creativity

Why Self-Love Fuels Creativity & Embraces Your Dark Side.

Why Self-Love Fuels Creativity and Embraces Your Dark Side.
Why Self-Love Fuels Creativity and Embraces Your Dark Side.

Cassy is a fellow blogcadette and I've been lucky enough to chat with her at two blogger events. Her website, CassyFry.com, celebrates every facet of creativity and her positivity and passion for the arts is infectious. I know you're going to love her insights on how to use creativity to amp up your self-love! Creativity has saved me from myself countless times.

As soon as I learnt to read, I used books to escape reality, to discover new worlds and connect with other people (even if fictional). Then I started to write angsty poetry, listen to songs to transform my mood and fell in love with the thrill of throwing myself around to live music.

In bad times, the art I put on my walls and the tear-stained journals I scrawled were a reflection of my fears, insecurities and depression. My identity became tangled up with low self-esteem. There was a part of me that thought my darker side was what made me interesting, but it paralysed my own creativity.

There are many myths about creativity, but one that springs to mind is that of the tortured artist, that suffering produces the best art. Happy people have no stories, right?

Suffering has provided inspiration for many beautiful works of art, epic novels and moving music, because it is a part of the human experience.

Life’s challenges inspire me, but I couldn’t create or communicate them in any meaningful way without self love. Those tear-stained journals are a confusing mess, but my memories of those times will continue to influence me.

My discovery of self love and my own creativity happened simultaneously. They continue to fuel each other.

Why Self-Love Fuels Creativity and Embraces Your Dark Side.
Why Self-Love Fuels Creativity and Embraces Your Dark Side.

Being creative, whether that is colouring, crafting or writing, has given me distraction from problems when I needed it, but also space to reflect on them.

What you consume or create shapes your existence, and you can use it to reinforce good or bad feelings. I’m not suggesting a creative equivalent of clean eats. I’ll never give up dark angsty music, bleak books or theatre that makes me cry.

For me, self love is about understanding and treasuring yourself as you are. Balancing your light and dark sides. Knowing what will make you happy, when you need to be challenged, what will help you and what will hold you back.

You won’t always have the answer straight away. You need to practise self love daily to keep understanding and embracing all that you are. Being creative can help, plus it makes it fun too!

Here are some creative self-love actions you can try:

  • Keep an art journal rather an a rant-y diary, list, draw or write the happy things - compliments, memories and hopes, mix in beautifully illustrated bittersweet quotes to taste.
  • Connect with other creative people, share your work, knowledge and enthusiasm. Join a local group or find people on line (you could join my DIY Creative Club!).
  • Have a ‘go and see’, take a break and open yourself up to new perspectives and experiences - visit an exhibition, go to an arthouse cinema, dance to live punk rock music or take part in an immersive theatre performance.
  • Woo yourself by writing a love poem or song to yourself (this can be hard, but it will make you feel amazing, I promise!)
cassy-bio
cassy-bio

Cassy Fry is writer, stylish lady and cat lover. She is passionate about encouraging and connecting creative people. She shares inspiration and cheerleads for creativity in its many forms on her blog cassyfry.com and through the DIY Creative Club.

Website; Twitter; Facebook; Instagram; Tumblr

Rituals, Routines, & Real-Talk for Getting Inspired.

Inspiration can seem like a random occurrence. An act of fate. You might wonder why some people seem to be brimming over with ideas all of the time, while you can never figure out what to write, paint, [insert your creative passion here]. And when your job or your passion project depends on your creative output, a lack of inspiration feel fatal. Luckily science (and personal experience!) has shown that you can jump start your inspiration and become a more creative person over time.

Here's how you can get started.

Rituals

When I wrote about creating a daily writing routine, I talked about choosing rituals that get you in a writing mindset. You can also use rituals to trigger your creativity. Do you find that you have your best ideas when you're out for a walk or taking a shower? That's because most of the time when our brain makes new connections, it happens subconsciously. So the next time you're struggling with a challenge or need to come up with a new idea, spend a few minutes meditating on what it is you need to figure out and then do something else. Dance to your favourite song. Walk in a beautiful park. Go to an art gallery. Read something completely unrelated. Phone a friend. Play dress up. Draw a picture. Write a poem. Experiment and see what rituals are the best creativity triggers for you.

