How to Increase Your Creativity with a Routine

What is your image of a ‘creative person’? Is it someone who creates art, who lives outwith the ‘normal’ ? Who spends their days either in a paint spattered garret creating masterpieces, or feverishly writing on their typewriter? These people don’t have routines, they...

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How to ‘Win’ at Daily Challenges

Do you want to - write fiction for 30 days, or a blog post for 365, post to Instagram for 100, knit every day for a month, or run every day? Yes? Good. Because there is a daily challenge out there for you, and pretty much anything else you might want to do more of....

Forming a Habit with The 100 day Challenge

You Need a Habit After all, that is what everyone tells you to have - a regular creative habit. There are entire books written about the psychology of habits, how to develop them and how to stick to them. Believe me, I have read, and tried to follow several. Some say...

What Type of Creative Are You?

easel.ly What is a Creative Person? When I say to people that I've written a book about being more creative, I usually get the same reaction. They are initially curious and interested.Then they either say 'Oh i wish I had more time for my (fill in blank of creative...

My 100 Day Habit Building Challenge

How long does it take to build a habit? 21 days, 30 days? How about 100 days? Like many of you, I have struggled in the past with maintaining 'good' habits. The 'bad' ones are far too easy to develop because they are usually the lazy, (stay in bed longer), delicious...

A Workout for the Frazzled Mind

I've been reading Ruby Wax's latest book 'Frazzled'. It's a follow-up to her previous book New Sane World. That one was about her own depression battles and her studies of psychology. It was a mixture of humorous tales and science, making a difficult subject very...

Where Does Your Time Go?

TIME along with money seems to be the thing most people want more of. Yet we all have the same amount (unlike money), so it is really down to WHAT we do with it. Have you ever had a day where you seem to fit loads in as if time has stretched to fit your wants? Yet on...

What I Learned From Going to a Regular Art Class

My Art Class Experiment Draws to a Close I have written before about my art class, and the challenge I set myself to go along. As well as wanting to improve my drawing, it also showed how facing up to my fear of exposing my work is a good 'uncramping' exercise. Well,...

The Uncramping Continues…

Last week I wrote about the impact of David Bowie on my creativity, and also how his death affected me. I spent the rest of the week listening to his music and being cheered by both it and how many other people seemed to feel exactly as I did. Grief for someone you...

RIP David Bowie – A True Creative Genius

  The world lost a musical and cultural icon this week. One thing you need to know about me is that I have been a lifelong David Bowie fan. Ever since I heard my brother's Bowie albums when I was around 3. I didn't know who this funny looking, brightly coloured...

New Year, New Creative You?

    2016  - Best Yet? January is the time of year when it can seem that everyone is talking about resolutions and 'best year' ever plans. Getting fitter, giving up, starting new.....Does anyone ever stick to these January 'better me' lists? Hmmm, I thought...

Why Yoga Can Help Your Creativity

What has yoga got to do with creativity? Being an 'uncramped' creative involves more than just doing more of you creative thing. It is also to do with your wellbeing - your physical AND emotional health. Sometimes that factor gets a bit lost in the goal to create...

NaNoWriMo Challenges More than Just My Writing

A couple of years ago I 'won' NaNoWriMo. Which doesn't mean I came first - anyone who completes the 50000 word writing challenge is a winner. You get a certificate and badges to put on your website. And you know I love me a badge! I also awarded myself the 'winner' t...

Can you learn to draw as an adult?

So, confession time. I signed up for the Sketchbook Project back in March, and I've posted before about my struggles to get started. how this has kicked off a major gremlin flare up for me. I said I was going to make a start, push through and be a good example to all...

How to Deal with a Gremlin Again

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is on just now, as one of the several festivals that take over Edinburgh during August. The whole city centre is given over to events, displays and a seemingly never ending list of comedians, drama and a surprising amount of...

