Do I Talk Too Much?

A few days ago, I seriously wondered this. I wondered if I talked about creativity too much or if people (mainly in my family and circle of friends) thought I was posting too much in general.

Then I started getting feedback on some of the posts I’ve been putting out. The consensus appears to be no, I do not talk too much. In fact, I might not be talking enough about all of this “creativity stuff.” At least, not yet. I’ll be getting there. I’ll be sharing my viewpoint and theories about creativity as well as parts of my own creative path.

(Speaking of, I’ve been doing some new things that I’m excited to share, but I’ll do that soon enough.)

The more I talk, the more I post, I have no doubt I will refine my thoughts and ideas about this particular topic. And then I’ll talk, post, and share more about that progression.

In the meantime, since it is the weekend, I’ll leave this as a short post.

Happy creating!

I’m Not the Only One Talking about Consistency

Yesterday I mentioned prioritizing your creativity and how being consistent can help that. The day before, I mentioned how being consistent can be beneficial to increasing your creativity.

For some reason, I can’t let this go. In large part, it’s because I have had such issues with procrastination and inconsistency in the past. I wanted to reassure you, too, that I’m not the only one talking about consistency.

Earlier this year, Roberto Blake talked about the importance of consistency. This video is about being consistent on YouTube, but it’s good advice for other areas, too. It’s a recurring theme in many of his videos. I think his channel is an important one for creatives to subscribe to and watch frequently.

Another one talking about consistency is Tara Swiger. She did a podcast episode about eight months ago talking about consistency. She’s another one that I think is important to follow, particularly if you want to make your creative pursuits a business.

In all honesty, I could keep going. But both of these videos are good places to start and will take about 30 minutes to watch them both.

What are some of your favorite resources to encourage/promote consistency? Share them in the comments.

How to Prioritize Your Creativity

Creative Commons via catchingcourage.com

In my last post, I talked about the importance of being consistent and developing routines to help you be consistent. Something that goes along with that, I believe, is making your creativity a priority. How do you do that?

In the guest post I did for Tierra Wilson’s blog (Why Every Entrepreneur Needs to Start a Writing Practice), I suggested for people to make an appointment with themselves to do a writing practice. The thing of it is, this also helps you prioritize your creativity.

Do you have a blog post that you have to get written and posted today? Put it on your calendar. Seriously. Mark yourself as unavailable for anything else during that time, unless it’s an emergency. This is an important appointment with yourself that you have to get done.

So you don’t have a post that you need to get out there, but you haven’t created anything in quite some time. The same thing applies. Put it on your calendar/in your planner. Make an appointment with yourself. KEEP IT!

After a week or two of this, prioritizing your creativity will start to become a habit. Not only that, you will start to develop a habit of consistency that people — and you — will come to expect. That helps in many ways.

I would recommend a paper calendar/planner (and not just because I have one now) because you generally don’t have something concrete to hold and see if you use a digital calendar. Yes, you can see it on your phone or your computer. For me, though, there’s something about holding that calendar, holding a pen, and marking it off as done.

Sometimes it’s the little things that help make prioritizing something important.

Happy creating!

Are You Consistent?

Photo of reporter’s notebook by grafixtek on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

Whenever we are getting ready for the day, whether the night before or the morning of, we have routines. We know what we’re going to do and in what order. This is part of how we get ourselves motivated and going for the day.

Routines matter.

If routines matter so much in the day-to-day operations of our lives, would they not also matter when it comes to your creative time? For that matter, let’s talk about your creative time for a minute.

Are you consistent? Do you have a specific time set aside that you work on creative projects or do you do it as the mood strikes or whenever the muse speaks to you?

I used to do it when the mood struck. Or when “the muse” spoke to me. I created only sporadically.

I don’t do that anymore. I create on a much more consistent basis. Why? What changed?

My routine.

I started planning my creative time. I started developing a routine for getting started.

I am currently a full-time freelancer. I write books, articles, blog posts, and short stories. I make jewelry, knit, and crochet. These are all things I do to earn money, yes. But they are also all things I do to be creative. If I wanted to be consistent, if I needed to be consistent, I needed to have a routine for getting things done.

Even as a creative, I want to be taken seriously. I want people to think that I am a professional in what I choose to do. Because of that, consistency matters. And routines matter.

Routines helped me become more consistent. Routines help me stay consistent.

Look at what you do and why. Is it working for you? Do you create — in whatever form that may be — on a regular basis? Change your routine. Or, if need be, develop a routine. See how that works for you. I’m willing to bet you’ll be surprised.

