Tag Archives: Creativity

Overcoming Creative’s Block

This blogging thing hasn’t been coming easy to me the past few months. I think I feel so far removed from my creativity that I feel as though overcoming creative block is impossible.  I’ve allowed myself to get to the place of “Why am I even trying?!”  Which is absolutely ridiculous, but it’s the truth. I see so few people reading and sharing blogs, see so many who are writing and creating beautiful spaces, that my space seems rather more an eye-sore, than a heart-salve.Overcoming creative block

I tell myself it doesn’t matter if I don’t have perfectly curated graphics and pinnable images. That it isn’t necessary if the words resonant with at least one person. The problem is that I desperately WANT to create that visual beauty in whatever way it is birthed. I take pictures and look at them and wait and ruminate (did you know that you should wait before sharing a picture on INSTA-gram? That it’s better to really be intentional about the photo and what you say?) and then convince myself no one wants to see this, that it’s not as good as I want it to be, so why bother. Of course, this has also bled over into my quilting as well.

Can you tell that sometimes most times I am my own worst enemy and critic?

But who isn’t?! We all are. I’d love to tell you that I figured out the fail proof way of being free in one’s creativity without feeling like a failure or that it’s good, but not nearly good enough. Or that good enough is good ENOUGH. I don’t. I don’t know how. I do know that it takes a bit less moaning and groaning and bit a more just doing it. Just putting fingers to the keys, blades to the fabric, and needles to the thread: Letting the words and fabric fall where they may.

Sometimes the hardest part of starting is getting started.

That’s where I feel I am.

I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic (READ IT if you consider yourself a creative of any sort). Unfortunately, I had a library copy that I couldn’t mark up, because there was so much delicious goodness in that book (seriously, just google quotes from the book)! So much that just spoke to my struggling creative soul, and ALL OF IT telling me to just get over it, over myself, and just do a little bit, just START! That if I don’t even do that, then I’m doing myself and the world a disservice by not delving into my God-given creativity.

The bottom line: I need to get over what I expect my writing should look like; I need to get over feeling as though, if I can’t do “perfection” then I shouldn’t try; I need to get over this hurdle and just write. That’s what I need to do. I need to convince myself that I am a writer, even if I don’t have any “published” works. That I don’t need to have a certain pen and paper or laptop (even though I function much better when I’m not distracted by things that are seriously bugging me). That I can just string words together and let them exist for now, maybe to be edited…maybe not.

I know I’m not the only one struggling with this, because if I was Big Magic wouldn’t be as popular a book as it is, and there wouldn’t be a plethora of writing groups on facebook: Obviously, a lot of people struggle with their creativity. Who’s with me?! Who’s struggling to creating, whether it be with words, paints, fabrics or something else. I know I’m not alone.

What’s been going on

It’s been a while. So much going on, so much draining me of my energy…so much. I can’t even explain it. It’s not because the baby keeps me up all night (he’s the best and sleeps through the night), it’s not because I’m going to bed too late. I don’t know what it is, but the past few months have left me absolutely exhausted…bone weary exhausted…to the point that I barely feel like I can function in the evening.

So what all has been going on here?

We’re in the homestretch of homeschooling this year. We’ve definitely gotten into more of a routine and enjoy the time. There are still struggles, but we’re working on it. We decided to continue for next year, so that’s a good sign! I try not to think about homeschooling the triplets, because it completely freaks me out. I have a whole ‘nother year before we have to make a decision on that…gotta love a December birthday! Continue Reading

Do you listen to podcasts?

Over the last few years I’ve spent a bit more time listening to podcasts…they were great when riding back and forth to Albany for doctors appointments (2 hours one way). I’ve had a lot less time lately to listen to them, which has been kind of sad. One in particular I’ve made a concerted effort to listen to Sarah Werner’s Write Now Podcast, because I love it! IMG_5934

I don’t remember when or who I started listening to with Podcasts…I think maybe it was Kat Lee’s How They Blog, which I’m not even sure it exists anymore. I do know that she does Inspired to Action, which is another great blog. Anyways. It went from there to God Centered Mom and a whole bunch of other ones, a lot of them radio shows that I just never caught on the radio.

Then came the day that I just declared podcast bankruptcy because I couldn’t handle looking at the number of unplayed podcasts. In November I was looking for podcasts specifically about writing, which is when I found Sarah’s awesome podcast, which is what got me back into the whole listening to podcasts thing and wanting to BE a podcaster {I love them, I’d love to do one, I’d love to be on one…no idea what or who I would talk to}.

The thing I love about podcasts is how my mind can be engaged in something, while doing mindless stuff. I can learn something new, be entertained, inspired, or just about anything else while listening to a podcast and it doesn’t take away from my ability to perform any of the myriad of mindless activities that I need to do on a regular basis.

Just recently I started cleaning our church on a weekly basis which gives me a couple of hours of quiet time to listen to podcasts! Score! Until I got caught up on every podcast episode…now I am in need of some new material…WHICH IS WHERE YOU COME IN! What are your favorite podcasts? Why? Do you listen to every episode or pick and choose? And, if you DON’T listen to podcasts…why not?

What do I listen to?

I love Write Now Podcast, which I mentioned above. She does two different types, the more frequent ones are interviews, referred to as Coffee Breaks, and then there is the more technical/inspirational being a writer ones {which are my favorite!}. I have yet to listen to a Coffee Break, just because…my time was limited, but with cleaning I’m planning on delving more into them.

I also started listening to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s What Should I Read Next? The premise of the podcast is interviews and matchmaking between writers/readers and what they have been reading and what they should read next. It’s really a rather fascinating idea. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing something similar once a month on here.

