Tag Archives: creativity

Creativity is never easy

How do you deal with wanting to be creative but not having any idea on how to bring your thoughts to life? You know when you have these great ideas for a song, a story, a drawing, or anything in between but you have no clue as to how to write them down or draw them out? Those are the kinds of struggles I deal with on a regular basis. Creativity is what drives my soul, my thoughts, my passion for life. Creating things from scratch, putting your own mark on something that you make is one of the create joys in this world. But what do you do when you’re stuck, when you don’t know how to create?

Never give up. Who know what will happen. Gif from Tumblr
Never give up. Who knows what will happen. Graphic from tumblr.com

When it comes to creating anything, you can’t be a perfectionist. My main issues when creating is hating almost everything I make, throwing it away, and then becoming frustrated with myself to the point where I just give up. That’s the exact opposite of what you want to do. In my situation, when I write, I hate it. I stop writing for weeks at a time because I become discouraged. However, the way to become better is to never give up, to keep writing and never throw anything you create away. Someone once told me that when you write something to never get rid of it because in a month or two from now, you’ll come back to it and maybe you’ll realize it isn’t as bad as you thought and you could, potentially, build on it and use it, resulting in something amazing.

When you create something, it’s never going to be easy and that’s the part I struggle with the most. I think that it should be easy, that I should be able to do this instantaneously and be able to whip out some song in the matter of minutes, but that just isn’t realistic. I don’t think any singer, writer, producer, director, artist, or anyone is field of arts has ever had it easy, has never been frustrated or mad at themselves. But, from what I know, the outcome is worth the pain and frustration you go through. You should never give up. I should never give up because what can happen with a little determination is incredible.

5 things that happen when you do something creative instead of watching Netflix

Twenty episodes into a new season of that show you’re addicted to, you start to feel a guilty sensation every time you press that “Next episode” button. So turn off the TV and put down the remote and do something creative like writing a story (or maybe a script for your own irresistible show) or reading a book or drawing a picture. Here are seven things that happen when you decide to hit “Power off” instead of “Ok”.

1) You have more energy

While watching Netflix is highly entertaining, it doesn’t make your brain work like being creative and using your imagination does. Netflix will lull you into a lazy mood, but doing something creative is like a work out for your brain. You know those amazing endorphins you feel straight after a great workout? Your brain gets those too. Being creative will make you more alert and feel far more productive.

Put creativity above your Netflix habits. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Put creativity above your Netflix habits. Graphic by Katie Gibson

2) It will defeat mental blocks

Netflix is an easy way to avoid writing when you have writer’s block or reading when you can’t focus. However, those are mental blocks that you need to work through, not put off. I tried to put them off one time and ended up going two years without writing a word or reading outside of school. Don’t let your brain get lazy.

3) You’ll be happier

I know, I know, nothing will make you happier than *insert favorite show here*. But think of all those days you spent staring at your TV without moving, forcing poor Netflix to make sure you were okay fifteen times. After days like that, you’re bound to feel pretty crappy. That’s just human nature. People want to feel like they’re getting stuff done. Do something with your brain will give you that sense of productivity and keep you from feeling miserable after a day of binge watching TV.

4) You’ll become more creative

If you run a mile every day, you’ll likely to be able to start increasing your distance and times. The same goes for your brain. That mental workout mentioned early, will help you generate creative ideas faster which will help you in all aspects of your life.

5) You’ll be a more interesting person

Next time you go out into the real world, keep track of how many people are talking about Netflix and TV shows. That’s completely cool, but it will make you seem far more interesting when people find out you can write a novel or draw a killer picture or compose an amazing piece of music. Personally, I feel like I’ve lost my “sparkle” in college mostly due to being overworked and stressed constantly. But I get a little bit of that “sparkle” back when I can talk about a book that I’m reading or a novel I’m trying to write rather than just discussing how subpar season two of “Orange Is The New Black” was in comparison to season one.

Once again, absolutely NOTHING is wrong with watching television. However, you will be a happier, more well rounded human being if you break that bubble every once and a while and shake things up.

Why you should be participating in NaNoWriMo (if you’re not already)

November 1 marks the start of “National Novel Writing Month” a.k.a. “NaNoWriMo”. While the idea of writing an entire novel in a month seems daunting, the NaNoWriMo process is extremely fun, social, and easy.

So how does it work?

