s not really for her, instead of starting this process over she can jump right into another creative practice!

Hopefully once you have provided yourself/your fake person with some feedback you will have an idea of how you WANT to practice your creativity. If you feel like you are stuck and can’t figure it out, there are two things you can try.

Number 1

Ask someone you trust to take a look the responses to the exercises and give you feedback.

Number 2

Email me your worksheets (greensandbluesco AT gmail.com) and I will give you my feedback!

One week left in our Clean Slate Creativity series. Next week, you put your creativity into practice! See you then.

Clean Slate Creativity is a 4 week, step-by-step guide to help you wipe your creative slate clean and start fresh. Up in Week 3 is analyzing your responses. Let’s get to it!

 

Kick-Off a New Creative Practice

On Thursday, June 22nd at 1 PM CDT / 8 PM CEST, I am co-hosting a FREE workshop with Elin Loow (you can find out more about her here) on kicking off a summer creative project. Here’s your chance to make Summer 2017 a creative one! (Even if you can’t make it to the live workshop, by signing up you will be emailed the replay).

In this Summer Creativity Kick-Off Workshop, Elin + I will help you choose, plan and get started on a creative summer project!

You will…

1. Find an exciting creative project that fits with your summer.
2. Figure out what resources you need to make it happen.
3. Make a plan that you’ll be able to stick with.
4. Kick-off your wonderfully creative summer!

**please note – by signing for to the workshop, you will be subscribed to both my and Elin’s email lists. We are both dedicated to helping you in your creative journey and will do our best to delight your inbox!

Elin Loow + Katy McCullough will share a step-by-step guide for kicking of a new creative project this summer. Make Summer 2017 a creative one. Sign up now!

Here’s the story.

There always seems to be more time in the summer. Whether you are a student or teacher and you actually have more time, or if you are just someone who feels inspired by more hours of daylight – this is for you.

Kick-Off a New Creative Practice This Summer

Why Start A New Creative Practice This Summer?

  1. Expand your creativity by increasing your skill-set.
  2. Make yourself uncomfortable.
  3. Focus your creativity in order to build your creative confidence.
  4. Why not?

Expand Your Creativity By Increasing Your Skillset

Here’s the deal. You don’t have to just be a painter, knitter, writer, etc. By all means you should explore various aspects of your creativity. However, it’s hard to get better at any one craft if you only return to it once every 6 months or so. So, in the Summer Creativity Kick-Off workshop, we are challenging you to choose one creative practice to focus on this summer. A creative practice that is different than your current go-to creative practice. So for example, I currently have a daily writing practice and I have for the past year or so. This is not going to be the focus for my summer creative hobby.

**One caveat this does not mean you can’t do anything else – that would be insane. It just means maybe don’t start a bunch of new creative hobbies at once. I’m going to be painting, but I’m also going to weaving and writing quite a bit as well.

For me, creativity goes hand in hand with learning.  The more skills I learn or acquire, the more creative I can be. At times, I have had flashes of inspiration, but did not necessarily possess the skills to execute my ideas. Therefore, by learning and then practicing new skills, my creativity has expanded.  I believe creativity is a skill, and like other skills, it must be practiced in order to improve.

Make Yourself Uncomfortable

I challenge you to make yourself uncomfortable. Like, really really uncomfortable. Like when you are stuck between two people having the most awkward conversation ever and you have no way out – that kind of uncomfortable.

Why make yourself uncomfortable? You will face a fear. You will force yourself to try something you had previously told yourself you could not or would not do. You most likely will learn something new about yourself, whether it is the fact that you can face your fear and still survive, or even just a new skill that you learn.

Trying something new is scary as shit, but if you ACTUALLY do it, what an amazing high. Think about how you will feel at the end if you

Focus Your Creativity In Order to Build Your Creative Confidence

How do you build your creative confidence?

Practice, Practice, practice. Whether you are just starting out or have been at it for some time, there is no way around it. You can’t be confident without putting in the time. Well, technically you can be, but nobody likes those people. The more you practice, the more confident you will become. It’s as easy as that. But, truthfully, it isn’t easy. It’s not easy to make your creativity a priority daily or weekly, but if you want to see the results, then it’s the only way.

Practice until there is nothing else you can say besides I am good enough. “My creative is good enough.” Practice until that’s the only answer left.

Why Not?

Why not start a new creative practice this summer? What else do you have going on that is better? What’s the worst that could happen? You practice your creativity? You gain confidence in a new creative practice? Sounds good to me! Sign up for the workshop using the form below.

