What I’ve Learnt About Being Creative

The period in-between Christmas and New Year is always an incredibly reflective one for me. I’ve found myself contemplating what I’ve achieved, learnt and loved; but also where I’d like to go. A few years ago I found myself blocked, frozen stock-still and started a journey just to get moving again.

Here are three things that I’ve learnt this year:

1)  Set Goals: It’s an oldie but a goodie. You hear it everywhere, all the time (especially working in education) – but I’ve never before practiced what I’ve preached. This year, for the first time, I gave myself a new year’s resolution; I would get my jewelry online, nothing more, nothing less – just get it up. I’m the kind of person, like many creative people, who flit. I’m a crafty, creative magpie. I want to try to do everything and as a result master none of them.
Setting a goal this year kept me focused. Many times I’ve wanted to stray and start a glitteringly attractive new project, but remembering the goal I’d set and more importantly why I’d set it in the first place, forced me to stick with it. I’ve not had over amounts of success with my etsy shop but I have sold some things and in my eyes the success is that I did what I set out to do – I put my jewelry out there.

2)  Start Before You Think You’re Ready: If you’re a bit of a perfectionist like me this one is really important. I don’t want to do anything or put anything out there before I think it is flawless. I’m scared of criticism and I’m scared of failing at stuff. This one has taught me to just go for it and learn as you go. It’s alright if things aren’t quite ready yet – I’d never be ready. I’ve learnt more about photographing jewelry and writing a blog by doing it than I have thinking about it or planning it.

3)  Read and Follow A Lot Of Blogs: This is the reason I’ve started my Online Love series. I find seeing other people doing what I aspire to do spurs me on. It gives me inspiration, ideas, focus and drive. I also find the blogging community to be as supportive as everyone says they are. People are willing to encourage, comment and share.

I’ll get working on next year’s goals to help me move another creative step forward…. suggestions welcome.

Online Love: Katie

I’ve fallen in love… ok, love may be a bit too strong, but admiringly head-over heels? I was merrily flicking through this month’s copy of Mollie Makes, when I came across Skunkboy:

I am now newly addicted to her blog and desperately want to own one of her cute cute cute handmade animals.

… perhaps this is something for my christmas list.

 Kate, aka Skunkboy, writes about general life and blogs everyday, it is something that I’ve found myself addicted to. It’s pure escapism and really inspiring…

Kate has also introduced me to the world of A Beautiful Mess where I have found projects, how-tos, beauty and more; but perhaps that’s a whole different blog.

An Update I Guess…

So I’ve been back at work for a few weeks now. Last time I wrote I was worried that the return to the 9-5 would bleed me dry; I thought that it was about time I updated my blog about how I was getting on.

Firstly, I think all things considered it’s going fairly well. I’ve set up a facebook page for my new etsy shop, which I got 4 sales from *whoop*; I’ve made some new jewelry:

 

I’ve taught a lindy hop class, and I’ve started my Level 3 Diploma in Counselling. A pretty impressive list I think.

I’m finding work a bit of a drain and when I get home I don’t really feel like doing much; but so far I’m managing to push myself. I think getting 4 sales quickly was a huge motivator to keep producing, but that has tailed off now and I need to find new ways of getting sales.

Exercise seems to be helping me as well… and boy do I hate exercise – so this is no small comment believe me! I’m finding that it clears my head of the day, eliminates the white noise and allows me to be at home and feel more creative. Who’d have thought it!?

I do wish I had more time, but I’ve decided to stop beating up on myself and be positive about the things I am doing.

Back to Work Vs Being Creative

So my summer is over and it’s back to work and reality tomorrow. I have that great feeling that you get when you’ve had a really long break: I feel like I could do anything. I can keep fit and write everyday and dance and make my etsy shop work and craft until I can craft no more… in reality I’m aware that this feeling wears off and the routine of a 9-5 can tire me out and make me lazy.

I’ve been speaking to my very creative friend, who has emigrated to Australia, today. She makes me feel so inspired. She has this amazing energy and is so proactive herself that it’s infectious.

I need to find ways to keep that feeling up. I’ve been learning that completing things keeps me motivated, as well as surrounding myself with proactive, creative people that I admire. Whether this is in life, on skype, or reading people’s blogs. Being creative is the most amazing thing in the world and has a huge power… it’s just not always that easy when life gets in the way.

Right now!?! I think I need to get back to my flat and make sure that it is all clean and sorted. I need it to be a nice space that I can come back to when the working day is over and get on with all of the creative things I love. Joy!

Hullzapoppin’

 Last week was totally characterised by the amazingness of Hullzapoppin’. Hullzapoppin’ is a Lindy Hop, weekend dance camp put on by Kingston Swing where I danced my self into delirium: Two full days of lessons and three evenings full to the brim of social dancing; amazing international teachers, a brand new solo jazz stream, tea parties, live bands and lots of glamming up!

As I walked down the street on Monday, after the weekend was all but over, I couldn’t help but have a spring in my step (or more like a rock-step, tripple-step). Not only was the dancing an amazing place to lose myself, but I was so proud of the Lindy community. I find them the most accepting, welcoming people I know.

I couldn’t help but notice over the weekend that no-one asks what you do as a day job. No one is bothered by where you live or who with, or where you’ve been and the qualifications you have. The only thing on everyone’s mind is, ‘can you dance, do you want to?’ It is about being part of something and talking takes a back seat. I connect with people without having to say a word. I danced with some amazing partners and didn’t even know their names.

In terms of the rest of my ‘Creative Everyday’… it has been a writing week. I had a lovely conversation with my very best friend Sally in Greece, and she inspired me to just stick at it and write anything, as long as I was writing. So I did. It made me happy.

I’ve also ordered the few bits I need to finish my necklaces, which is a step closer to setting up my etsy shop *eek*

All in all… a dam good week.

One of Those Days

It’s one of those days where I feel like I want to write, to have something to say. I want to make something breath taking, then I just want to make something, then I think of all the people and all the stories that have flown into my lifetime, unwanted or otherwise… and then I realise that nothing is coming out.

I sit and I question and I keep trying, but nothing is being written. It’s been since November since I wrote anything. Why haven’t I written anything? I’ve read articles upon blogs. But nothing.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to stop reading books about how to be creative, how to be a writer and I should really just start doing.

It’s one of those days. I’m stuck on the sofa staring at my laptop, thinking of all the things I should, could be writing, if only I had something to say.