First go www.nanowrimo.org and make an account. Next create your profile and register your novel. As you write all month, log onto the website each day to log your word count. The minimum number of words you need to have a “complete novel” is 50,000. If, at the end of November you have achieved this goal, you log your final word count, paste your story onto the website so that your win can be verified and then you are eligible to receive all sorts of cool prizes including a free printed copy of your book and free e-book publishing.

Look, NaNoWriMo's logo has a viking's helmet. How could you NOT want to get involved with that coolness? Graphic from NaNoWriMo
Look, NaNoWriMo’s logo has a viking’s helmet. How could you NOT want to get involved with that coolness? Graphic from NaNoWriMo

When you create your NaNoWriMo account, you specify your exact location so that fellow participants in your area can connect with you. Each region has a leader who schedules meet and greets and writing sessions which usually take place at coffee houses or bookstores. Some of these sessions even turn into overnight lock ins, encouraging writers to collaborate and share ideas.

If you’re not into the idea of writing in public, the website also has numerous message boards so you can talk to writers from all over the world.

Even if you don’t “win” a.k.a. meet the 50,000 word minimum, the whole experience of meeting new people to bounce ideas off of is terrific. Plus, it’s a great way to get into a writing routine so that you never get too busy to write.

While NaNoWriMo is an awesome thing for all writers to take part in, it’s especially important if you’re suffering from writer’s block or feel like you’re too busy to write. The encouragement that you receive members is unparalleled. The website even e-mails inspirational quotes and messages to your WriMo inbox daily.

In addition to nurturing the novel process, NaNoWriMo also hooks you up with people who can help you find out what you want to do with your novel once it’s been completed.

So if you have an idea, but need that push, start writing today! It’s never too late to get to work.

Follow your dreams

Have you ever dreamt about something great in life? About following your passion? About doing what you love, even though you’ve been discouraged by many? So have I. In elementary school, you’re taught to follow your dreams. You’re told,“You can be anything you want to be if you set your mind to it!”, no matter how out-of-the-box it might seem. As a little kid, you’d never think your dream would be crushed by reality, but once you enter high school and college, you see how ugly life can be.

Martin Luther King gives his "I Have A Dream" speech. Graphic from ABC News
Martin Luther King gives his “I Have A Dream” speech. Graphic from ABC News

Raise your hand if you put your dream aside to go to college and do what your parents and society thinks you should do. Are you raising your hand? Because I am. I always thought that having big dreams was a weakness, that wanting to do something that isn’t necessarily “realistic” was one of my biggest faults. That is, until I woke up and realized that wanting something bigger and better for myself was a gift, that being creative and artistic doesn’t have to take a back seat to science and math.

Having a passion is what gets me through the day. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning and allows me to continue to do the things that I don’t necessarily enjoy doing. It’s the one thing that makes me understand why I was put on this earth and that reason is to create music.

Singing is the one thing that I really feel passionate about. Right now, it’s only a hobby but I hope one day to be able to create a career out of it. Of course, nowadays in the music industry, being able to sing is only the first step into making it. You also need to play at least one instrument if not more, read music, write songs, and so on.

It isn’t as simple as it used to be, but I don’t let the discourage me. I won’t let the “unrealistic career choice” statement affect me anymore.

It shouldn’t be about what other people think about your passion. It should be about what you think your purpose in life is, what your true calling is. Don’t let society run your life anymore.

My one piece of advice for you is this: follow your heart because in the end, only you have to live with the decisions you make. You can either be happy that you tried to follow your dreams, whether you succeeded or failed, or you fall asleep at night wondering what could have been. The choice is yours.

Thirty Pinterest boards that everybody should have

Say what you will about Pinterest, but it’s a terrific way to share ideas and find out about new and exciting things. So many people see it as something that “basic” girls do to pass time, but really everyone should have a Pinterest account.

Making Pinterest boards encourages free thinking and creativity. It breaks down the barriers between what you can and can’t do- it’s inspiring. If you think you can’t cook, you can find millions of delicious and easy recipes. If you think you aren’t artistic, you can find step by step instructions on how to make tons of cool crafts.

While so many people write off Pinterest, it’s truly the best way to explore newfound passions and express yourself. It also allows you to meet other people who share an interest in the same things.

Although the options are endless when it comes to creating boards, there are certain boards that everyone should have from boards that will just make you smile when you’re having a bad day to boards that will inspire you to get in the kitchen and play chef or write that next bestselling novel.

