New Book: Journal Your Way to Creativity

Front cover of the book, Journal Your Way to Creativity, by Jen Nipps

Blurb:
Journal Your Way to Creativity is a 90-day self-guided journal designed to help readers tap into their creativity. Some of the prompts may sound silly, but some of the silliest prompts tend to be the ones that make you dig the deepest.”

Format:
Print $6.99, click to buy
Kindle $3.99, click to buy

Sample Prompts:
5. Think about your reasons for believing you are creative. List five reasons why it is true.

37. What is your favorite color? Why? (Yes, you can have more than one but keep it to three or fewer.)

58. Give yourself about five minutes and ask yourself “What If I Were Creative?” Try to list 10 things.

82. What rules have you broken recently?

 

Why This Book?
As I mentioned, I am also a creativity coach. Sometimes the best way to reach people in order to help them is where they are. That’s not always physically possible, so I thought a journal of some type might be helpful. Once I got that idea in mind, it wouldn’t let go.

I debated how many prompts to include. I finally decided on 90 because that’s three months of daily journaling. That’s long enough to accomplish a couple things. It’s enough to make journaling a habit. It’s also long enough to start breaking down old thought patterns/beliefs and creating new ones. I am not saying it’s enough time to completely create new ones.

Sometimes it’s easy to fall back into old habits and ways of thinking, no matter how much we think we’re “over it.”

Here’s a not-so-secret secret: We’re never really over it.

Thought patterns take a lifetime to build. It makes sense to think they would take another lifetime to break down to make way for new ones. There are things we have to work on repeatedly, whether it’s maintaining a new, healthier lifestyle or thinking of ourselves as creative beings.

With this journal, which is part of Living Your Creative Life, it is my hope that we can build and reinforce our creative habits and beliefs.

About the Author:
I’m a freelance writer specializing in creativity, social media, and general human interest. I just released book #10! Journal Your Way to Creativity is available in print and on Kindle now!

I am also a creativity coach. But… what IS a creativity coach? Simply put, creativity coaching is a subset of life coaching where someone helps you with various aspects of your lives. I — and any other creativity coach — can help you with issues you may be having in your creative life, whether it’s finishing projects, finding inspiration, or how to get out of a rut. If you’re interested, I’d love to talk to you about it.

I am a fiber artist. I knit and crochet. I want to learn to spin, but that will have to wait a while.

I am available to speak to writers’ groups, civic organizations, schools, and conferences. I can do in-person presentations or present via Skype. If you need a speaker for your event, let’s talk! My speaking repertoire also includes living with disabilities and diabetes as well as creativity and social media as mentioned above.

Happy Easter & Future Plans

(c) 2017 Richard R. Barron
Used with permission

I am determined to make a go of this blogging thing. I don’t know why I’m so sporadic with it. Once again, I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I feel like if I make it through an entire month of daily posting, I can then set a sustainable schedule and maintain the blog on a regular basis.

That’s the plan, anyway.

The end of 2017 was…difficult. I developed a double ear infection that left me deaf for most of December. That was challenging. For those who don’t know, I am legally blind, so I rely on my hearing a lot. All my life, I have been able to hear very well. To have problems hearing was a trial I did not want. I learned a lot from that experience. I used to think I would rather lose my hearing than my eyesight. I know now that is not true.

On Christmas morning, I was sitting in the living room. My Dad had the TV on a channel that was playing Christmas music. After a while, I realized I could hear it. I was kind of singing along with it. Mom and Dad had since gone to different parts of the house, so I went to where Mom was.

“Is the TV blaring?” I asked.

She nodded.

“I thought it had to be because I could hear it.”

That was pretty much the only Christmas music I heard until after New Year’s Day. I found a Christmas station on iHeart Radio and listened to it for a few hours.

It’s April and I still want a do-over on Christmas.

I wish I could say the ear saga is over, but it’s not. Later this month, if everything is cleared up, I will have a hearing test to see what lasting damage there might be.

