Posts tagged ‘creativity’

2017, June 9

FYA Self-love Challenge: Week Four

It is already the fourth week following my friend j’s Find Your Awesome Self-Love Challenge. Where does the time fly? Well, anyway, every evening I sat down and wrote a short summary of my day, which adds up to the below short recap post.

Day 16 – Life unplugged
Although I like having a cartoon or some kind of series playing in the background while I color, or doodle, or even do some light cleaning, I really enjoy life unplugged for the most part. It gives me the chance to relax and lets my mind wander where ever it pleases. There is something so soothing in listening to the noises around you as you cook, the cat purrs, and notice-but-try-to-drown-out the noise of children yelling outside while crickets try their best to chirp over them.

Day 17 – Make a songs-to-belt playlist
I wrote one a few years back, but am adding a couple of more songs to the list:

  • Uptown girl; Bop bop baby; Us against the world; The reason, by Westlife
  • All out of love, cover by Delta Goodrem and Westlife
  • Just Give Me A Reason, cover by Luke Conard and Helena&Maria
  • Back to December, cover by Luke Conard and Ingrid Nilsen
  • Spirit in the sky, by Norman Greenbaum
  • Anyone of us, by Gareth Gates
  • Right here; Goodnight Moon; Louder than words, by HeyHiHello
  • B-e-a-utiful, by Megan Nicole
  • Love me like you do, by Ellie Goulding
  • Friend of mine, by Treble Charger
  • What makes you beautiful, One Direction
  • Never let it end, by Dancs Annamari
  • Woke up this way; Break free from silence, by Antal Timi
  • On Road 67, by Republic
  • It’s gonna be OKAY, ThePianoGuys
  • Only you, Yazoo

Day 18 – Be UNapologetic
I am SO bad at this. It unfortunately doesn’t help that in Hungarian the same word is used for “sorry” as is for “excuse me”. In Romanian also, the two terms are used interchangeably for some reason.

Day 19 – Write a self-love mantra
“You always do what is asked of you, go beyond that, and quickly too. Nice people need to be recognized and deserve appreciation. There is a need for more people like you in the world. You are awesome, and deserve to be happy.”

Day 20 – Create a Personal Manifesto
I created one a few years back, and it still rings true to me.

How was your week? Did you sign up for the challenge? Even if you haven’t joined the self-love challenge, what did you do this week to love yourself?

2017, June 2

FYA Self-love Challenge: Week Three

During the third week of this self-love challenge, I was tiling the balcony with my boyfriend. So, it means I didn’t get a chance to truly think of self-love during that time frame. But I have the feeling that it does qualify as such, given we are so happy now that it’s done and pretty! It’s a joy to sit and enjoy our morning latte out there while the cat gives us tiny heart attacks every time he goes too close to the ledge.

So this is week three. Nearly a month later, and backdated. I was a bit sad that I don’t own “Find Your Awesome” yet, maybe having it in my hands I would’ve followed-through more easily when Life happened.

Day 11 – Hold a burning ceremony
I needed to do this. Possibly only for the act itself of physically letting go of the piece of paper containing my list of things to let go. It felt good.

Day 12 – Doodle your loves
This particular task proved difficult for me, so I went with a photo collage of the things I love instead of doodling them.

Day 13 – Hug it out
Friends showed up with a lovely, late birthday gift, so they got hugged. Family, boyfriend and the cat get many hugs on a daily basis.

Day 14 – Make a list of people you are grateful for
A, I, and D, because they make office hours more fun.
The BF, because he can be the most amazing person to be around.
Family, because they care.
The cats, because they’re cuddly and give their love unconditionally.

Day 15 – Organize something (or Finding space)
I was re-organizing the balcony and making all kinds of space, too. First we needed to take everything inside, to clear the whole balcony. Then, I organized and threw out unused boxes and broken things that were simply filling space unnecessarily. Then I only put the needed stuff back in the two wood racks we have out there, after I stained them – they look brand new now and aren’t cluttered!

How was your week? Did you sign up for the challenge? How did it go? Even if you haven’t joined or haven’t finished the self-love challenge, what did you do this week to love yourself?