Elin Loow + Katy McCullough will share a step-by-step guide for kicking of a new creative project this summer. Make Summer 2017 a creative one. Sign up now!

You have to practice. Unfortunately there is no way around it if you want to improve. Especially when you are first getting started. Click to learn more about developing a practice plan for your next creative venture.

You Need to Practice. Who Knew?

You have to practice. Unfortunately there is no way around it if you want to improve. Especially when you are first getting started. Click to learn more about developing a practice plan for your next creative venture.

Practicing Something Makes You a Whole Lot Better.

No joke.

If you want to get better at anything there is no way around it – you must practice. Then you must practice some more. You will be bad at something when you first start. But, with practice, you will improve.

You know this. I know this. We all know this. It isn’t in fact breaking news. Why, then, is it so hard to follow?

Starting anything new is difficult. It doesn’t matter if it is a workout routine, a healthier way of eating, or a new creative venture – all of them are difficult to turn into a habit. However, if you can stick it out long enough, it will become a habit. Then it will be easier to stick to and with all that practice, you will actually be better at it as well.

So, are you ready to start?

Keep the following in mind as you get started practicing your creativity:

  1. You are going to be bad at first. There is no way around this. The only way out is to practice. Be prepared to create total crap at first, but know that if you stick it out – you will get better.
  2. Make a practice plan. Don’t assume that because you are really excited about something today that by a week from now, or even tomorrow, you are going to be prepared to stick it out when things get tough. You need a plan in place. How often are you going to practice? When? What time of day? For how long? Where? Figure all of these things out ahead of time and the likelihood that you stick with it goes way up.
  3. If you are just getting started with a new creative venture. Don’t pick the toughest, most time consuming project first. Baby steps. (Anyone else a What About Bob fan?). By getting one project under your belt, your confidence, your knowledge, + your enthusiasm go way up. So finish something – anything!
  4. As you get started practicing your new creative venture, remember that you are going to be bad for a little bit. Be nice to yourself – only positive self-talk allowed in your creative zone. Yes, if you compare the work you are doing as you are getting started with what you will make down the road, it is in fact total garbage, but it is your garbage. And that garbage is better than nothing.
  5. Finally as you start to become more confident in your creative skills, share your work with others. I get it, this is scary. I consider Greens & Blues Co. to be my creative work (at least a part of it) and I have a really hard time talking about it with people whose opinions I value. It can be rough at first, but do it.

There is no one “right” way to practice. How you practice something might be very different from how I practice something. But when I think about practicing, a few different options come to mind:

You can practice by yourself working on individual skills, or you can practice in a group – attempting to take your skills to the next level by combining them with the skills of others to see what you can accomplish.

You can repeat the same steps over and over again, focusing on just one skill at at time and mastering that one skill before moving on to the next, or you can practice a variety of skills that are all necessary to accomplishing your goal.

Decide what works for you.

If I told you that today you had the entire day to practice your creativity, what would your day look like?

  • What would you be doing?
  • Who (if anyone) would you be with?
  • Where would you be at?
  • Would you do the same thing all day long, or would you chunk it and work on many different creative ventures?
  • Would you be fine with just practicing, or would you need to execute and finish a project?

Decide what works for you.

So in summary: you need to practice and you need a plan!

The Best Part of Being on a Team? Find about by joining CREATIVITY + COLLABORATION - a free Facebook group where you can find inspiration + motivation to find your creativity and start practicing it.

The Best Part of Being on A Team

The Best Part of Being on a Team? Find about by joining CREATIVITY + COLLABORATION - a free Facebook group where you can find inspiration + motivation to find your creativity and start practicing it.

A couple of months ago, I relaunched my website with a new vision for Greens & Blues Co. In addition to vowing to no longer publish theoretical posts, I also was rethinking the type of community I could provide for you.

I’m a people person. I like to talk and I like people. So having a group of people to potentially collaborate with, chat with, etc. about something as important as my creativity is important to me.

I know many of you are the same. Even if you don’t consider yourself a people person or something who usually “joins in” there are many benefits to having a group of people you can turn to when you need it. Despite the fact that you have friends and family, sometimes you need someone who understands this side of you – your creative side!

Anyone who has ever been part of a team, sports or otherwise, can tell you that the best part about being on a team is, of course, your teammates. There is nothing like having teammates to drive you and make you better. The same notion can be applied to a group of people practicing their creativity.

Living a creative life can be different for everyone however we can encourage each other, push each other to go further, to work harder than we would on our own, to try something new, to practice, to do our best – all just by working together. Collaboration can help us take our skills in a particular creative venture to the next level, or to get over ourselves and try something new. Teammates, or just people to collaborate with, challenge us to continually improve our craft.

