Musings

Use it or Lose it

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”-Steve Jobs 

As of a few days ago, I celebrated my 1-year anniversary of blogging. It occurred to me as I was making coffee one morning over the weekend. I had glanced at the calendar and a bell went off (in my head. Wouldn’t it have been funny if one went off in real life?)…I’ve been doing this for a whole year now! I was very tickled by this thought.

I’m up to 257 posts now and a total of 12,608 views and 104 followers. The follower part is growing slooowly…but surely. I’m a fan of the slow-and-steady-wins-the-race mentality, so this is fine with me.

Numbers aside, though, that’s not why I’ve been doing this. If I never pick up another follower, I’ll be ok with that (although I sort of hope it doesn’t happen). I tried blogging as a new creative outlet. It was a need I had to stretch my wings, flap them a bit and see if I could, actually, attempt to fly.  There was a part of me that thought I’d be the kid up on the garage roof with the cape flapping in the breeze…the “event” ending as a trip to the emergency room. But who would’ve thunk? I’m flying and getting a little altitude in the process.

This has been a great year. Because of putting on my cape,  taking the leap and trying something as simple and commonplace as blogging, which a zillion other people do, it has resulted in some very unique experiences for me. 370 days ago, I didn’t know some of the very interesting people who I know now and writing was a mere idea. And better yet, I’ve found an arena that I’m really and truly enjoying. It’s been a good year.

Admittedly, though, this blog is becoming more challenging. Not that that is a bad thing, it’s just a different animal from when it started. I’m constantly in fear (self-imposed, of course) that I’ll run out of things to say. Come up empty. Nothing in the tank. Oh my.

That, though, is the perennial fear of any creative person. That the spark just won’t be there one day. How, how, how to keep it smouldering?

As serendipity (love you!) would have it, as I mulled over these thoughts, a friend of mine posted a great list on Facebook. I think I want it poster-sized to hang in my house. The ideas on it are good ones for any creative soul…or anyone with a need for a little jump-start.

33 Ways to Stay Creative
1. Make Lists
2. Carry a notebook everywhere
3. Try free writing
4. Get away from the computer
5. Be otherworldly
6. Quit being yourself
7. Take breaks
8. Sing in the shower (or even just take one. I come up with a spooky amount of good ideas in there)
9. Drink Coffee/Tea
10. Know your roots
11. Listen to new music (good one)
12. Be open
13. Surround yourself with creative people
14. Get feedback
15. Collaborate
16. Don’t give up
17. Practice, practice, practice
18. Allow yourself to make mistakes
19. Go somewhere new (love this one)
20.Watch foreign films
21. Count your blessings
22. Get lots of rest
23. Take risks
24. Break the rules
25. Do more of what makes you happy
26. Don’t force it
27. Read a page of the dictionary (or, I would wager, any great book)
28. Create a framework
29. Stop trying to be someone else’s perfect
30. Got an idea? Write it down (I always keep a pen and paper on my nightstand for this reason)
31. Clean your workspace
32. Have fun
33. Finish something

Some of the suggestions initially struck me as a little 12-steppy or just too general. Count your blessings? Boooo! Whaaaa? Have fun? Have coffee? Too simple.

Sometimes, though, it’s the simple things that we overlook that will help us to get to that next, bigger step. Pick and choose from the list. I love the showering and the new music ideas. Those always work for me, weirdly enough (maybe I could split the atom if I did them together). And that’s part of the fostering-new-creativity thing….each of us is unique and creative in our own being, so different approaches will also work for each.

Net-net. Experiment. Keep trying to fly off that garage, every day, not letting up in our crazy pursuits.

Happy 1 year anniversary to Daily Frosting. With a cape on top.

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