It’s the start of a brand new year and Ignite Your Creativity would like to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year filled with creative passion and possibility. This month we will feature articles, book recommendations, monthly writing prompts, free wallpapers, as well as tips, tricks and plenty of inspiration.
Make 2012 the year you “Ignite Your Creativity”
Every year we often set resolutions that can be unrealistic. Some goals such as “ write a novel”, “paint a masterpiece” or “record an album” in 2012 can be daunting. Although not impossible if you have not been creative in a while, you might need a bit of a warm up to get your creative muscles working. Want to start, but aren’t sure where? What if you set a goal as simple as adding more creativity to your daily routine? By adding a few creative aspects to your daily life, you are getting those “creativity” muscles in shape and like anything are not apt to be discouraged and quit. By doing daily routines slightly different, you can also change the way your brain works.
To begin, ask yourself a few questions:
What gives you joy? What creative acts make you come alive?
Do you like to write, paint, play guitar, cook, decorate, sew, etc.? How can you integrate two or more of these into your daily routine?
What holds you back? Do you fear you “aren’t good enough”? Do you lack the time?
Here are 12 Creativity Sparks for 2012!
1. Set your intentions. Share your dreams with friends, family, co-workers. Sharing with others puts it out there and offers a level of accountability. By sharing, you might also find someone who is up to the challenge and wants to be a creative “buddy”.
2. Look for spare time and time wasters. Wake up 30-60min earlier; find where you have “wait time” i.e. in the doctor’s office etc. Write out your daily schedule, but be realistic. How much time do you have waiting while picking up a child from soccer practice? How much time do you spend watching television per week? How long is your train ride to work? When done, look at your timetable to see where can you fit in fifteen minutes. Try to pencil in three or more, fifteen-minute creativity sessions per day.
3. Write daily. Keep a journal or start a blog. Carry a journal with you at all times to catch ideas or capture a moment on the page. Blogging can be a good way to keep you motivated and offers a level of accountability. If you promised your readers that you would do something…you cannot let them down. In the movie, “Julie and Julia”, a young professional named Julie as a hobby, decided she would work her way through the Julia Child cookbook and blog about her progress every day. Whatever creative journey you are planning, why not start a blog and share your progress?
4. Immerse yourself in creative culture. Are there authors, artists, musicians who inspire you? Study their work in detail, read biographies on them. Get to know them. What has driven them to do what they do? What inspires them? Are there people in your social circle that inspire you? Talk with them, ask them questions, and see if they would be willing to mentor you.
5. Share your work. If you are an internet junkie, look for online groups that cater to your creative pursuits. Join a group and share your work. Getting feedback from like-minded individuals can help you progress and offer a level of support to help keep you on track.
6. Take one photo a day of something that inspires you. Is there a certain colour combination that inspires you, an object, a person, a place? Often spending time out and about offers sights, sounds and atmosphere which can fire up your creative juices.
7. Meditate daily. By adding meditation to your daily routine, you can help reduce stress, calm the chaotic thoughts that often occur with everyday stress and remove roadblocks that can impede the creative process.
8. Increase your vocabulary. Check the dictionary or sign up for an online newsletter such as http://wordsmith.org/awad/ to help you learn one new word a day. Try to use the word five times that day.
9. Step out of your comfort zone. Do you follow a particular routine? Do you eat the same foods; listen to the same music day in day out? Why not make some changes and kick start your creativity. Change up your menus by introducing different foods into your diet and learn new ways to cook. Extend creativity to common daily routines. Try a different route to work. Listen to different music. Open yourself to new experiences to engage your creative senses
10. Practice Affirmations. Using affirmations to create one’s life has become more relevant to “everyday” people who are learning that by controlling their thoughts they can in fact determine their level of happiness and their own personal meaning in life. When creating affirmations you should try to, form them in the present tense, make sure they are always positive, write them down, post them where you can see them and read them out loud every day! Remember affirmations work, however you have to work as well!