But my absence from the blog isn’t filled with only bad news. I’ve been writing. Quite a lot. And I have a new book out, Journal Your Way to Creativity. It’s available in print and on Kindle. I will tell you more about that tomorrow, but I had to mention it today.

Something else I will be talking about soon is the writer’s notebook/workbook I’ve started using. I need something that will help me to keep track of what I’m doing, what I want to do, and what’s next. I think this will do that.

In the meantime, I’m debating on which project to do next. It will either be finishing a novel or re-releasing my first book that is out of print. Decisions, decisions.

That’s it for now. This is actually posting a lot later than I had intended, so instead of wishing you a happy Easter, I will just say I hope you had a happy Easter.

Happy creating.

7 Reasons I Know You’re Creative

Over the years, I have told many people that they are creative. More than once, they have ask me how I know. This question Millie comes from people who are absolutely convinced they had don’t have a creative bone in their body.

So, here are seven reasons I know you are creative.

  1. I believe everyone is creative. I haven’t seen anyone yet to prove me wrong.
  2. No matter your personal belief system, at some point, you were created. You didn’t just appear (and even if you did, you were still created at some point).
  3. As a created being, you are innately creative.
  4. People unconsciously used their creativity every day.
  5. You are your own worst critic.
  6. You don’t conform to stereotypes or what people expect of you.
  7. You think about things and don’t just react.

I actually has many more reasons than that but I don’t want to overwhelm you with a lot of irrelevant information right now. With as long as I’ve had this blog, why am I bringing this up now?

I’m working on a self-paced creativity course coaching program. I think everyone would benefit from it, but I’m not naive enough to think that everyone who hears about it will sign up. I think–hope–a few will.

I’ll be telling you more about this as time progresses though. I’m looking at a launch of January 1st, so you’ll be hearing about this frequently.

What about you? Do you think you’re creative? Why or why not? Leave a message in the comments and let’s get the conversation started.

When You Don’t Know What to Say

Maybe I should have called this “When I Don’t Know What to Say.” I decided to use “You,” though, because there are times when many of us don’t know what to say or even if we should say anything.

Sometimes I run out of things to say. Or, I don’t know how to say what I’m thinking. This usually happens when I’ve been overthinking. I actually get accused of doing that a lot. And it’s true. When I follow my instincts, I tend to do much better than I do if I think about it first. (Whatever “it” may be at the time.)

Then there are the times that things happen, either personally, locally, or nationally, and I feel like I should say or do something. But I have no idea what that something should be. And that is when I wonder if there is even a point to all of this. To the creating, the writing, the making, the caring.

I know there is.

During WWII, someone suggested to Winston Churchill that they should cut funding for the arts in order fund the war effort. He said (and I could be wrong about the exact wording here), “Then what are we fighting for?”

Even when we don’t know what to say, keep on keeping on. Keep creating. Let your voice be heard for you and the people who truly cannot say anything, not just because they don’t know what to say.

This took a more serious turn than I had intended. But, I suppose, when thinking about current events as I sit down to write a post, that ought to be expected. It also goes to show that even my creative path is not all fun and games and laughter, though I might wish it otherwise.

We have to figure out what to say. We have to say it. And, ultimately, we have to keep creating.

Manufacturing Light

This goes hand-in-hand with yesterday’s post about seasonal changes. In fact, it was originally going to be part of it, but then I decided to separate the two.

When it gets dark early, sometimes the available sunlight (when it’s not overcast) and the overhead lights just aren’t enough. I have a floor lamp and a desk lamp that I use often during the winter months. Even then, that’s not always enough.

Enter the candles.

I have a lot of candles. There’s something about that little flame, flickering on the table by my chair or the file cabinet by my desk that just …. It makes me smile. It’s almost like my own little ray of sunshine. If it’s scented, so much the better.

Yesterday I mentioned that I was going to fight back against decreasing productivity in the coming months because of the limited light. This is one way I’m going to do it. I’m going to be manufacturing my own light when I need to.

It will help.

What about you? What are some ways you keep your motivation up and creativity going when you would rather hibernate?