Insight From Top Bloggers
“I try my best to start my work day by reading and then writing something creative. Not business writing, not even blog writing… but fiction, which is blue-sky creation. There’s a lot to the story and I’m not doing it just to stoke creative fires in order to be productive elsewhere, but it has that effect regardless. There’s something comforting about knowing you took the time first for something that wasn’t necessarily urgent, but that was important.” Johnny B. Truant, author of Bialy Pimps
“What seems to tip my days towards Awesome is when I meet someone who makes me think or makes me laugh. (And if they can do both, it’s magic!) That means they’ve connected with my head or my heart, and that means new possibilities are opening up. So more time having interesting conversations with more people. That’s the plan.” Michael Bungay Stanier, author of End Malaria
“I once experienced a creative moment that completely changed my life, as well as the life of a young man. Here’s my story:
At the time I was a Lecturer for music at a university in Germany. A young flautist had contacted me and wanted to play to me because he wanted to study music but was unsure whether he had what it takes. We met up in a draughty hall. The young man walked onto the stage and started playing. I was focusing on his sound, technique, and musicality – but I couldn’t help noticing that he was extremely good looking – over six feet tall with gleaming curls flowing down to his shoulders.
His flute playing wasn’t particularly good, but I could suddenly see beyond how he was playing, and – in a creative moment – I could caught a glimpse not only of his hidden talent, but had a vision of his future life. I stood up, “Stop!” I called.
The young man stopped, confused.
I went up to him, with tears in my eyes, and said, “You didn’t play well just now. But here’s the important thing: music is your life. If you don’t become a professional musician, you’ll be unhappy all your life!”
The young man was struck dumb.
“Here’s what we need to do,” I said. “We need to work out how to get you from where you at right now to a level where you can audition successfully for a place in a music program at a top university.”
And that’s exactly what happened. Six month later he got a place at a university in another part of the country.
He recently rang to tell me that he now has a tenured position as a professor for flute at a renown university overseas. He said to me, “If you hadn’t spotted this potential in me when I first played to you, all of this wouldn’t have happened.”
I missed out a bit in the middle: We fell in love and we married two years after he first played to me. Once he’d finished his studies, we moved to New Zealand with our baby son, Sebastian. We stayed together for seven years, and then divorced. But we are still best friends.” Mary Jaksch of Good Life ZEN
“Reading Julia Cameron’s, “The Artist’s Way,” was the key to unlocking my creativity. I decided I would get up earlier every day and write. Doing this helped me regain the pieces of myself that had been lost to the hustle and bustle of a hectic finance career. The days I wrote were outstanding ones – when I skipped a day I felt it. Doing this one thing led to my becoming a published writer first as a magazine and newspaper contributor, then as a blogger and now as an author.” Angela Artemis of Powered By Intuition
“Either early in the morning or shortly before bed when the house is quiet, I sit for a bit with my eyes closed and let my thoughts zoom around until they settle down. Then I ask the Universe for the answer to a question. It may be about a project or article I’m working on or some other issue I’m grappling with. After asking for guidance I’m quiet and I wait for whatever comes up. Giving that quiet some space opens the door to levels of creativity that sometimes surprise me. The imaginative ideas that emerge motivate me to take action on them and send my spirits soaring. It’s one of the best ways I know to motivate myself to move forward.” Paige Burkes of Simple Mindfulness
“My grandmother used to make quilts, so I feel that it is in my genes. A few years ago, when I had a little more time on my hands I started making quilts for family members, friends and myself. I was asked to make a quilt with handprints from a group of children who were in need and part of a charity organization. I gathered the squares of handprints, went to the fabric store and planned out the quilt. It was auctioned off at the annual fund raising event and a woman stood up and bid thousands of dollars for the quilt. We all knew it wasn’t about the quilt. It was a way for this woman to contribute to the charity. Still the quilt now hangs in the charity’s building and it’s fun to know a little creativity helped some children attend school and have the supplies that they need.” Cathy Taughinbaugh of Treatment Talk
“I was trying to come up with some grand and specific example for you, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s a very small thing that makes my days great: writing every morning. This is my creative outlet and even though it’s nothing spectacular, it’s something I can do every day. When I do, my days tend to go well and I enjoy myself. When I don’t, it always feels like I’ve missed some great opportunity.” Tyler Tervooren of Advanced Riskology
“I’ve never thought I was very artistic, although I’ve felt creative. I really appreciate art, photography and love nothing better than to visit art museums and galleries. I was telling someone that I’m not very artistic when my middle son, who is majoring in art interrupted and said, “Yes you are mom. You’re a great photographer.” It was a wonderful feeling to be appreciated by my child and my someone who really knows art and is very observant. It was at this point I began to think of myself more of photographer.” Betsy McKee Henry of Zen Mama
“Every time I get upside down on a yoga mat, I am hit with creative inspiration. As soon as I step on the mat, I can feel things changing and then once I start my practice and do my first forward fold or downward dog, I am struck with an idea for a new project or post. My most creative moments usually come when I am walking or exercising and always on the yoga mat. That reminds me, I need to get to a yoga class!” Courtney Carver of Be More With Less
