How I Stay Creative

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Being Creative

I’d love to say that I’m always creative and have ideas going round in my head all the time, but like all energies, the creative energy that generates ideas ebbs and flows as unpredictably as a river after a heavy rain.  I have days, weeks, and rarely, months, where I seem to be forever creating and crafting and the ideas seem to keep on coming at me, but I also have times where my ideas and passion for creating seem to dry up and shrivel away to nothing.

In the past, staying creative was easy – university provided me with loose themed projects to work on, our own interpretation of the topic was hugely encouraged.  It made thinking about topics and things to do incredibly easy, in some ways it took that ability away from me.  I found it easy to come up with creative ideas when there was a topic presented to me.  We had group chats about our work and the direction we wanted to go in with our projects along with feedback from our peers and lecturers.  We focused on research, trial and error and then the final outcome.  Having other persons input into our ideas really helped.  But now I’m alone and away from group discussion, the onus is on me to continue with being creative.

After I finished university I had this itch to continue to make things but had no real idea of how to start and what to do with this energy inside me.  I had very little skill in knowing how to use this energy and formulate it into solid ideas.  I dealt with it in the worst way possible.  I sat and did nothing, letting this feeling fester and then wither.  While I did continue to take photos and create other bits and pieces here and there, it was nothing like having a project and something to really focus on.

And then the fear started to creep in.  Fear that what I was doing wasn’t good enough, fear that what I was producing didn’t have a point, fear that my ideas were limiting my work and without discussing my ideas and getting feedback and opinions that my work wasn’t somehow validated.  So I stopped.  I stopped creating, I stopped thinking, and I felt like I had lost a part of me.

What really got me back into creating and being creative was social media, I found some Instagram accounts that I liked, I joined Facebook groups where my interests were embraced and where people shared their work with others.  And I slowly started to re-gain confidence in myself and my ideas.

Now, to stay creative I read articles that are related to my interests, I read blogs about crafting and art, I follow lots of Instagram accounts that are working in a similar way to me, and I research skills I’d like to learn.  There are so many craft ideas pages, tutorials and step-by-step instructions on the web that have helped me to.  Lots of the big hobby stores have pages of ideas to read about too, which help.

I keep a notebook of ideas, my phone holds lots of web links, I have saved articles on my pc and I am subscribed to websites that email projects I may be interested in that I can refer to when I hit a wall which helps me to overcome an “artists block”.  I have realised that I don’t always need the guidance of others to help me create and I follow my own set of rules.  I no longer care whether what I create has a point, means something or whether others will like or understand it.  I create for me.  That’s how I stay creative.

 

My Christmas Wish List

This Christmas my list mostly consists of craft things and bits for the house with a couple of clothing and jewellery items thrown in!

I’ve recently gotten into candle making so I have a few things that I would like for that, they include…

For the house

Clothes and Accessories

Jewellery

Tools

What’s on your Wish List?

Why I Started This Blog

In the past I ran a few different blogs, I had one for my art and uni projects, one for my planners and diaries and one for beauty products but keeping them all going at the same time, remembering to write posts, schedule them, take photos, link back to products I used or other relevant sources, update social media platforms became a bit overwhelming.  I struggled to think of content to write, write posts and get them published.  It began to feel like I was writing each day and chasing my tail, not really getting anywhere.  Eventually, I just gave up as it was all becoming a bit too much to keep up with.

Recently I had been thinking about things that I used to do for fun and realised I really enjoyed writing and sharing ideas and thoughts, and that I really, really missed blogging.  In the beginning, when I started blogging I found the whole process of writing, taking photo and updating my blog to be fun and a way to relax, it was almost therapeutic up to a point.  And I wanted that feeling back, I wanted the space to share art things, decorating tips and ideas, food, beauty, whatever I wanted to, or could think of writing about.  I wanted to get back to blogging, maybe not with the intensity I had before but I still felt like it was something I really wanted to do.