I know what you’re thinking. You can’t schedule or plan creativity. Except that you can. By having a schedule/plan/routine, you trigger your mind into knowing this is your creative time. You sit down to work and “the muse” shows up.

What do you think? Let me know what tips you have to stay consistent in the comments below.

Let Me Back Up a Minute (Ultimate Blog Challenge)

I already had blogs written and scheduled to upload for Sunday and Monday before I read through everything about the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I mentioned at the bottom of Sunday’s post that I would be posting daily in October, but since it was at the bottom of the book launch post, I can understand how it might not have been seen. I’m here to fix that.

What is it?

The Ultimate Blog Challenge is intended to get you posting on your blog on a daily basis. It increases your community and raises your blog in the ranks of search pages. (A blog that is regularly updated ranks higher in search engines than a static website on the same topic.)

So, yes, I will be posting daily in October. After that, I will determine whether I will continue a daily schedule or go back to my previous three-times-a-week schedule.

Who am I?

I’m Jen. I have 8 books published, one out of print, and multiple projects in the pipeline in various stages of development. My main focus on this blog is the creative journey/path. I’ve even started a podcast about it. I talk about my struggles and triumphs and I try to give input/ideas about things that might affect you and your path too.

What are my credentials?

Well…. If you want official credentials, I don’t have any. I don’t have a degree in counseling or coaching or anything like that. What I do have is about 15 years of studying creativity in various ways (videos, books, conferences/lectures, etc.) I’ve written two books about creativity — Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Spark in Everyone (this is the book that is currently out of print, but I hope to have it available again by the end of the year) and 80 Creativity Tips. In case you missed it, I recently published the 2018 Project Planner for Creatives. I am now working on a new project designed to help people get in touch with their creativity. Look for Journal Your Way to Creativity by Christmas.

At some point, I hope to receive training as a creativity coach by the Creativity Coaching Association. I don’t know when that will happen. It’s not a necessity for me, but it’s just something I would like to do.

Anyway…

That’s it for the rewind to let you know about the Ultimate Blog Challenge and a bit about me and how I got started.

Happy creating!

Fatigue and Creating

black and white photo of a porch light ona rock wallI have been talking a lot about making your creativity a priority and planning for it and so on. But…

Do you create when you’re tired? How?

That depends.

It depends on you and what you can handle.

And, to be honest, it will vary. There will be times when you can create while you’re exhausted and there will be times when you just can’t. There are times when I can create when I’m overly tired and times when I can’t.

Here’s the key: Listen to yourself.

You will know when you can keep going and when you need to rest. If you find yourself trying to write and you’re just watching the cursor blink, shut it down and get some sleep. If you keep making mistakes on basic knitting or crochet stitches/patterns, it’s time to put it down and take care of yourself.

Here’s the thing…

It might not even be physical fatigue that is interfering with your ability to create. It might be mental or emotional. It’s still an indicator that you MUST take care of yourself. Maybe even more than physical.

I can’t — and won’t try — to tell you how to take care of yourself. Everyone has somewhat different self-care methods. I like to get my nails done or just veg and watch TV or YouTube videos. If my issue is related to writing, I may knit or crochet or play with stamps or alcohol inks. I also like to have a cup of hot tea when the weather is chilly.

Your favorite ways might be different. Find out what they are. Remember them. Use them when you feel “off” or when you feel any kind of fatigue.

In the meantime, happy creating!

It’s Alive! (2018 Project Planner for Creatives)

Once upon a time (which was actually pretty recent in the grand scheme of things) in a galaxy not-so-far away (right here in the Milky Way, truth to tell), I started to work on a planner system. (And, yes, those were blatant references to Star Wars and Once Upon a Time, just like the Game of Thrones reference the other day. Oh, and I almost forgot about the Frankenstein reference in the title.) I didn’t really know what I was doing, just that I didn’t like any of the traditional planners I bought and never used.

I’ll spare you all of the back story and all of the different iterations this planner system took. Let’s just say that after a lot of work, the 2018 Project Planner for Creatives is here! And it’s live on Amazon.com and CreateSpace. I will have a digital version soon for those of you who want to print your own and fit it into your own system instead of using a bound book.

Click the image to be take to the Amazon page to buy it. (The link will open in a new tab/window, so be sure your pop-up blocker is disabled for this one.)

Front cover of a book, gray and black. "2018 Project Planner for Creatives" in white on the black band.

 

One quick housekeeping note: I am participating in a blog challenge for October, so there will be a post every day this month. After that, I’ll go back to the 3x/week schedule. Unless you all want daily content. Then I’ll see what I can do.

Happy creating!