Routine

In fact, an anti-routine has been shown to be an important ingredient for inspiration. Changing your routine regularly stops your mind from going on autopilot. Providing new sensory inputs by trying new things or doing something in a different way, will trigger your mind to think more creatively. But there are some things that, when done regularly, will turn you into a prolific idea machine. Borrow a page from James Altucher and create a list of 10 new ideas everyday. Consume a wide variety of culture - not just stuff related to your field or things you easily understand. Read, watch, and look at diverse sources of material. And always carry a notebook to write your ideas down right away. Ideas are tricky things and they'll vanish quickly if you don't do something with them.

Real Talk

Inspiration happens when you do the work. When you sit down every day and put your hands on the keyboard, pick up the paintbrush, or practice your moves - whatever it is that you do. It's natural that your ideas will be bad at first. Our brains are lazy and at first push they're basically regurgitating memories. So we need to stick with it. Push through to the slightly better ideas and the even better ones after those to the completely genius strokes of inspiration that make our spines tingle with our excitement. It's why we need to write, re-write, edit, and then re-write again. Saying that you're not creative or don't have any ideas is a cop out. Do the work and the ideas will come to you.

What do you when you're feeling uninspired? I'd love to hear!

How to Create a Daily Writing Practice.

“This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.” – Steven Pressfield

I really enjoyed sharing my tips for budding writers and I was glad to hear that many of you found them helpful.

DOWNLOAD THE DAILY WRITING PLANNER

I've created worksheets that will make figuring out how to create a daily writing practice that keeps you motivated and inspired super duper easy. Click below to download them.

It can feel daunting - this dream of becoming a writer. But like with anything, the trick is to just start and then keep at it.

If you want to be inspired, have better ideas, improve your writing, or “find” your voice, you need to write everyday.

It really is that simple.

There’s no magic formula or course you can take that will make you a writer. Of course reading a lot, learning the tricks of the trade, and getting critical feedback will push you further. But the simple act of writing day in and day out is how you'll finish your projects. It’s what will make you a writer.

Creating a daily writing practice is what’s allowed me to amp up this blog, create my ecourse, and get back on track with finishing my ebook. If you're setting out to create your own daily writing practice, here are my suggestions.

Choose a project. Rather than facing a completely blank screen, set yourself a task. Participants in NaNoWriMo challenge themselves to write a novel in a month. Perhaps you want to do morning pages to get the creative juices flowing, write a magazine article each week, or try your hand at poetry. Knowing what you’ve set out to accomplish will help keep you motivated.

Carve out time. For me, I’ve set aside 30 minutes each day to work on my ebook – which is in addition to all of the other writing I do. Depending on your project, you might want to set yourself a daily word or page count. But it’s essential to figure out where this time will fit into your day. Consistency is key.

Determine the where. I’m happiest writing at my desk or curled up in my favourite café. Either way, a mug of tea is always close at hand. I’ve learned to write wherever I am, whether it’s typing away over my lunch break or stealing some time to work between finishing work and meeting up with friends because that's what it takes. But as much as possible, I write where I feel most inspired. Xandra feels most like a writer in coffee shops and Rebecca wrote most of her book in the rose garden near her house. Where do you feel most writerly? And if the sidewalk cafes of Paris are calling you but you're bound to the practicality of life amidst the 9-5, figure out how you can infuse a bit of Parisian chic into your writing routine - buy a croissant to nibble while you type or wear your favourite beret as you scribble.

Create a ritual. Steven Pressfield recites a prayer from Odysseus before he sits down to write. When I’m at my desk, I smudge myself with sage and light a candle. These rituals bring a sense of intention to the writing practice. They note a beginning and mark the time as sacred. Your ritual might be as simple as disconnecting the WiFi to get rid of distractions, but I encourage you to find something that brings purpose to your practice.

I’d love to know: do you have any thoughts on starting a daily writing practice? What projects are you working on right now?

DOWNLOAD THE DAILY WRITING PLANNER

I've created worksheets that will make figuring out how to create a daily writing practice that keeps you motivated and inspired super duper easy. Click below to download them.