Creative tips

These posts may help you to think about your creativity in a different way, or offer you tools to improve it.  Click on the title links to read the full post.

Box of dreams

SAMSUNG CSCEverything I love about the slip into winter has already happened: the harvest, the magic of autumn and Halloween, the lights and celebrations of yuletide, the optimism of the new calendar year.

This post explores using a ‘box of dreams’ to gather creative ideas.


Celebrating rejection

SAMSUNG CSCWhen your work is rejected, what is your default reaction?  Despair? Indignation? Anger? Doubt?  My immediate response is usually some variation of despondency.  Depending on the piece of work and the forum I submitted it to, this might range from mild disappointment, to full blown despair.

This post explores why we should celebrate rejection.


Cycles of creativity

IMG00124-20140124-0753Each day has its rhythms.  Each month, each season, each year – all have their own character and pattern.  We forget, in this modern world, when nature’s cycles are drowned out by noise and concrete, that there are hidden energies at work on our bodies and our minds.  But recognising how these daily and monthly cycles affect our creativity can help us to create more effectively.

This post explores using daily and monthly cycles to monitor and encourage your creativity.


The creative maelstrom

SAMSUNG CSCOften, without warning, my dog bolts around the house at great speed for seemingly no good reason.  It’s a different type of motion to the playful, leaping run when he’s outside on a walk.  This is a frenzied sprint, ears back with the force of his speed.  He’ll tear back and forth along the hallway, or invent his own circuit, over sofas, under coffee tables, onto chairs, as we watch, wincing, fearful that he’ll crash into something. It’s a frenzy, but it appears to be an exhilarating, joyful outburst that he relishes.  Then, it’s over.

This post explores those periods of intense creativity.


Blogging reflections

SAMSUNG CSCA year ago today, I finally found the courage to press the button and publish my first blog post.  When I talked about courage, in that first post, I meant the courage to proclaim myself as a writer and expose my writing to the world. 

This post is about the lessons I learned in my first year of blogging.


A creative journal

SAMSUNG CSCA diary is hope, measured in blank pages.  It is all the possibilities of the year, waiting to be recorded.  Whether the most exquisite notebook or the simplest planner, it is all the anniversaries yet to be celebrated, all the friends to be met, the meals to be eaten, the holidays to be taken.  It is all the things that might happen as well as the things that must.

This post is about diaries and the value of keeping a journal of creativity.


The doubt doldrums

SAMSUNG CSCThe doubt doldrums don’t appear on any map.  They are a state of mind rather than a place.  But as the geographical doldrums can stop a ship in mid-sail, so the doubt doldrums can cause creativity to come to a standstill.  Down in the doubt doldrums, my writing is never as good as I thought it was.  My paintings are a waste of paint.  There seems little point in creating at all.  This is a perilous state of despair and stagnation, in which it would be easy to give up.

This post explores those periods of self-doubt that all writers face.


Destination inspiration

SAMSUNG CSC‘I’ve spent hours of my life on buses, but the time has rarely been wasted. A bus journey is often a source of inspiration and a space to meditate on whichever creative project I’m working on at the time.’

This post explores the power of bus journeys as a prompt for inspiration.


Lying fallow

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‘I accept that creativity works in cycles and the times when my creativity is at its most fruitful are punctuated by periods when it appears to be absent.’

If you’ve ever been troubled by creative block, this post encourages you to re-frame how you think about it.


Finding the spark

SAMSUNG CSC‘Fire has long been associated with creativity and for good reason.  Creating the spark of an idea from nothing, or from basic raw materials.  Putting in the effort to kindle the spark into something that burns.  Then, controlling that flame until it forges something that is a source of sustenance or beauty.’

This post explores using the associations of fire as a source of inspiration for your work.


Between the worlds

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‘Often, I imagine all the writers and artists of the world, toiling away in our separate creative spaces, scattered, but connected by our need to create.’

This post explores using the magical concept of a space ‘between the worlds’ as a way of focussing on your creativity.


The gleam of the lantern

SAMSUNG CSC‘Sometimes you know that you need to withdraw from the world to replenish your energy and re-charge your inspiration.’

This post takes as its inspiration the image of the hermit and the need to seek repose from the world to re-spark your creativity.


The fertile dark

‘As the nights lengthen, we move into what I believe is the most fertile time of year for creativity.  Darkness, for me, is comforting, electric, expectant.  I love the dark hours of the night, when the world is tinged cold blue and silence prevails.  It’s the time when anything can happen.’

This post explores the potential of the darkest times of the year as a source of inspiration.


A creative year

SAMSUNG CSC‘At Halloween, the wheel of the year turned.  The energies of the old year waned, to clear the way for a new year with a fresh tide of energy.  There’s no need to wait until 1st January to make new year resolutions.  Instead, you might want to begin now, using the rhythms of the ancient year to plan and complete your creative projects.’

This post encourages you to use the energy cycles of the ancient year as a structure for your creative projects.

 

 

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