2017, May 26

FYA Self-love Challenge: Week Two

This was the second week following my friend j’s Find Your Awesome Self-Love Challenge.
Every evening I sat down and wrote a short summary of my day, which adds up to a short recap post at the end of each week. In case you missed it, here’s last week’s sum-up.

Day 6 – Make a Mandala

Day 7 – Call Bullshit on “Should”
I cleaned the apartment because it looks lovely shiny and outer order definitely contributes to inner peace for me. I cooked lunch and dinner, because I love cooking and it’s great to have home-cooked meals.
And also, I read instead of packing a bag of stuff to take over to my mom’s place, because I won’t get there before the weekend anyways!

Day 8 – Be Openly Magnificent
I’m working from home, being fearlessly and unabashedly myself. The cat loves it. I love it!

Day 9 – Fill the Spaces
I took this challenge literally when I was filling in the spaces I created in my mandala. Outside of that, it was a day in which I spoke my mind. My opinion was at the very least heard before going ignored.

Day 10 – Be Wildly Creative
Before even realizing it, I got wildly creative with my lunch. I paired leftover rice, with scrambled eggs made with leftover zucchini, mushrooms and spinach, topped with leftover Parmesan. Maybe an odd combo, but it was delicious – I should’ve taken a picture!

How was your week? Did you sign up for the challenge? Do you like it so far? Even if you haven’t joined the self-love challenge, what did you do this week to love yourself?

2017, May 19

FYA Self-love Challenge: Week One

This was the first week following my friend j’s Find Your Awesome Self-Love Challenge. I talked about it before, so I won’t repeat myself.
Every evening I sat down and wrote a short summary of my day, which sums up to a short recap post at the end of each week.

Day 1 – Text Love
Texting love… was met with no reply. On the other hand, I did have a lovely Skype conversation with a friend, and a short FB conversation with another friend, which picked up my mood a bit. The love came back from the unexpected sources, and that was great!

Day 2 – Body Love
Loving my body was a bit of a challenge since my feet hurt after I’ve doubled up my Sunday athletic events. But, I am grateful for them for getting me through it, and will just give them some extra massages and let them rest before I go running again this weekend.

Day 3 – Make a Life List
I have written my Life List before, here’s the link if anyone’s interested in reading it :)
Today, I am finally taking my own advice from that blog post, and turning my year of photo challenges into an e-book – I sat down and created the document, and in it, Styles for my title, headers, and text. If I work on it little by little, it doesn’t have to be all done in one day.
That’s exactly what kept me away for the past, umm, five (?) years from that idea – the enormity of the project which I’ve made up all by myself when it really isn’t the case.

Day 4 – Put Yourself on a T-Shirt
For the past couple of years I’ve been giving a lot of my clothes to charity, so by now, I have three t-shirts with actual writing on them (one of which wasn’t planned, as I recently got it in the participation kit of a running event).
However, the text I would most love on a t-shirt and would sum me up perfectly, is this one by Myth Understood. I’ve been wanting a womens dolman t-shirt like this for literally years, but its price+shipping put me off, and I’ve been too lazy to find the design and go get it printed on a t-shirt locally for a third of the price. Maybe next time I consider buying myself a present.

Day 5 – Be Outrageously Grateful
Beyond grateful for being able to travel to Bucharest for a short weekend trip, and for little traffic on the way and making it here safe!

How was your week? Did you sign up for the challenge? Do you like it so far? Even if you haven’t joined the self-love challenge, what did you do this week to love yourself?

2017, April 7

Finding your awesome

Today I want to take a second to talk about a very cool, illustrated creative journal, FIND YOUR AWESOME, by my friend Judy Clement Wall.

It seems to me that everyone lately is only thinking about themselves, and it makes me sad.
I think when people are dealing with some things in their lives, they tend to forget that everyone else also has stuff to deal with – more or less difficult then they themselves are. This is where it’d be great to also focus on others, because it really doesn’t take much time or effort to be attentive, and if one can, why not make someone’s day better? Even by simply smiling at them, by saying hello and asking how they are, it’s already a step in the right direction.
We need to be better, to be humans and care. Thinking about others will always make you a better person.