So what team are you going to join when it comes to your creativity?

The Best Part of Being on a Team? Find about by joining CREATIVITY + COLLABORATION - a free Facebook group where you can find inspiration + motivation to find your creativity and start practicing it.

Your team could made up of:

A good teammate should be:

  • Practicing their own creativity
  • Willing to help others practice their own
  • Striving to get better

It’s great if you have a group of friends or co-workers and you can get together to support each other’s creativity. But, the truth is, most of us don’t have that. So, what do you do then? Who do you  go to for support? For creative inspiration? For motivation? For resources? CREATIVITY + COLLABORATION.

So what action can you take today? Easy. Take one simple step. Join CREATIVITY + COLLABORATION.

Who Does Your Creativity Serve? You need to be at least a little selfish with your creativity.

Who Does Your Creativity Serve?

Who Does Your Creativity Serve? You need to be at least a little selfish with your creativity.

A few weeks ago, we talked about how creativity was more than just arts + crafts. In doing so, you came up with a variety of ways that you are creative throughout your day that have nothing to do with arts + crafts. However, my guess is that if you went back to your list, you would notice that most of your creativity was used in service of other people.

It’s great that you can use your creativity to solve problems for others, to entertain your kids, or to make something awesome at work, but don’t forget, your creativity should also serve you.

How are you creative that is just for you?

Not sure? That’s okay. Keep reading for 4 ways to get started on your personal creative path.

Sometimes it can be difficult to get started on the path to finding your creativity. One option would be to just jump head first into something. If it works, great. If not, try something else. If that’s not your style, option two would be to take a more practical, practiced approach. Try one of the ideas below to get started thinking about your own creativity.

Who Does Your Creativity Serve? You need to be at least a little selfish with your creativity. Here are 4 ways to get you started on your creative path

Number 1

Go for a walk by yourself + let your mind wander. If you come up with any ideas, use the voice memo app on your phone to record yourself talking it out.

Number 2

Set a timer for 30 minutes and “wander” around Pinterest. Find a project you want to try, and make a list of everything you need to start it.

Number 3

Browse through Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu until you find a documentary about someone doing something they are passionate about. Watch it.

Number 4

Get a blank notebook and pen or pencil. Set a timer and start writing, drawing, or some combination of the two. Stop when the timer goes off.

Are any of these going to change your life? Probably not. Are any of them going to make you instantly into your most creative self? Definitely not. However, they are all priming you to start thinking of yourself as a creative person. In addition they are all great exercises to allow you to unleash your creativity and find out where you could take yourself if you gave yourself time to stop and reflect. Finally, they are all easy to do and it’s completely reasonable to choose one to start practicing on a daily basis.

The truth is no matter who your creativity serves – you or someone else – you benefit from the process. Even so, you should still be at least a little selfish with your creativity. 🙂

5 Ways to Take Your Creativity to the Next Level. Click to steal these 5 ideas now.

5 Ways to Take Your Creativity to the Next Level

5 Ways to Take Your Creativity to the Next Level. Click to steal these 5 ideas now.

You are a creative person. You know this. I know this. We all know this. Thinking you aren’t creative is not your problem. Your problem is your creativity is starting to bore you. Not too long ago, you couldn’t get enough of it, but now, you are no longer challenged and inspired by it.

How did this happen? Well, like anything else in your life, you need to nurture your creativity in order to allow it to grow + change. When you first started practicing your creativity/creative venture, you were a novice. So anything you were learning or trying was new and exciting. Now that you have been doing it for awhile, you can’t expect to get the same satisfaction from continuing to do the same things that previously brought you joy.

So how then do you get out of this creative rut? You need to take your creativity to the next level.

How can you take your creativity to the next level?

First, identify your purpose + your goal.  Your purpose is your why. Why do you practice your creativity? Is it because you want to? Or because you feel like you should? Or maybe because you need a creative outlet? Or is it even something as simple as practicing your creativity makes you happy? Whatever your why is – figure it out.

The second piece of taking your creativity to the next level is identifying your goal.  What do you want to accomplish by practicing your creativity? Are you just excited to learn something new? Are you trying to make yourself happy and fulfilled? Are you hoping to become better at a specific creative venture in order to make money from it? It doesn’t matter what your goal is – as long as you can verbalize it.

Identifying your purpose + goal can help shift everything. Now you that you know why you want to practice your creativity and what you want to do with it, here are a few ideas to help you take your creativity to the next level.