I think the reason I failed blogging before was that I had several blogs all specialising in niche subjects and because of the nature of the blogs and their blog names I felt like I couldn’t add other subjects into the blog, that I had to stick with the given theme I had chosen.  It took me a while to really think about what I wanted to write about and share on a blog and whether I wanted to really start a new blog.  I wrote down subjects I wanted to write about and really thought hard about the type of blog these subjects would fit into, one that would give me the freedom to add any subject matter I wanted without having my readers wondering why I had added something that was “off theme”.  I decided a lifestyle blog was the best style to go with, it would give me the freedom to write posts about art and decorating, alongside posts about what I was reading or thinking about.

So I started this blog as a space for me to share my life, experiences, ideas, thoughts and life with you.  I started this blog as I enjoy writing and taking photos and because I find writing is a kind of therapy, it is something to help me mentally and somewhere I can log my life and look back on things I have done and ideas I have had.  I started this blog to give people ideas and inspiration.  That is why I created this blog.

If you are interested in the Story Behind My Blog Name you can find that post here.

If you blog, why did you start yours?  What is your blog about?  Do you write about a niche subject or something in broader terms?

Why I Need a Blog Planner

You may have noticed from my post “Preparing for 2019” that I have 2 planners set aside for my blog, in this post I will explaining more about them and why I need them in my life.

First up is my Gemma Correll Ohh Deer project book planner.

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As the pages are undated and marked out with sections for “Day/Month”, “Notes”, “To Do/Done” and a “Doodles” section this planner lends itself beautifully to being my content and ideas book.  I use the “Day/Month” section to write in a title for my post along with a rough date for the post which helps me to keep track of ideas for posts.  Sometimes this may be the only thing I fill in if I’m in a bit of a hurry or think of something to write about when I’m in the middle of doing something else. I use the “Notes” section to write a bit about what I want to post including ideas and any other information that I want to include.  The “To Do/Done” section I fill in after I have written out my ideas for the post, it will include things that I need to do in order to get the post actually written and will include a list of things like “take photos of x, y, z…. Upload photos, links for materials, write post, publish…” I can tick off tasks as they are done and helps me to stay on track with the post and not get to overwhelmed with what needs doing or missing off things and overlooking them.  This planner for me is the most important tool for my blog as it’s where the ideas are generated and kept, and while I may not use the ideas for a while I will always have ideas ready for posts in the future.

The second planner I have for my blog is the Bright Side 2019 diary.

With its handy monthly overview page and its week on a page format it will be easy for me to schedule posts and check off when they are published.  I can carry this around in my bag at all times so if I think of a post that I’d like to write I can pencil it in and write a short synopsis of the idea in the week to view section.  I can refer to it if I want to write a post and I’m away from home, my blog content and ideas planner and my computer.  I have the WordPress app on my phone and am able to post blogs wherever and whenever I choose so this diary will be super helpful to me in 2019!  I can’t wait to start using it!

The other blog planner I have is a basic excel spreadsheet on my laptop which I have set up with a calendar that runs from sept 18 all the way through to the end of december 19 and I am currently using that to track which posts should go where and to space out posts that have a similar content so that my blog doesn’t get overloaded with too many posts on a similar topic.  I transfer all the blog idea titles from my content and ideas planner to the spreadsheet and break them down into different themes by highlighting the titles with different colours for different things, like all food orientated posts I colour green.  I then look at the list and decide on the placement of them in the calendar spreadsheet.  Once I have these posts in an order I’m happy with I will then transfer them over to the Bright Side diary so I have quick and easy access to all the scheduled content ideas.

In all, I need my blog planners to help me with generating ideas for posts, coming up with content, keeping on top of the to do list and not forgetting anything, and to help me see where I am with my schedule.  Maybe running 3 different planners for one blog seems too much but they all perform different tasks and help me in managing my blog and content.

How do you manage your blog schedule and content?  Do you use planners?