That said, it also seems to me that among family and friends, many people rarely put themselves first, or do, or buy things for themselves.
Yes, doing things with others will help make them be/feel special in your life.
But on the other hand, I believe that we need to take care of ourselves in order to fully be able to be the better people I described above. For people to truly be able to love other people and be kind, it all starts with self-love.

This is the message my friend j transmits through her creative journal. Go read her blog post about it, and watch her very cool animated book trailer!

In her own words, she wrote and illustrated FIND YOUR AWESOME not to help people become someone new, but to help them uncover the imaginative, openhearted, amazing selves they already are. She truly believes that if one completes this book, committing oneself to just 30 days of self-discovery and celebration, it will change how they move in the world and infuse their life with love, fun, connection, and creativity.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the journal! I believe that it’ll be, like everything j creates, a beautiful piece of art as well as a very useful tool for people to well… find their awesome.

J also has a challenge in store for her readers and friends – 30 days of self-love! Here’s the excerpt from her website:

“On May 15th, I’ll be embarking on my own 30-day self-love challenge using FIND YOUR AWESOME, and I’d love for you to join me. There will be a Facebook group, short daily emails of encouragement, and more animated videos to inspire you. It’ll be free, fun, and good for your soul, plus if you sign up, you’ll be automatically entered to win a signed copy of FIND YOUR AWESOME. (Even if you’ve already purchased my book , sign up. These little journals make wonderful gifts.)
I’ll be posting more about the book and the challenge over the next several weeks.”

Haven’t done a self-love challenge in a while, so I’ve already signed up, and I think I’ll post a little summary blog post every week on Fridays while the challenge lasts. They were fun to do during my year of following the 52/52 e-guide‘s assignments every week, so I’m looking forward to it!

2016, November 11

5 Quick Ways to Minimize Distractions and Get Writing

Today we have a guest post from Alexis MacDonald for your reading pleasure. Her excitement to write a guest post and the wonderful content she provided have quickly sealed the deal for her guest post on FFDO when the #fridayflash community website was still up and running. Since the website closed last year, I really wanted to share this article again, with as many people as possible.

It’s November, NaNoWriMo is well into its second week, most of my readers here are also writers and let’s face it – we all need to read this advice. Maybe even more than once.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I have, and happy NaNoWriMo writing!

~~~

5 Quick Ways to Minimize Distractions and Get Writing

There are times in our lives that no matter how diligent we are about setting aside private time to write, life insists on getting in the way. Here are a few tips to help writers roll with the metaphorical punches and get some words down!

  1. Self-discipline

Make writing a habit. Write at the same time every day. Write throughout the day. Read a page about writing and then write a paragraph.

  1. Disengagement

As writers, we do not need to be connected to others every minute of the day. We know that in order to focus, we need to disengage ourselves from our social life.

  • Install a door. There are limits to what a door can do. In spite of their best intentions, family members tend to neglect to respect this impediment and will knock and open it anyway. But the door will diminish the recent movie rental or stereo playing in the family room.
  • Telephones. Ring tones and vibrations are extremely distracting. If you have a mobile phone, arrange it so that it does not ring, a light merely flashes. Set it off to one side and in either case, merely glance at the caller ID and unless it is an emergency, ignore it. As long as someone else is at home who can answer it, do not answer the phone at your writing desk.
  • The Social Internet. It should not have to be said that in order to better focus, a writer should be self-disciplined enough to have turned off all their social applications that would vie for attention. There are programs to download that help writer’s monitor their time and block out social sites but why would a disciplined writer resort to using these programs? On the other hand, having the Internet up is important for research.
  1. Nutrition and hydration

It is important to be energetic yet be calm enough to focus. Did you know that the lack of calcium causes mental depression or that iodine is a mental energizer? Besides salt, iodine is found in peppers, kelp, and raw goat milk. Although coffee and alcohol are commonly connected to writers, water, green tea, and organic fruit juices help maintain hydration and energize the mind. There are also over-the-counter eye drops that help moisturize dry, weary eyeballs.

  1. Music

Because writers are creative people, many are also musicians and artists. Some writers cannot work while listening to music with lyrics because they tend to concentrate on the lyrics while others who play instruments cannot listen to music at all. Some need white noise in the background in order to write. Be aware of this and use whatever helps you get the job done. Ear plugs can help but, some people strain to listen to the outside world even more when they use them.

If the above tips failed to help, this next one – while seemingly a detractor, might actually remedy the situation.

  1. Be in a noisy, busy environment

Going to a place like a mall or a coffee shop where there are people and noise all around you can be freeing. There are times when an overly busy environment actually helps one block out individual distractions and concentrate better. Along those lines, being around other writers who are engaged in their writing can really get you cracking on your own project.