5 Ways to Take Your Creativity to the Next Level. Click to steal these 5 ideas now.

 

Number 1

Challenge yourself to try something new – sign up for an online course or an in person class in a completely new creative area.  Maybe you are currently a very talented photographer. Great, but if it is no longer inspiring you, you may need to try (even temporarily) another creative venture that takes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you. You might even find that by learning something completely different it helps you in your current creative field.

Number 2

Expand your skillset within your current craft – continue to work on your current creative venture but push yourself to gain a new skillset. Maybe you learned how to knit 3 years ago, but since then you have only been making scarf after scarf. By challenging yourself to learn just one new knitting skill, you can greatly expand the number of projects you are able to make/create.

Number 3

Find a creative buddy and get collaborating – collaborating with someone else can push you in directions you had not previously considered while working on your own. (Read this article on how collaboration/competition could be the key to your creative success and this article on finding a creative collaborators).

Number 4

Take away a choice in your creativity. If you love to sew, but lately have been feeling blah about it, decide that you aren’t allowed to buy any new fabric, but have to use all of your scraps. Put some limitations on your creativity and you will see it flourish. It will once again demand your full attention and in turn it will inspire you.

Number 5

Share your work. If you have been creating/making in a vacuum, decide that you are going to start sharing your work – in real life or on the Internet – whichever is less scary to you. You don’t have to necessarily ask anyone for feedback, but just put yourself out there and see what happens.

Before you do anything else, read through this list of 5 ideas again. Choose the one that sounds the best/most reasonable to you. Brainstorm a list of ways you can implement it.

Take 20 seconds to leave me a comment, telling me which of the 5 you choose. Can’t wait to hear from you!

Competition could be the key to your creative success? But, wait? Isn't competition a bad thing? Click to learn how competition fuels creativity.

Competition Could be the Key to Your Creative Success

Competition could be the key to your creative success? But, wait? Isn't competition a bad thing? Click to learn how competition fuels creativity.

Get out your baseball glove. Dust off your cleats. Insert any other sports metaphor here that comes to mind. It’s time to compete. It’s time to find yourself some competition.

Why? Because, competition could be the key to your creative success. Often times we hear that competition is bad, that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, or that you need to avoid going down the rabbit hole of comparison at all costs.

But, why?

Of course, we know there are some negative components to competition, such as comparing yourself when you are just starting out to someone who has been practicing that same creative activity for years – there is totally truth in that. But to write off all competition as bad just because there could be some negative effects of it is illogical.

What if the good parts of competition outweighed the bad?

What if you used competition to fuel your creativity?

If you played sports at any point in your life, you know that you don’t get better at your sport by just practicing by yourself or by effortlessly beating up on teams that you are much better than. Not even close. You get better from finding competition that is tough, from playing against them, and from learning from them. Then you going back and practice what you learned. That’s when you improve.

Why should your creativity be any different?

Not that you have to be “the best” at your chosen creative venture, but if you want to get better at it, competition can push you to improve. Competition can push you to work harder, to learn something new, to up your game, to force you to give your best effort, to figure out why something is not working. It can be the kick in the butt you need to keep going, even when you feel like giving up.

Competition fuels creativity - competition doesn't have to be a dirty word. Competition can be used in a healthy way to push yourself. Click to learn more.

 

How can you use competition to fuel your creativity?

  1. Make a list of people that could be your competition – be sure to include people that are better than you at your chosen creative venture.
  2. Set a goal – what do you hope to gain by contacting this person or people? Do you want to learn something from them. Do you want someone to collaborate with? Do you just want to chat about ideas?
  3. Reach out to these people – make a connection with them (BTW – you might have to contact several people).
  4. Compete with them + learn from them. And don’t forget, it’s not all about you. What can you bring to the relationship? You might not be an expert but there is still plenty you can bring to the table.
  5. Go back + practice your creative venture on your own.

**If you still don’t like the idea of competition, just think about it as collaboration. Collaboration doesn’t necessarily have to be me + you working on something together, creating in tandem. It could be that we both create by ourselves and provide each other with feedback. Or, we could be sharing ideas. Or, we could be critiquing each other. Or, we could share resources. These are all ways to collaborate.

***One way that creative competition and athletic competition is different is that in the end, your creativity doesn’t have to be better than your competition’s creativity in order to “win” – you win by improving yourself, by practicing, by figuring out what works from you. You win because you benefit from all of the hard work you put into it.

This week, I challenge you to find someone to “compete” with. Contact them and get starting improving your creativity.

BYOC: June – 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.

