New Endeavor

I’m trying something a little new.

I have signed up on Medium.com. I spent a day looking around after I signed up. As of right now, I have two stories on there.

The first is “Your Creativity Toolbox: The Idea Pocket” and “25 Ways to Find Time to Create.”

I am not abandoning the blog. Goodness, no! Especially not after I’m just restarting it.  I am doing this in conjunction with the blog.

I’ve received several recommendations for Medium. When the universe talks, I listen. I’ve been hit with clue sticks in the past and ignored them. Then I got hit by the whole clue tree. Yes, I’ve learned from that. So I’m on Medium. Feel free to check me out over there.

Frequency and Looking Forward

Image used courtesy of The Public Speaking Project under a Creative Commons license.
Image used courtesy of The Public Speaking Project under a Creative Commons license.

Now that the ProBlogger Get Your Groove Back Challenge is done, I’m left thinking about frequency, topic coverage, and what’s next.

First, frequency. I know I cannot keep up a pace of posting on a daily basis. I would get bored with it and I would quit. It has happened before. I don’t want to do that again. Plus, I figure if I’m bored, you’re bored. That’s not a good combination any time. My current plan is to post a few times a week.

Right now, it’s Sunday evening. I’m going to go ahead and post this tonight, but in the future, posts will go live on Monday. I will also schedule things for Wednesday and Friday. We’ll see how that frequency works for a while. If it needs changing, I can certainly do that.

Next, topics. I still stand by what I’ve said before that this blog is about my path along the creative journey. It is. It will be. However, it will be a little more focused. It will include my main topic areas of writing, creativity in general, and planning/bullet journals. As I know you are aware, this will allow for a wide range of subtopics.

I’m planning on another fountain pen first impression soon. I’ll actually have the fountain pen in-hand tomorrow. It’s a Pilot Metropolitan Retro in orange. I got some Private Reserve Orange Crush ink to go with it. Stay tuned for that.

Now, what’s next? That’s a good question.

I’m working on a couple books. One is further along than the other. It will be an eBook, probably costing less than $2. I think this book has the potential to be very helpful and I want it to be affordable. The most helpful book in the world isn’t worth anything if you can’t afford it.

I am also planning some videos for my long-dormant YouTube channel. Anything that’s on there is …. old. That will change.

I’m making more use of my Instagram accounts as far as writing, the writing life, creativity, and planning go. Some of those posts may be lengthened and transported over here. (Yes, accounts. There’s my main one and my bullet journal/planning one.)

There’s more still percolating, but I think that just about covers it for now. Except for one thing.

What do you want to see here?

Let e know and I’ll do my best to cover it.

Creativity RoundUp

DSCN3878Some of you might know I’ve been participating in a blogging challenge hosted by ProBlogger. It has had me creating more content than usual, which is a good thing. I did get a bit behind, but I’ve still done a lot more in the past two weeks than I have in a long time here.

Other participants in the challenge posted on a wide variety of topics. The ones I tend to gravitate toward are about writing, photography, and creativity in general. No surprise there, right?

Here is a link-up of some of the creativity posts. I hope you like them.

5 Books That Will Spark Your Creativity – Two of my favorite books are on this list: Wired to Create and Big Magic. You’ll have to visit the post to see what else is there. I’m not going to ruin the surprise for you.

Why Am I Not More Creative? – I’ll just say some of the ideas and theories presented here are closely aligned with some of mine, including the idea that we are all creative.

How to Find Your Creative Side – Good tips, all. I particularly like the advice about experimenting. It can be fun and it works.

Why Being Bad Can Be Good for You – Have you ever thought that you don’t have to be good at everything? Being a beginner is good.

Book Review: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – We’ve already established above that this is one of my favorite books. She does a good review of it here.

Out of all of the posts about writing, creativity, photography, etc., it was difficult to narrow it down to just a few. I couldn’t exactly share of them with you. This post would be as long as a book. I think you’ll find something here you can relate to, though.

Oops, I did it again

*insert Homer-esque D’oh! here*

Remember when I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I had been having problems with my leg but it was almost healed? Well…. It healed. It looked good. Everything was closed.