“I get my best creative moments while shampooing my hair. I think it helps blood circulation to the brain. It’s no coincidence that when people are puzzled, they scratch their heads. Unfortunately, when soaking wet and dripping, I can’t run to my computer and write that great lead sentence I thought of. Sometimes I keep saying it aloud over and over until I’m dry. Is that extraordinary? Well, consider how important a lead sentence is. It has to set the tone for the article, draw the reader in and succinctly covey the topic. Once you have a good lead, everything flows from it, the day’s off to a great start. Without it, I tend to procrastinate. I guess you could say it also sets the tone for the entire day.” Debra Lee Baldwin of Gardening Gone Wild
“There are various things that transform my day into an outstanding one – and I always attributed it to my To Do List. But in the past couple of years, I realize my most creative moment is in my kitchen at the beginning of my day. I am up at 5.30 am and after I get the coffee going, light my lamp in my prayer room. Here I think of my friends and everyone I know – and pray. This is a sacred moment for me and as I pray, I feel tremendous peace and the feeling that my day will go well. Then follows cooking, as I must get lunch boxes ready and packed by 7.45 am as my son and husband leave at 8 am. From 6 am to 7.45, I am in the kitchen. I am conscious about each thing I do – from kneading the dough to make rotis (indian flatbread) and cutting the vegetables and cooking them as a side dish for these rotis. When I cut onions, I find it very cleansing for my eyes that water – and recall all the teasing from my folks. As I cook and add the various flavors, I think about my family’s health and feel fortunate that I enjoy getting their lunch ready so they don’t have to eat outside. I lovingly pack their boxes, sometimes with a little note that will make them smile and feel happy. All the time, my mind is completely focused on all good thoughts. We have the radio on, playing songs we like and that enhances the pleasant atmosphere.
Starting my day this way every day makes my day into an outstanding one. Cooking is a wonderfully creative experience for me.” Vidya Sury of Going-A-Musing
“My favorite method of changing an ordinary day into an extraordinary one is to literally bang on a drum!
I have an African drum in my lounge and another one in my garden. Anytime I feel stuck or if I want to change my energy, I simply bang a few notes.
I can be quite creative with making different sounds and tones….and within a few minutes, almost magically, my energy is transformed. Any my day changes from just an ordinary day into something extraordinary!
You too can do the same….if you don’t have an African drum, any other drum will do. Check with the neighbours first though.
If you don’t have a drum, then bang gently on your desk. Have fun.
Remember, you can create magical moments everyday in your life-just remember to always be childlike.” Arvind Devila of Make It Happen
“Music has always had a profound effect on me. When I’m feeling low or stuck, I’ll go for a walk and crank up the iPod. I have a whole playlist that puts me into an altered state. In my mind, I’m not really walking down the street, I’m dancing and singing on a stage (never mind that I’m not a professional dancer or singer. At that moment, I totally am). After just a few minutes, I’m full of energy. I’m pumped up. I’ve got a stupid grin on my face. And I remember how amazing life can feel. Music helps me to remember who I really am.” Melody Fletcher of Deliberate Blog
“Several months ago I suffered from writer’s block. No matter how hard I tried to write a post for my blog, nothing helped. So, I decided to do the extreme – I stopped writing. I took several days off to read, relax and exercise. The time away inspired my creative juices and it helped me to write one of my most popular posts onThe BridgeMaker – 25 Soulful Ways to Get Out of a Rut.” Alex Blackwell of The Bridgemaker
“I would have to say that my morning walks with my dog through the woods of a nearby park, are the times when I feel most at peace, most connected to nature, most joyful and most myself making them a great way to launch into any day. Even when the weather is cold or rainy, there’s something energizing about getting out there and moving silently through the streets as the city wakes. My body awakens, my spirit lifts, life seems simple and complex all at once, and momentum fills my heart as I head home. Just another ordinary morning with extraordinary possibilities.” Katie Tallo of Momentum Gathering
“I came home from work one day and my 5-year-old son asked if I would play Star Wars with him. We had the inside tubes of two wrapping paper roles to use as our light sabers. We fought and fought until the light sabers were tattered and began unraveling. So we finished unraveling the tubes and taped up the bottoms as handles. They became the whips we used on new adventures of as Indiana Jones. We looked for treasure and fought off bad guys and had a ton of fun using the creativity of our imaginations, bonding as father and son. It was an extraordinary day!” Ken Wert of Meant To Be Happy
“On the first week of January, we were supposed to create vision boards at work with what we wanted to accomplish this year. I had only a murky idea of what this year was going to be about but as I cut and glued images on a board, my intentions for the year ahead got clearer by the minute. Looking at the completed board, I was filled with excitement and wonder for what was to come, a feeling that I carried with me throughout the day. Every day when I look at the board, I’m reminded of my intentions and I notice that this simple creative exercise not only infused that day with curiosity and joy but every day since then.” Andrea DeBell of Brite Talk
“When I sit in my room, or I’m out for a walk in the local area, I’m likely to get my best ideas. I think best when I’m alone, and there has been more than one moment when, despite thinking about something irrelevant, I stumble across a great idea. It appears to me from nowhere, and takes me by surprise. But I recognise it for what it is – an opportunity to turn my day into an extraordinary one.” Stuart mills of Limitless Believing