Hey there. I’m so excited you decided to come join the party – The BYOC: Bring Your Own Creativity Party! No worries if you didn’t complete the prompt for June. In just a few days, I will be sharing the prompt for July. But back to June for right now.

So the prompt was “summer” or whatever season you are currently experiencing – depending on where you are in the world.

Here is the list I created as part of a braindump to figure out how I wanted to respond to the prompt:

  • Parties
  • Sun
  • Grill
  • Adventure
  • Friends
  • Time
  • Fun
  • Family

After making that a couple of things came to mind.

For the past five years I have been saying that I am going to plant a garden. But every year, come May, I just don’t do it. Each year I have a different excuse, but basically it comes down to I don’t know where to start, and instead of making a plan and going for it, I just put it off until summer is over and then say I will do it next year. Well no more! My friend Tracy (who has a beautiful veggie garden that I am always jealous of) offered to come over and help me.

  1. We sat down together and drew up a plan. She told me what to buy.
  2. With my husband and kids we went to a local nursery to buy some veggie plants and seeds.
  3. Tracy and her two kids came over to help us dig up the yard and plant the veggies.
  4. Tracy told me what I needed to do to take care of it.

Yay for actually doing something that I said I was going to! Yay for great friends! Yay for creativity.

I responded to the June BYOC prompt by FINALLY planting a veggie garden!

I actually accomplished this very early on in June and was feeling so good that I decided to tackle another creative project. Back in March (during my Spring Break week), I bought this knitting pattern from Wool and the Gang. I had been eyeing it for a long time – I just love it. So I finally bought and then went to my local yarn shop to pick out the yarn I was going to use. However, by the time I got around to knitting, Spring Break was over and so was my free time.  So even though a big warm scarf is not exactly the obvious answer to the prompt “summer” it still makes sense. If you take a look at my braindump list, I put the word “time” on there. For me, summer is all about time (I am a teacher). So this is my time to get stuff done that I don’t get to the rest of the year. Now truthfully, I have not finished it yet, but I am making great progress and it is looking beautiful!

How I answered the June prompt for BYOC!

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 June 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.  

July’s prompt will be posted on the 1st.

Designing a Creative Path Can Help You Turn Ideas Into Reality

Knowing Your Creative Path Can Help You Turn Your Ideas into Reality. Click to learn more.You may have heard me mention that my new course, Design Your Creative Path is launching soon. Whether or not you ultimately decide to register for my course, you should know what a creative path is and more specifically what yours is and what role it plays in your life.

Let’s dive in.

Your creative path:

  • challenges you to continually learn
  • satisfies your curiosities
  • pushes you to take risks (big or small)
  • leaves you happy and fulfilled

Your creative path does not have to be about a career move or a paycheck. Sometimes your passion/life’s work/favorite hobby might be connected to your career – other times it may not be. When I speak of your creative path I’m not saying everyone should quit their jobs and become artists;

I’M CHALLENGING YOU TO DESIGN A PATH OF LEARNING, CURIOSITY AND HAPPINESS FOR YOUR LIFE.

So how does your life improve from knowing (and following) your creative path?

Maybe you have never thought of yourself as creative, but have always had an interest in creative pursuits. You owe it to yourself to explore your creativity further.

Or maybe your entire life is centered around your creative pursuits – where do you want to go next? What do you want to do with it?

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What drives you?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What are you interested in learning more about?
  • What do you want to spend your time on?

By designing a creative path for your life, you can answer these questions and get to work making changes immediately.

So how does your life improve from knowing (and following) your creative path?

You are living intentionally. You are making a choice to do something daily (or weekly or however often) that makes you happy and fulfilled.

You are acknowledging that you need more, that you need something else.

When you think about your creative path, I’m not saying you have to join a knitting club with a bunch of 85 year old women. I’m saying you need to find your creative spark (need help with that? Click here) and then determine a way to make that a part of your daily life.

REMEMBER CREATIVITY DOESN’T HAVE TO EQUAL ART.

My favorite definition of creativity is turning ideas into reality. Think about it. It can apply to anything. Not just sewing, knitting, scrapbooking, drawing, painting, photography, etc. It does apply to all of those I listed, but not only to those.

Too often people hear creativity and think it only applies to arts & crafts. Simply not true.

TURNING IDEAS INTO REALITY.

The possibilities are endless, but before you can design your creative path, you do need to find your creative spark (click here).

WHAT IDEA DO YOU WANT TO TURN INTO REALITY?

By designing a creative path, you acknowledge your creative spark (your ideas) and make a plan for turning them into a reality.