The Trouble with Gremlins

Do you know what your gremlin looks like? Not the ones from the film ,where the cute cuddly gremlin turns into a nasty one if it gets wet. I mean the one in your head, your own personal gremlin. The one that tells you that you’re not good enough or asks who you think...

Books to Boost Creativity

How many books on creativity do you have? How many do you have on your 'wish list'? How many have you actually read? Is the writing/arts section of the book shop or library where you naturally find yourself? Me too! I have so many books on creativity, I could probably...

Are You Procrastinating Again?

We seem to be living in a world where everything needs done NOW or preferably sooner than that. Busy-ness is the new black and we are all filling our days with more and more ‘stuff’ to do.  We also tend to overestimate how much time we have and underestimate how long...

The Challenge of Sketchbook Project

Following on from my posts on colouring in, where I mentioned that this habit has stimulated a desire to draw, I have joined a project called Sketchbook Project. This is a Brooklyn based crowd-sourced library, that is all about getting people to draw. The idea is very...

How to go from Mind Full to Mindfulness

Mindfulness seems to be everywhere these days. Following on from last week's post, there are even colouring books for Mindfulness. So what is it about Mindfulness? Why is it so popular? Most people spend the majority of their time brooding about the past or worrying...

Why Grown Ups Are Taking to Colouring In

This is an update to an old post, seems others have caught up with my 'colourful secret' So it seemed an appropriate time to revisit the topic. As I've said before - I LOVE colouring in.  I resisted the urge for years, it seemed so…..childish. Then, I did my massage...

Do You Really Need to Be So Busy?

We live in a non stop culture, where now is the new later and our attention spans are diminishing so fast that goldfish will soon be telling jokes about us. We complain about being ‘busy’ but often it is said with almost a weary pride. ‘Look at me, I’m so busy.’...

Wondering What to DO with Your Life?

Something that keeps coming up is people looking for their ‘passion’ or their special interest. How to find it? How do you know when you have? What if you have lots – are a multi-passionate person? Well, the thing I keep going back to is childhood interests. When you...

Make a Commitment (Because I Said I Would)

I am usually someone who gets out running, biking and generally keeps quite fit. I find it helps my creativity and motivation, as well as just making me feel better. Last year, for various reasons, all my activity ground to a halt and it is almost exactly a year since...

Is It Weird to go to the Cinema Alone?

A question I have been pondering lately is why we let other people’s opinions matter so much. This came to mind due to a cinema visit. This was no ordinary visit; this was me wanting to go to the cinema on my own for the first time in about 20 years. I used to go as a...

Damn Fine Words – A Damn Fine Course

I am a writer at heart, but like most 'cramped creatives' I have always felt that I needed to learn more, be told I was any good and so on. So, I eye up courses and I have done a few, recently I took part in James Chartrand of Men With Pens 'Damn Fine Words' course....

Giving You Permission

‘Don’t you think its time you…gave that up/grew up/acted your age?’ ‘You’re too old for that…’ ‘Girls don’t…’ ‘Isn’t that for kids?’ ’Oh you still do that…’ Recognise any of those? We live by so many rules, whether cultural, religious, political, gender based or...

Space to Create

A couple of years ago I signed up with a guitar teacher. The reasons I left it until I was into my 40s, despite playing the guitar (or rather attempting to) for almost 30 years is a whole other story. One thing my teacher loves to get me doing is improvising a solo...

A Zipwire out of the Office

We all have fears. While some of them are obvious - show me a spider and you'll see what that fear looks like; a screaming mad woman running at great speed in the opposite direction. Even my dog knows to keep out the way if she hears ‘SPIDER’. Others aren’t so clear -...

A Colourful Secret

Do you want to know a secret? I don't tell everyone this, in fact I used to try to deny it to myself. Here goes..... I LOVE colouring in. Yes I know I am a grown up lady, with her own business and who never gets asked for ID when I buy alcohol (I wish). I resisted the...