And then it reopened. There are a variety of reasons for this. I won’t bore you with them. Let’s just say that I went to Wound Care on Monday. My final appointment was supposed to be on Wednesday. You guessed it. No “final appointment” for me. At least not yet.

However, things will be different this time. While I do have to have my foot up, I don’t have to go into hibernation again. And I won’t. I have some posts planned coming up, so I will do those. You won’t have to wonder where I’ve gone, because I’ll still be here. Living the creative life.

Onward!

Making My Way Back

fruitI have been trying to figure out how to restart this blog and to explain my absence from it. Then I realized I don’t really have to explain, but I want to. Some of you came here to regular (or semi-regular) posts, then I was gone all of a sudden. Some of you may have stumbled upon a dormant blog.

My last post was in January. It was an attempt to restart then, too.

For a long time, I tried to blog because it was expected. it’s what a writer needs to do to build a platform, to gain an audience. It felt forced to me, so it fell flat. Unfortunately, it probably sounded forced to you, too.

I apologize for all of that.

Now I am returning to the blog. While I hope you are here to read it, comment on it, and ask questions of me about whatever I post, I am doing it for me.

You see, for the past year, I have been dealing with some health issues that had me keeping my foot propped up for 8 of the last 10 months. In that time, I haven’t done much writing. I’ve done a lot of reading. I’ve done a lot of crocheting. I even learned to knit, which is something I have wanted to do for years.

I started a separate blog for the health stuff. It stalled too, although for different reasons. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be that personal. I wasn’t sure that I wanted people to know that I am diabetic and I struggle with that sometimes.

I realize, though, that is part of me. And the tagline for this blog is “Wandering on the creative journey.” That is part of the wandering. That is part of finding my way. That is part of finding me and making my way back to who I am, who I was, and — more importantly — to who I want to be.

I am trying to take a more healthful approach to life. I’m walking more. I’ve joined Weight Watchers. My blood sugar is consistently under better control. It’s still not perfect, but I’m working on it with my doctor. I got a FitBit for my birthday to help me stay motivated.

I will write about creativity and things I am doing. I will write about how things are going in my personal life and wtih my health. Since I am doing this for me, it will not be with any real regularity. There will be some weeks with daily posts. There will be some weeks with no posts. Most weeks will be somewhere in-between. And that’s OK.

I give myself permission to take things slowly and do what needs to be done.

The picture with this post? That was my breakfast this morning. A fruit salad of a green apple, some strawberries, and a couple Clementines. I also had a piece of toast. I should have included something with protein, maybe some peanut butter on the toast. I’ll do that next time. I enjoyed it, though. And isn’t that important too?

I think so.

Until next time.

Treat #1

A few years ago, I did a presentation on creativity tips to the Torchlighters Toastmasters group in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I had the entire presentation written out. It lasted less than 10 minutes, so the accompanying notes/article isn’t very long.

But here it is. One of the promised treats for your Trick-Or-Treating Halloween pleasure.

Four Tips for Overcoming Creative Roadblocks

What Is Life About?

(c) 2013 Jen Nipps Photo courtesy of Jen Nipps Photos
(c) 2013 Jen Nipps
Photo courtesy of Jen Nipps Photos

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

This is my favorite quote of all time.

To me, it embodies the essence of creativity. If we don’t have a hand in creating ourselves, by our likes and interests and people we spend our time with, what would we be capable of creating?

Yes, we are made by a Great Creator and he created us. But we also have free will and minds of our own that we are capable of using. We can decide our own likes and dislikes. We shape ourselves, we create ourselves, based on these.

If we are made by a Creator, if we create ourselves, why, then, would we not be creative?

This supports my theory that everyone is creative but some of us just don’t know how to tap into that innate creativity. Often, some of us regularly use our creativity and don’t ever realize that’s what we are doing! Many of us continue to claim we are not creative when that is exactly what we are doing!

How many times have you heard a master cook say they’re not creative even while in the middle of cooking (creating!) some wonderful dishes? Or a teacher claim they are not creative when in the middle of coming up with (again, creating!) lesson plans? Or even a parent in the middle of making up (yes, again, creating!) games to play with their children?!

We create every day, often many times throughout the day. We might not call it that, but that is what it is.