Here is a list of 30 types of boards that everyone needs to create:

1) Things that make you laugh

2) Things that make you cry

3) Things that inspire you

4) Cute animals

5) Fashion

6) Places you want to travel to

7) Places you want to live

8) Recipes you want to try

9) A whole board dedicated to cupcakes

10) Books you want to read

pinterest
“While so many people write off Pinterest, it’s truly the best way to explore newfound passions and express yourself.”

11) Abandoned places (they’re eerily beautiful)

12) Ideas for your dream home

13) Things that simply make you happy for no reason

14) Nature

15) Haunted places you want to go ghost hunting at

16) Favorite quotes

17) Do It Yourself (DIY) home/apartment decor

18) Food trucks you want to eat at

19) Tropical islands

20) Cityscapes

21) Best mac and cheese recipes (you can never have enough mac and cheese recipes)

22) Art

23) Conspiracy theories

24) Space

25) Cocktails

26) Party ideas

27) Organization techniques/ life hacks

28) A separate board for each of your fandoms

29) Cool inventions

30) Crafts, recipes, decorations, and ideas for every single holiday

Yes, Pinterest can be slightly ridiculous sometimes. We’ve all seen the “Pinterest fails” that occur when someone attempts to copy a professionally made recipe or craft. At the end of the day though, it’s all about improving yourself and being the best person you can be all while allowing you to express that via your boards. So no matter how you feel about Pinterest make an account and try it out!

Happy pinning!

 

5 of the best cities in the U.S. for creative college graduates

New York City and Los Angeles are usually the two big cities that everyone thinks about when it comes to finding a home after graduation. While these cities are amazing and have a lot to offer young individuals, they are also extremely expensive and their mass appeal can make it hard to find entry-level jobs and affordable housing. If your dream is to leave college behind for a city, here are five cities to consider:

Seattle Cityscape with Mt. Rainier
“If your dream is to leave college behind for a city, here are five cities to consider…”

1) Seattle, Washington

Seattle is such an overlooked city. In addition to having great night life, dining, and entertainment, it also provides the chicken soup for your creative soul. Ample bookstores including the famous Elliot Bay Book Company, record stores, coffee shops perfect for writing or reading, and museums all nurse creativity and make Seattle the perfect place to call home.

2) San Francisco, California

In the grand scheme of things, people tend to treat San Francisco like Los Angeles’ younger, less attractive sibling. In reality though, it’s a terrific place to settle down. San Francisco is a culture hub, bearing tons of international marketplaces including a Chinatown, making it simple for you to expand your horizons. Like Seattle, San Fran is home to many cool attractions and museums such as The Exploratorium . It’s also the place to be if your dream is to ride everywhere in cable cars. Inspiration for artists, writers, and musicians is around every turn.

3) Boston, Massachusetts

Most people associate Boston with history. However, while Boston is a great place for history buffs to congregate, it’s also the home to many creative people. Home to Emerson College (a college for writers, filmmakers, actors, and other people looking to go into creative fields), Boston is filled to the brim with nature attractions perfect for those seeking some inspiration, theaters, and more.

4) Denver, Colorado

You can’t beat Denver if you want to be in touch with nature while still enjoying top notch food and entertainment. Take a hike in the mountains, take some pictures, scribble your thoughts in a journal and then adjourn to a playhouse for a show. You get the best of both city life and nature in Denver.

5) Portland, Oregon

While Oregon may seem like a “blah” state, Portland is actually one of the most creative cities in the U.S. Like the other cities on the list, it has everything a creative person could possibly want, from quiet bookshops, to noisy theaters, to thought provoking museums. However, at the same time, Portland is fairly affordable and so a great choice for a post-college grad trying to make it in the real world.

While NYC and LA certainly have their appeal, you can trade the insane population sizes and astronomical rent for these just as interesting places to call home.

Ways to become more creative

My whole life, I’ve thought of myself as a creative person: I was a writer, I was a reader, and I had a crazy imagination. One day all of that went away. Technology started dominating my life to the point where I had no real use for my imagination anymore. I didn’t read or write or do anything remotely creative for a while because I felt like I had such a mental block in my brain.

This semester, for my Marketing minor, I had to take Marketing 101: Creativity and Innovation. In just the few weeks that we’ve been back at school, this class has really helped me open my mind back up and let the creativity back in again.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has ever suffered from a creative block so I’m going to share a few tips that have really helped me out.

