It’s ironic that when I started to put together an issue on creativity that I entered the worst creative slump of the year for me so far. There’s a definite cycle to my creativity sparks and slumps that roughly corresponds to the changing of the seasons, and while I always end up learning something about during the downtime, I have to say the timing on this one really sucked.
Thank goodness that when my writing spark was acting seriously un-spark-like, my reading ability wasn’t impaired at all. In my search for something — a word, a quote, or even a picture — to jumpstart my own creativity, I found a great bunch of blogs devoted to the topic. So here is the first Acorn Stash blog roundup featuring ten posts on creativity and its sparks and slumps.
1. The Breath of God Inspiration Method by Leo Babauta
Whenever I’m in need of a shot of peacefulness, Zen Habits is one of the first places I head. In this post, Leo shares a wonderful short three-step method on finding the inspiration to create in little, everyday moments. I’ve used this method myself (although I never realized it actually has a name) when I’m out hiking and taking pictures.
2. Creating In the Dark – Your Sacred Dance by Marelisa at the Abundance Blog is a wonderful post that talks about what to do when you’re creating outside the spotlight of fame. She profiles seven famous people who continued to create even though their art was totally unappreciated in their lifetime. I especially like the section at the end where she talks about finding the work that you were born to do.
3. In Smart Living Rule 11 – Travel, Explore and Try New Things Jeff Nickles writes about travel and how it can help to broaden our horizons and unleash our creativity.
“Getting out of our ruts gives us the opportunity to use our minds in new ways. We gain confidence by facing the small challenges that inevitably arise with travel.”
4. Turning to the more philosophical, Dustin Wax ponders the question Where Do Ideas Come From? on Lifehack.org. I’ll admit to having wondered more than once how some writers, artists and composers keep coming up with new ideas. I love his explanation that
“…we get ideas from within ourselves and from without, or more to the point, from the interaction of the two. It is in the active engagement of the artist with his or her world, through preparation, conscious attention, curiosity, effort, and a dash of serendipity, that ideas are born…”
There’s a lot more than I can do justice to here, especially on the differences between creative and non-creative people, that really deserves a thorough reading.
5. James at Organize IT makes some great points about creativity and practicality in Unleashing Creativity: Think Big AND Small. He also introduced me to a kindred spirit when he wrote:
“I never just type something up, whether it be a blog post or a chapter in my book. I prefer the freedom of writing and brainstorming on paper and that’s always where I start.”
That’s a sentiment I can identify with 100 percent. There’s just something about actually putting pen to paper that sparks my creativity much more readily than staring at a blank screen will ever do.
6. One of my favorite blogs is UrbanMonk.net and this guest post by Celestine Chua on How to Pursue Your Passion is a wonderful look at identifying and expressing your passion in life. She offers a five step plan that is very easy to put into action and will have you creating in no time. :)
7. This short post On Inspiration, Creativity and Ideas by Meredith Morgan really gave me an aha! moment when she commented that she was almost 50 before she started writing fiction. Considering that I’m closer to 50 than I’d really like to be, I had to include this one just because it made me wake up and really consider my options.
8. Anyone who knows me, or follows me on Twitter knows how much I love quotes. So when I came across the list of 75 Blog Quotes For Inspiration, Creativity & Success that Smart Boy (aka Christian Hollingsworth) posted, it was pretty much a given that I’d include it here.
9. In Looking Within for Inspiration Jon Hu asks “”But why is it that whenever we, as people who wish to be creative, wish to be inspired, we always look to things around us?”
It’s a great question, and a timely reminder that “We must remember that in addition to looking around at objects surrounding us, we must not forget to look back inwards, towards the very reasons why we do what we do.”
10. Over at Life Set To Words, Maegan Beishline talks about what happens when you get into a non-creative slump in Sharing Thoughts on Inspiration and Creativity. “…creativity has an ebb and flow all it’s own,” she writes. “It’s best not to push it or get angry with yourself. Take some days to rest & re-fuel, gather sights & scents, and prepare yourself for the massive creative wave that surely coming your way!”
Great advice, for sure. :)
That does it for the first edition of the Acorn Stash Blog Roundup. I’d love to hear your thoughts on creativity and being creative, so please feel free to leave a comment!