Groups of Like-Minded Creatives

I have a question for you.

Do you belong to a group? Groups online, like on Facebook, are OK, but I mean in person. Are you a member of a group that meets regularly? Once a month? Every two weeks?

It doesn’t matter if the group is small or large, I think it’s important for creatives to belong to a group of like-minded people who engage in a similar or related pursuit.

For example, I belong to a knit/crochet group, a writers’ group, and a stamping group. Two meet once a month and the other meets twice a month. They’re all important for me.

A lot of creative work is done in solitude. Sometimes you need someone to talk to about similar issues. Other times you need someone you can brainstorm with to get out of the rut you’ve found yourself in. And even other times, you just need — or want — a friend who understands what you’re going through as a creative at the end of the day.

Groups can provide education, resources, and camaraderie, among other things. What groups do you belong to?

Happy creating.

Get Busy Already!

Crayons scattered on white paperThe procrastination game has been strong today. I have indulged in it instead of fighting it and getting things done. On one hand, that’s not a problem unless it becomes a habit. On the other hand, it’s a consistent habit and I need to break it.

I did pretty good with things on the writing front this week. Here’s a round-up of my creative life this week.

  • Ultimate Blog Challenge: This is day 7. When I post this, I will have officially made it a full week.
  • RealmWalker: I have added a chapter and a half and 5,042 words this week.
  • #100DaysProject: I decided writing every day would be my project. That seems good since I’m wanting to finish RealmWalker this month and I have another novel (young adult along the lines of Nancy Drew) that needs to be finished, too. It started Tuesday so this is just day 5 and so far I’m 5 for 5.
  • Greeting cards: Yes, I make greeting cards. I got started when I went to a stamping group about six months ago. I love it! Initially, I didn’t want to get involved in anything else since I have so much going anyway, but I was given a LOT of stamps and ink pads, so I thought I’d look into it. The group gets together the first Thursday of the month at the scrapbooking store downtown. I love it.
  • Yarn stuff: At the beginning of the week, I was between projects. I like to have something going that I can do while I watch TV. I also like to have something at hand that I can do while I think about what’s next in what I’m writing. For TV-watching, it can be a complicated pattern. For thinking-while-writing, it has to be pretty mindless, otherwise, I’m thinking about the pattern and not the writing. Anyway, I started a new shawl yesterday. It was far too complicated. I’ll still finish it, but I think I’m going to have to crochet along with the videos provided. So I started another shawl this morning. This one is easy and works up pretty fast. It’s the perfect thinking-while-writing project.

That sums up my week. How was yours?

I’m going to post this and get to work on RealmWalker, even if it is late. (With that nap I took this afternoon/evening, I should be good for a while.)

See? I even used this blog post as a procrastination tool. Get busy already, Jen!

Happy creating.

What’s This All About?

Close-up of a small flower in black & white.
(c) 2017 Jen Nipps

I know it’s fairly easy to guess if you’ve been around here much. I also know that there are a lot of new people here. (I’m up to over 100 people following my blog! Thank you!)

I talk a lot about creativity here. My creativity. Your creativity. The creative process in general. I try to offer creativity tips and exercises every so often. I talk about my creativity theories and what I consider to be the keys to creativity.

That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

I am willing to answer questions, share videos, offer guest blog spots (although at this time, I cannot pay for such posts – I’m so sorry), share photos (with permission and credit given), and share podcasts and other things I find interesting and relevant.

I don’t want to leave you just with that, so here’s a little bit more. These are my Six Keys to Creativity, given without further comment or explanation.

  1. Everyone is creative.
  2. Creativity does not discriminate.
  3. People don’t know how to tap into their creativity.
  4. People use their creativity without knowing they are.
  5. The only person who says you can’t is you.
  6. Have more than one creative outlet.

I’ve posted about these before, which is one reason why I’m not posting an explanation of them right now.  I will most likely talk about them again, so stay tuned for that.

It’s been a busy day of errands, writing (over 22,000 words now on REALMWALKER that I shared chapter 1 from the other day), and a stamping/card-making group. I didn’t want to put this post off until tomorrow, so here it is, albeit late.

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!

Play!

I have started going to a local stamping group. We meet once a month at a scrapbook store. This month, the group coordinator showed us how to do a “polished stone” effect using alcohol inks.

I loved it!

I loved the flexibility of the inks and how they can look so vibrant and so muted, depending on what I added to it. I bought a couple inks and a bottle of blending solution.

When I got home, I looked up “alcohol inks” on YouTube. I found a couple things that piqued my interest. I went to Hobby Lobby on Saturday and got a starter set of inks that had a dobber, pieces of felt, 4 or 5 inks, a small bottle of solution, an instruction booklet, a small Distressed Inks ink pad, and some cards for inking.

I did a couple polished stones like the ones I did at the stamping group. Then I watched more YouTube videos. One was an artist dripping ink on a glossy canvas of some sort and blowing the ink through a straw. I had to try it. The picture with the post is what I came up with. I like it! A lot. Not just the image, but the inks.

I might be hooked!

This is a very new medium to me. Playing with it is getting me motivated and excited about other things I have in progress and need to finish as well.

When is the last time you gave yourself permission to just play with something new? For that matter, when is the last time you let yourself play, period? Have you considered that playing could be an integral part to reigniting your creativity? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Happy creating!