Thursday, July 24, 2014

Working through Creative Block

Enough with the Christmas stuff…time to get creative!  If you are like me, you’ve probably experienced a time or two when you didn’t feel so creative.  Maybe you sat and stared at that same scrapbook layout for hours, not knowing what to do.  Maybe you spent hours flipping through websites and magazines looking for inspiration.  I know I have.  I have a long running joke that I never get anything done at a crop until the last hour I’m there.  Why is that?  I would really like to know.

I blame some of it on distractions; chatting with my fellow croppers, all the great new products in the store, getting settled into my work space,  and getting up for meals all lead me away from what I came here to do – crop!  So how do I get wound up and get the creative juices flowing before that last hour?  Christine Kane had some great ideas on her blog recently:

Start with imperfection.
When Anne Lamott wrote about “shitty first drafts,” millions of souls around the world uttered a giant sigh of relief.

Your creative spark never dies. It’s just that you have a death grip on what you think the outcome should be.  You want it to be fast, perfect, and complete.

If you gave yourself permission to simply show up and do it badly – while fending off the inner critic with the tenacity of a lion tamer – then you would rekindle the creative spark. All creativity begins with imperfection. You show up. You have some horrible ideas. They turn into okay ideas. They turn into some pretty good things. And suddenly, you’re back on fire. Start badly. Become an imperfectionist. All the cool kids are doing it.

Set some parameters.
When you have a big project looming, or a fabulous idea to flesh out, the blank slate is daunting. Ideas over here. Ideas over there. Before you know it, someone shouts “Squirrel!” and you’re gone.

This is why you need parameters. Parameters get you started and protect you from your ego.
So, first schedule the time for your creative work.

Then when you sit down at that time, set a timer. Using a timer tells all of your distractible selves that this is the time you work. These are the parameters. Be here now. When the alarm sounds, get up, check off your to-do list – and move on with your day.

I love Christine’s suggestions, and I’m going to try them out today as we visit Scrappin’ Goodtime in Corsicana.  I brought some miscellaneous unfinished projects (my old crochet group used to call them UFOs), and I’m hoping that I’ll make more progress through the stack than I did the last time I went cropping – that day I only got through a simple card stack that was already half finished (oops!).  Next time you get stuck, give these two tips a try and see if they help you.  I’ve actually tried the first one many times over and it really did work – I wound up creating some of my best work.  Give it a try and see if it works for you, too!

Here’s a sweet treat of a layout for today – it’s one I designed a few years ago for Scrappin’ Goodtime using Bo Bunny’s Sweet Tooth series.

Hope you liked your sweet treat and Christine’s tips.  If you want to see more tips from Christine Kane, head over to her blog article “What to Do When Your Creative Spark Dies.

Christine Kane is the Mentor to People Who are Changing the World. She helps women and men Uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly Uplevel You eZine goes out to over 32,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a FREE subscription at

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