11. Focus on your accomplishments. We all have things we wish we would have done earlier but have not. So you didn’t write your best-seller in college, start now! You cannot go back and change the past, all you can do is learn from it and move forward. Focus on what has worked for you in your creative pursuits in the past and learn from what did not.
12. Create an environment that inspires creativity. If your surroundings are overwhelming or distracting it can be quite a hindrance. Surround your workspace with objects that make you happy and relaxed. Make it your own, put up pictures, light candles, and surround yourself with objects or pieces that inspire you. If you can write with music on, create a playlist with music that inspires you. Set the pace and tempo for your mood and everything else will follow. Keep supplies and research materials close by and dive in!
By taking a few small steps to integrate creativity into your daily life you are on your way to reaching your creative dreams.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
~ Albert Einstein
Creativity Coaching at Ignite Your Creativity
Google “Creativity Coaching” and you will discover thousands of links to people who dedicate their lives to help everyday people reach their creative potential. Ignite Your Creativity is pleased to announce that we are now offering creativity coaching as one of our services. What are Creativity Coaches? Creativity Coaches are life coaches who focus on one’s creative evolution. Our mission is to help you focus on improving and redefining your future by encouraging you to focus on creative pursuits. Many artists, writers, musicians, and other creative people live with anxieties, doubts, fears, and worries that often hinder their creative minds. A Creativity Coach’s main goal is to assist and guide you to reach your dreams and to help you live the creative life you desire. Ultimately, we endeavor to help our client write, paint, compose, find meaning and happiness where the main goal is to create. We will encourage you to set attainable goals and offer a level of accountability through assignments geared to your specific goal. We will inspire you to think bigger and to work on developing your ideas and energies into meaningful creative projects. Together we will help you identify, understand and work through any creative blocks that stand in the way of your goals. Working with us will enable you to become the creative person, you have always wanted to be. The “Ignite Your Creativity” program consists of:
- 4 weeks of creativity coaching via email (consecutive weeks)
- 1 initial assessment email to get started
- 4 emails with tips, inspiration and activities geared towards your particular goals
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Eliot
Affirmation For Creativity
This Month’s Affirmation: “I nourish my creative abilities”
To use as wallpaper click on image to enlarge, for Windows right-click “Set as Desktop”
Book of the Month
How to Have a Beautiful Mind [Paperback]
Edward De Bono (Author)
From the inventor of lateral thinking — an exciting new way to develop your thinking skills, make yourself interesting, and so change your life.
People spend a fortune on their appearance — cosmetics, plastic surgery, diets — everyone is trying to be more attractive. But there’s an easier way to become a beautiful person. No matter how you look, if you have a mind that’s fascinating, creative, exciting — if you’re a good thinker — you can be beautiful. And it doesn’t necessarily come from being highly educated, or even from having a great personality; it’s about using your imagination and expanding your creativity.
In clear, practical language, de Bono shows how, by applying lateral and parallel thinking skills to conversation, we can improve our mind. By learning how to listen, make a point, and manoeuvre a discussion, we can become creative and more appealing — more beautiful.
Review via Amazon.ca
January’s Book Recommendations
Story Structure Architect: A Writer’s Guide to Building Dramatic Situations and Compelling Characters
List Price: CDN$ 23.99
Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius
by Michael Michalko (Author)
|Writer’s Workshop In A Box by Manuela Dunn (Author)
January’s Writing Prompts
Space to create?…
What place inspires you to create? Describe in detail this significant place. What emotions does this place evoke? Reveal why this place matters to you.
“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” ~Ansel Adams
A picture is worth a thousand words…
What image evokes a sense of peace for you, a dove, a sunset, a place, a certain person or symbol? Reflect and write!
“To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Inspirational Spark~Ignite Your Creativity
Photographs & Graphics by Belinda Witzenhausen ©2012
Music by Mike Witzenhausen ©2012