Inspire Yourself

We are all on a different road.

We are all on a different road.

Sometimes it pays off to do something you fear or attend an event that you think might not really apply to yourself. I did this on September 12 when I attended a writing event presented by Liliana Hart, New York Times & USA Today Best Selling Author in Indianapolis, IN.

Creativity is a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, feed it good food, and treat it with respect and kindness, it will develop a beer belly, suffer from panic attacks while walking to the mailbox, and throw it’s back out from a nightly teeth brushing incident. I don’t want that to happen to my creativity and I don’t want it to happen to yours either.

At the speaker event, Liliana spoke about trends in the publishing industry and what worked for her and generally provided an overwhelming amount of advice to the authors in attendance. At first, I was pretty daunted by all the facts and how my path could never match what she and others have been doing.

You might not think a talk about business and industry trends would inspire creativity, but for me it did.

After reading through my notes and talking to some friends at the event, I stewed for a day. That’s when the creative energy hit me. I stopped for a moment as something Liliana said broke through the panic. Take advice with a grain of salt and stop what if-ing.

Think about that. No matter your creative outlet or career aspirations what is ultimately important?

The journey.

For me this was beyond motivational and inspired me to figure out what I really wanted, what I thought I was capable of doing without adding more stress to my already stressed out life. Ironically, this put some perspective on my already stressed out life and it didn’t seem so out of control any more, certainly not perfect but more manageable.

It doesn’t matter what other people are doing or what they plan on doing. What’s my plan? What’s yours? Write it down and stop worrying about what the market will do, what the neighbors will think, and just work on your goal.

The work won’t be easy. Easy isn’t the point. Feeling accomplished and excited about something despite being afraid is what will make things happen. Goals drive us forward and the amazing organ called the brain loves this stuff! It’s like, “Okay. Let’s go! Let’s do this shiznits!”

Find someone in your creative field and attend an even or just talk to someone else you know that might have been where you want to be. Ask for advice. Remember, each journey is different. No two are alike, like snowflakes. If something doesn’t work, make another plan and keeping going. There’s no end to the creative journey. That’s why I find it so fabulous.

Photo from depositphotos.com

Are You Too Comfortable?

Would you do this?

Would you do this?

We like being comfortable. I know I do. A lot. 

What would you never do? Sing in public, dance at a concert, give a speech or climb to the tallest mountain you could? Yikes! I'd never do any of those things either.

The comfort zone is self-explanatory. It's my favorite blanket, a home cooked meal, or my cozy set of pajamas. 

It's also how I get stuck in a rut. I want to get out of that pit. 

So I...

  • Sing in my car and laugh when I get weird looks.
  • Have fun dancing at the park with my child. I don't care who sees me. 
  • Give an impromptu summary at a writers' club I belong to.
  • Find the tallest structure I can and climb to the top. 

The ideas above give me a swirly sensation in my stomach after eating a bad sandwich, but doing them gives me a boost in confidence. I opened myself to a new experience which in turn will get my creative gears moving. 

If your rut feels like a comfy hoodie you've had since high school it might be time to take it off and try something new. Just for a little while. I can always find my comfort zone, but if I stay there I'll only get the same old thing everyday. Sometimes I need an adventure. 

Tell me about your out-of-the-comfort-zone experience and how it boosted your confidence. 

Photo from depositphotos.com

Be Okay With The Still

I'm having a productive day. I wake up and from the moment I get out of bed there are a hundred things to do and I'm on top of them. The 'things' get done. Check marks get made. I go places. I visit people. I'm moving moving moving. 

My brain feels like the most efficient machine I have ever had the pleasure of running. More 'things' pop into my head we can do today. It's already been good - let's keep going. My feet hurt. My arms ache, I'm developing a tick in my left eye. My husband thinks I'm winking at him.

It's getting late. The only thoughts I have in my head now are of sleep and my wonderful bed. 

It would be easy to let this happen every day. The problem is none of it involved creativity. I was on automatic pilot. The moments where I thought my brain was being efficient was because there wasn't much thinking involved. Only doing. 

Don't get me wrong, doing is good. I need to do in order to reach my creative goals. The problem in the pursuit of doing is I forget I also need to NOT do. 

I need to enjoy the still.

In the moments of quiet reflection is where my brain becomes efficient in forming new pathways and connections. 

This is when... Eureka! 

Ideas burst into my head. Characters start to talk. I get silly and fun stuff happens.

When I'm okay with the stillness surrounding me and beat down the urge to jump up and DO something, anything (like check my phone for 'important' social media notifications) I find a world I forgot was there.

It is easy for you to remove the still in favor of doing?

Photo provided by depositphotos.com