~~~

More about the author:

Alexis MacDonald is a stay at home mom, midnight scribbler and a freelance pregnancy writer. She answers questions such as “how do you get pregnant” (hint, it’s more complex than you think – for instance: there’s a fertility calendar…)

2016, October 14

Creativity Vitamin: Clean the Clutter

Cleaning clutter is one of my favorite things. Just a couple of months ago, I cleaned our closet, the kitchen cabinets and with my boyfriend tackled the balcony as well. We donated about six bags of clothes, some dishes, threw out seven or eight bags of trash overall and took an old, heavy printer to the recycling center.

I’ve talked about clearing the clutter before. So this time around, I’m calling my writer friend Janel Gradowski for backup to talk to us about clearing the clutter from our writing spaces.

Her article, “Creativity Vitamin: Clean the Clutter”, also appeared on FFDO when the #fridayflash community website was still up and running, but since it closed last year, I really wanted to share this article again, with as many people as possible.
Hope you enjoy this as much as I have!

~~~

A messy work space leads to a messy mind. You have heard some version of that phrase, haven’t you? Clearing the clutter from my writing space is something I make a point to do on a regular basis. I am really not a neat freak, I can happily ignore stacks of mail on the kitchen table or precariously stacked video game boxes on the entertainment center. The reason I regularly clean up my writing space is simple. I’m more productive. That is good enough for me to spend some quality time doing clutter control on a regular basis. A clean work space leads to a less-cluttered mind.

Don’t believe me? Imagine this scenario.

You are in the middle of writing a scene. You pause for a few seconds to ponder the perfect detail to add to your villain’s appearance. Your gaze wanders from your computer screen to a stack of unopened mail. Yes, most of it is junk mail, but there are bills in the pile that could be overdue. You abandon your writing to sort through mail. Clutter has claimed more victims. You and your WIP.

Have you ever written down notes for a project and then lost them? However, in your search through the mountains of paper on your desk you did discover some notes for another story. Notes that would’ve made that story much better, but it’s too late because it has already been published. Now you’re frustrated about two stories.

Maybe you have a favorite pen that you like to edit hard copies with. What happens if you sit down with a stack of pages to edit and you can’t find the pen? You could grab another one, but there’s also a good chance you’ll waste time searching for the coveted pen. There went a nice chunk of editing time.

So how do you get your writing space clean? If your desk is a huge mess, you can tackle your clean up in stages.

  • Throughout the work day when you need to take a break, clean up a few things.
  • Sort through one pile or area at a time.
  • Set up files to keep necessary items and always have your garbage can nearby.
  • Maybe buy, or make, some nice pen holders or boxes to organize notepads, paperclips, sticky notes, etc.
  • If you tend to keep your space neat anyway, make sure to set aside some time each week to do a clutter control sweep.
  • Don’t view the process as a household chore…think of it as a benefit to your writing life.

Are you ready to start cleaning up your writing space, or do you always keep it clean?

~~~

janelMore about the author:

Janel Gradowski lives in a land that looks like a cold weather fashion accessory, the mitten-shaped state of Michigan. She is a wife and mom to two kids and one Golden Retriever. Her journey to becoming an author is littered with odd jobs like renting apartments to college students and programming commercials for an AM radio station. Somewhere along the way she also became a beadwork designer and teacher. She enjoys cooking recipes found in her formidable cookbook and culinary fiction collection. Searching for unique treasures at art fairs, flea markets and thrift stores is also a favorite pastime. Coffee is an essential part of her life. She writes the Culinary Competition Mystery Series, along with The Bartonville Series (women’s fiction) and the 6:1 Series (flash fiction). She has also had many short stories published in both online and print publications.

You can find her via her Website, sign up for her Newsletter, or follow her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Goodreads.

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