So Close….

After Christmas, the temptation is strong to just coast to the New Year. It’s still the holiday season and there’s no need to do any real work (as a creative) between now and then. Is there?

Yes and no.

What’s that supposed to mean?

Yes.

The hard push is done. Holiday orders and commissions have been sent and received. There is still work to be done, but the stressful part is done. It won’t hurt anything to let a few things slide.

No.

Do you really want to be playing catch-up when January gets here? Or do you want to have as much of 2018s work done as possible so you can start on 2019s goals?

(Notice I didn’t say resolutions. We’ll talk about that difference later on.)

If you watch Evan Carmichael on YouTube or follow him on Instagram any at all, you know he’s a major advocate for starting today. Start now. Start where you’re at.

Once upon a time ago, I would have been in the “let it slide” camp. Not anymore. Let’s all promise ourselves to start NOW.

Question of the day: What are YOU starting?

30+ Ideas to Fill Your Notebooks (Video)

Give Yourself the Gift of Creativity

There is something to be said about buying something for yourself from yourself. It’s not selfish (unless absolutely everything is for you). It’s taking care of yourself.

If you want to give yourself the gift of creativity, I can help you with that.

I have three books, Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone; 80 Creativity Tips; and Journal Your Way to Creativity.

Devoted to Creating is a book of devotions centered around creativity. Each one has a verse, short story, prayer, and creativity tip. It’s available in print and on Kindle.

80 Creativity Tips contains tip, exercises, and techniques to help you tap into your creativity. There are photos and pages for you to doodle or take notes. It’s also available in print and on Kindle.

Journal Your Way to Creativity is a 90-day self-guided program to help you uncover your creativity and use it on a daily basis. It is available on Kindle as well as in print, but considering the format, I would recommend the print version so your prompts and journaling are in the same place.

These are just a few ways you can give yourself the gift if creativity. If you would prefer coaching or courses, send me an email and we’ll talk about what would fit your needs.

Plan Your Writing Schedule (video)

Last week, I shared a video from Sarra Canon of Heart Breathings. This week, I’m doing it again. She has good information for writers, no matter how long you’ve been at it.

In this video, she talks about setting up your writing schedule for 2019 and being realistic about your goals.

Planning for 2019

Creative Commons via catchingcourage.com

It seems strange to think that there are only two weeks left in this year. I actually had to check the calendar after I typed that. Yes. Two weeks.

The other day, I was thinking that it was early to be planning for next year. When I look at the calendar and realize that, though? It’s not too early at all. In fact, I kind of feel some pressure being applied.

But… I’m good.

I don’t have everything in place that I want for 2019, but who does? Not only am I not that organized, I don’t want to be that rigid.

My planner setup for the year is in a purple Carpe Diem A5 6-ring binder. I’m doing a hybrid method using a traditional calendar (week on two pages layout) and Bullet Journal methods. I’ve been giving it a trial run for the past couple months and it’s working out great.

I already have my goals lined up. I will be tracking them per quarter so I’ll better know where I stand with what I’m wanting to do. I won’t share them here just yet. I will let you know some of them as they come along because it involves new books, courses, and reviving my podcast.

It’s more than keeping on keeping on. It’s growing and improving and loving what I do so that I will have more things to share with you, too.

Have you started planning for 2019 yet? What kinds of content do you want to see here (or hear on the podcast) that would help you reach your goals?

Selecting Yarn for a Pattern

I have a lot of patterns. I have a lot of yarn. I don’t necessarily buy yarn for every pattern I have that I want to make. That would be a bit much, even for me. So what do I do?

First, I go through the yarn I already have (and can access because some of it is in storage in the garage). Honestly, I usually find something to use in that. If I don’t, then I go yarn shopping.

It’s such a hardship.

I couldn’t even type that with a straight face.

But seriously, what do you do if you have a pattern you want but you don’t have the yarn that goes with it? Read the pattern and find the recommended yarn. Then check the labels on the yarn you have. Is any of it comparable?

Check the fiber. If it’s a wool blend, do you have a similar yarn? What weight does the pattern call for? If it’s chunky and you only have worsted, can you hold two strands together and make it work?

I do this often enough that I honestly don’t really think about it. I’ve even substituted different weights of yarn. I have one pattern that calls for DK or sport yarn. I don’t have any. Instead, I’m using worsted weight yarn (probably what you think of when you think of yarn) and went up to a larger crochet hook to accommodate it.

The only advice I have for selecting yarn for a pattern or for substituting yarn is this: If you like it, use it. You might need to experiment to get the right hook or needle for the look you want, but it will (usually) work out.

Why usually?

It doesn’t work so well if you’re making garments. Then you do want to use as similar a yarn as possible to what the pattern calls for.

 

 

CreativeLive

CreativeLive_Logo_2014
Logo (c) CreativeLive

Have you heard of CreativeLive? It’s a website with live and recorded classes on a very wide variety of subjects of interest to creatives. They also have an interesting blog.

I don’t talk about it near often enough.

Next year, CreativeLive turns 10! It was started in 2009 by Chase Jarvis and Craig Swanson. Part of their central philosophy is that there is a creator in everyone. Essentially agreeing with my primary key to creativity: Everyone is creative.

They’ve been highlighted in Entrepreneur Magazine, ABC News, GeekWire, Inc., and Mashable, just to name a few.

Categories for their courses include:

  • Photo & Video
  • Craft & Maker
  • Money & Life
  • Art & Design
  • Music & Audio

Upcoming classes this week include:

  • Introduction to Paper Marbling
  • Posing 101: Essentials
  • How to Make Money
  • Craft Photography Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Adobe Stock

And many more.

Some of their instructors include:

  • Mel Robbins
  • Tara Swiger
  • Lindsay Adler
  • Mike Johnson

I could keep going.

I really don’t know how to tell you how valuable a resource Creative Live is. All I can really do is to encourage you to go and check it out, if you haven’t already.

There’s a reason I’m telling you about this right now. Close to Christmas.

Give yourself, or someone you love, the gift of creativity for Christmas. Gift yourself/them a class from CreativeLive.

Note: The above link is an affiliate link. If your purchase a CreativeLive course through this link, I will receive a percentage of it as an affiliate.