I’ve already mentioned God Centered Mom and Inspired to Action, both of which I really enjoy. I just starte
d listening to Sorta Awesome with Megan Tietz, which is great, as is Tsh Oxenreider’s The simple Show. I do also enjoy listening to ProBlogger‘s podcast, but it’s more on the if-the-topic-interests-me basis, the same for Focus on the Family‘s daily broadcast.

I’ve really been looking for a family radio theater kind of podcast…either Lamplighter or something similar, but haven’t come across one. We love the Family Hour on Family Life Network, but it goes too late for our crew {they’re in bed by 7:30}.

What are your suggestions? What podcasts do you love? or maybe one that you listened to that you’re definitely not tuning in to again. Maybe you don’t even listen to podcasts. I want to hear from YOU!

Finding Time to Have Fun

Finding Time to Have Fun When There is Just so Much to Do! @JessicaMWhite.com

Even before kids people would ask me how I managed to find the time to do things. After kids, they REALLY wanted to know how I managed to “do it all”. Not just the menial day-to-day that we ALL have to do, but the other things that are the fluff of life: Reading, blogging, quilting etc.

Finding Time to Have Fun When There is Just so Much to Do! @JessicaMWhite.com

It’s a very simple answer, but most people aren’t willing to do it. There’s this thing called “Guilt”, ever heard of it? People very often will feel guilty if they don’t handle all of the must-dos, before the would-like-to-dos. Because of this, and the endless list of must-dos, the would-like-to-dos never happen.

Guilt aside….what’s the answer: I don’t do it all. Bottom line.

I leave the dishes in the sink some nights. I don’t keep up with the laundry. My living room sometimes goes days {or weeks} being trashed. I don’t always cook fanciful meals. I do the absolutely necessary and leave the rest to when I have time. Sometimes I’m on top of all these things and sometimes I just let them go, so that I can work on a quilting or writing project or head to bed early to read.

That’s what most people struggle with: Letting themselves NOT fall into the traps of what they are supposed to do, giving themselves the freedom to let those things slide so they can accomplish the things they enjoy, the things that fill their tank.

We are a great culture for guilt…if we don’t fill the presubscribed ideology of what someone should do, then we feel like a failure. In the mean time, we feel like a failure anyway, because we can’t EVER get all those must-dos done. I hate to say it, but sometimes I do have a “why bother” attitude about certain aspects of homemaking.9780800723484_alt5

{I’m sure my German grandmother is rolling in her grave right now that I don’t prioritize the must-dos.}

There’s this book that recently came out by Jessica Turner of TheMomCreative.com called The Fringe Hours. The premise of which is the importance of self-care and the importance of making time for those things that you love to do. Most of the book focuses on addressing the guilt we feel when we do the things we enjoy, particularly when the must-dos are not done; as well as how to better use the in-between minutes of our day. It’s a great book. It’s the book I wish I’d written.

That said. To me….my house is not a priority. My kids are. My husband is. My creativity is. That’s how I find the time to do the things I love; I don’t do any of the other things I’m supposed to.

*To read another of my posts on this topic, visit here: Thoughts on Creativity: Why I Make Creating a Priority from April 2013

**You can pick up your copy of The Fringe Hours at Amazon.com or DaySpring.com {these are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission on your purchases at no additional cost to you. You can read my Disclosure Policy here.

From Busy to Blessing – Conclusion

I’m so glad you joined me this month, during my 31 Days of How to Use Your Martha to Be a Mary! I certainly hope that this little series has given you HOPE as to how you can bless those around you, despite an already busy schedule.
From Busy to Blessing How to Use Your Martha to Be a Mary @JessicaMWhite.comIt really is about priorities, about thinking a bit more about the things we’re already doing, and quite a bit about changing our hearts, because honestly, our hearts are where it all begins. Anything you do can be used for God’s glory and to bless others, as long as your heart is in it.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10

We don’t have to worry about the details or the hows or the whats: If we seek only to glorify Him, to step forward to do the work He has called us to do we will be successful.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6:33

Doing God’s work, doing what He has called us to do, doesn’t mean that we won’thave bumps in the road, that things will go absolutely perfectly. Sometimes those bumps are part of the road, part of the lesson that we have to learn…to trust Him and let go. Boy, would it be a lot easier to know we were doing His work if everything went without a hitch.

I continue to challenge you, to think beyond the immediate: There is a way that God has planned for you to bless those around you. Ask Him to show you how. It may not be something huge, it may not be as grandiose as you think it should be, it can be as simple as a smile on your face and His song in your heart, while you go about your day.

We do have to begin, to take that step. But, the end is what it is all about: The end result of our actions, the end result of words, the end result of our lives. Whether we allow the beginning to occur so that the end can be to His glory.

Again, thank you for join me this past month. I know it’s been intense having a blog post to read every day. Those of you who have commented and read along with me on this, thank you for your words, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. It means so much as a blogger to know that what you are saying is reaching someone.

I’ve put all of those posts together on one easy page, so that you can pin just ONE thing and have all of them together. That said, I also hope that you’ll continue to pray for me, as I begin to turn this collection of posts into my first ebook! Not sure when that will happen, but eventually it will.

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to find out more about my future ebook, as well as to get an easy access for all of posts from this series.

We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging soon. Tomorrow our first born is FOUR! so you can be sure there will be a birthday post, some Halloween cuteness, and some updates about things that have been going on in the White House. I even have a few giveaways already slated for the month of November, as well as some great gift ideas! See you on the blog!

Blessings!