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?

GO!

Welcome to day 1 of 5 Days to Get Out of a Creative Rut!

Today, I ask that you make an Idea Pocket. In case you missed the description of what an Idea Pocket is, you can read it here.

Now, how do you make an Idea Pocket? It’s pretty easy.

For the simplest version, take a #10 standard business envelop and seal it. Cutting the short end, cut about 1/3 of it off. If you want to, cut a notch in it so you can open it easier.

On the outside, write a little nonsense poem or decorate it in some way that you like and will remind you that this is a tool you can use to tap into your creativity. It’s part of your creative toolbox.

This is a poem I’ve put on the outside of any that I make:

My Idea Pocket

I want to write.
I want to draw.

Try though I might,
I can’t think of anything at all!

I reach my hand in here
And find something very near.

I’ll put it back or put in something new
So I can use it another time too.

It serves to describe what an Idea Pocket is, in case you forget, and it tells you how you can use it.

You can find a picture of mine on my primary Instagram sometime later today. Remember to post pictures of your Idea Pocket on Facebook or Instagram using the tag #nocreativerut. And join the conversation in the Facebook group.

5 Days to Get Out of a Creative RUt

Oops!

I made two mistakes.

First, on Tuesday, I did a book spotlight for a book that’s already been promoted and free. I can’t do that one again until 90 days have passed.

Second, today, I almost forgot to do a blog post. With the way today has gone, I thought about not doing one at all, but here I am.

I wanted to take this time to remind you about the challenge that’s starting Monday.  5 Days to Get Out of a Creative Rut.

I’ll post information here Sunday night and invite you to the Facebook group. If you want to participate and cheer each other on, that would be the place to do it in addition to posting on Facebook and Instagram.

With that in mind, I want to show you the challenge image again. 5 Days to Get Out of a Creative RUt

5 Days to Get Out of a Creative Rut

I like participating in challenges. Do you? I decided to create a challenge to introduce us to each other before the 40 Days of Creativity course starts later this month.

So what is this challenge?

It’s 5 days to get out of a creative rut. I know we all get stuck in them once in a while. It’s time we got ourselves out of it.

There’s two things I want to share with you. The first is a video I did on Facebook live yesterday.

The second is a graphic that will be posted on Instagram Stories later today. I didn’t put the start date on it because I intend to reuse it when I run this challenge again. In this case, the challenge starts Monday, November 12. You can post on Instagram, Facebook, or even in the JNO Creativity Challenges Facebook Group.

5 Days to Get Out of a Creative RUt

Food for Thought: A Question for You

fruitYesterday, I was on Instagram and watching IG Stories. One person I follow said boredom is necessary for creatives. They/we need it to make room for the new ideas that fuel our creative work.

I am working on a post about that, but I want to know what you think. Do you agree? Please leave me a comment about why or why not.

There’s an App for That

In today’s world, it seems like there is an app for everything. Want to learn Spanish? Download Duolingo. Want to meditate? Download Insight Meditation. Want to connect to social media on the go? Download Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram…. You get the idea.

There are even apps for increasing your creativity. My friend and neighbor Richard recently told me about a new (to me) one.

Oblique Strategies.

Screenshot of Oblique Strategies app info page in the Play Store for Google.This is the one I downloaded and installed on my phone.  If you have an Android device, you can click and install it. The one for iPhone is different.

But… What are Oblique Strategies?

It is a system of cards developed by Brian Eno to develop and encourage the use of creativity as applied to various situations. The cards were originally published in 1974.

The strategy that is currently up on my phone is “Twist the spine.”

I would not be surprised to find we all have different reactions to that phrase. (My initial reaction, considering I’m finally almost well from my last episode of back pain) is Ouch. That may or may not be useful in creating something. Who knows? Now I’ll probably have to try it.

At any rate, tools, techniques, and strategies for increasing our creativity can be found pretty much everywhere.

And, yes, there’s an app for that.

My Project Notebook

Earlier, I posted some things about my project notebook on Instagram. (You can follow me there if you want.) I decided to paste them into one video and post it to YouTube. And now I share it with you here.