Do Animals Influence Your Creativity?

Here’s another one from that brainstormed list I mentioned yesterday.

Do animals influence your creativity?

On a purely story-telling level, I say yes. They always provide something for you to tell – or write – a story about. With the way our two dogs play and interact, there is always something to tell that they’ve done.

On an inspirational level, I say … sometimes. If Gabby (she’s a shih tzu) comes in when I’m in the middle of something, it’s usually because she wants attention. That’s not necessarily a useful thing. I am always aware of when she comes in. Sometimes she will beg for attention. Other times, she will settle down and lie in the floor by my chair.

On a psychological level, I say yes. Both of our dogs are always mood-lifters. Gabby knows when I don’t feel well and she stays very close by at those times. Zack (he’s a schnauzer) knows, too, but he’s more apt to keep his distance. When I’m in the living room, for example, and not working on anything, he’ll sit on my foot and lean against my leg so I know he’s there. If it’s a particularly bad time, he’ll force his nose under my hand so I have no choice but to pet him. My life is definitely better because of these two critters.

So to answer this question, I have two definite yeses and a sometimes. Ultimately, I think that means, for me, that animals do influence my creativity. They definitely influence my feelings of well-being, which is the real influence on creativity.

What about the animals in your life, past or present?

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Weather and Creativity

For me, I know my mood can be influenced by the weather. Sometimes I wonder if I let it, if my creativity could be too.

By “if I let it,” I mean that since I have decided to prioritize my creativity, I work on it every day. I intentionally do something creative – usually writing. When I signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge (a challenge to blog daily throughout October, if you’re not participating and wondering what I’m talking about), I sat down and brainstormed a list of posts for the entire month. Some of those have changed, but I’ve mostly gone by the list. That’s why today is about weather and creativity.

The thing of it is, I would be almost as productive if I did rely on a connection between weather and creativity because there is something inspiring in just about all weather. If it’s bright and sunny, I want to make/write something. If it’s rainy or cloudy, I want to make/write something. If it’s storming? Well… That depends on the storm. If it’s severe, I want to hide. If it’s just a regular thunderstorm, I want to make/create something.

If it’s snowy/icy, I want to hibernate. That’s my only real exception.

What do you think? Is there a connection between writing and your creativity? I don’t mean in general. This is on a personal level.

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!