1) Stop writing boring notes

abstract
“Shut off the laptop, turn of the television, and step away from your phone. Instead of staring at a screen all day, read a book or draw a picture.”

We’re all so conditioned to write our notes in perfectly straight, black inked lines. This standard formula definitely hinders creativity. In class, we were instructed to get an unlined notebook and colored pens and pencils to take class notes in. Because of this, we’re able to create colorful mind maps and it really helps think out of the box.

2) Say everything that comes to your mind (within reason)

The most helpful thing I’ve learned all semester is that you have to fail in order to succeed. That means if you have a thought, say it. This can apply to anything in life, but it will especially apply if you’re doing a group project and want to share an idea, but are afraid of sounding stupid. If you can get over your fear of failure then it’ll be a million times easier to truly be creative.

3) Turn off the electronics

Shut off the laptop, turn of the television, and step away from your phone. Instead of staring at a screen all day, read a book or draw a picture. Actively using your imagination this way is like exercise for the brain. Creativity is very “use it or lose it”. If you don’t keep your brain functioning on a high level then it won’t work when you really need it to.

Everyone is born into the world with an active imagination and the ability to be creative. This is why children have imaginary friends and can play with dolls for hours. Along the way, the rigidness of the school system, stress over every day life, and technological advances shut out the creative parts of our brain until they barely work anymore. The good news is that you can always get your creativity back. You just have to be willing to break out of your comfort zone and think outside the box. Once you achieve this, you can do anything.

Free-range parenting is the best kind

Parents come in various packages with different levels of strictness and different ideas about who they want their kids to be. Some parents are more hands-on and work as unofficial assistant coaches at their kids’ games while other parents just let their kids do whatever it is they wish to do. There’s no perfect parent — even great parents have been criticized in some shape or form. There’s no right way to be a parent, although there are many wrong ways. However, I believe that the best kind of parents want their kids to be happy more than anything else.

Some parents imagine their kids being doctors and never let go of that idea. Parents have many different ideas and expectations about who their kids will be. Many parents need to realize that their children are going to be their own people, and will likely have a different view of who they want to be or where they want to go. Growing up and becoming  different from what your parents imagined is absolutely okay.

I recently read a Tumblr post by a grocery store cashier. One day at work, a man and his son came in to buy beer and cigarettes. As the dad loaded his items on the belt to be rang up, the little boy placed a drawing pad on the belt. As the cashier began to pick it up, the dad became angry and accused his son of putting the drawing pad on the belt without asking him. Heartbroken, the little boy pleaded with his father, saying he ran out of drawing paper. The dad called his son “gay” and refused to spend money on the drawing pad. The cashier, sympathizing with the little boy, gave the drawing pad to the boy free of charge. Later that day, however, the cashier went outside and found the drawing pad, torn, laying in the parking lot.

Parents are quick to discourage their kids when they go down paths they deem to be risky. Many parents of artists spend time worrying about how their child will make a living. I’m not a parent, but I think parents need to realize that money doesn’t equal happiness. If a child is passionate about something, let them do it–even if it’s risky. Investing a little extra faith in your child will give them the confidence to be successful and happy.

I feel fortunate that growing up, my parents never expressed their expectations too harshly. My parents never made me feel that I had to choose a specific route, so long as I was happy. My parents have been incredibly encouraging of my siblings and me. Even if what we’re doing isn’t exactly what they want for us, they continuously encourage us in everything we do. Although there’s no perfect way to be a parent, I feel like the luckiest kid on Earth because of the endless support my parents give me.

I don’t believe you have to be a parent to believe that certain practices will work better than others. Even though I have no intention of having children, I think it’s important to recognize things things that will affect how a child grows up.

Being a parent looks so challenging to me. I appreciate parents who work hard for their kids, but I also feel that certain expectations will lead their child to pursue a path that they’re not happy on. Being encouraging and supportive will allow the child to grow into a productive, happy member of society instead of a broken, stressed out adult.

Scientifically speaking: Art is harder than science

Many of my biology major friends have continuously remarked that their major is the hardest and that all the other “artsy-fartsy” major. While I will give it to the biology major’s that they have a large amount of homework in the forms of papers and labs, the “artsy-fartsy” majors are more challenging in my opinion. Continue reading Scientifically speaking: Art is harder than science