30 Lists in 30 Days

30 lists in 30 days

I know that I have a lot of work to do to get this blog up and running the way I would like.  The thing is, I know it’s not going to grow overnight and I know it’s not going to happen if I don’t put the time in, so I wanted to jump back in with kind of a fun project that I think will help me form some really good writing habits.  Starting tomorrow, I’m going to be embarking on my 30 Lists in 30 Days challenge.

The lists will be about any and everything and some will be personal in nature, while others might have more of a business or artsy slant.  The point is, I’m going to be publishing something every day for the next 30 days and I’m really excited about it.

Why lists?

Why not?  Lists are awesome and they serve my personal (and human) need to categorize and make sense out of this chaotic world.  Plus, I just really like making lists, so it’s an easy and fun way for me to get in the habit of publishing something every day.

Why 30 Days?

They say it takes 28 days for an action to become habitual, so it would reason that if I can write and publish consistently for 30 days in a row, it should become an ongoing habit, which would be great.  One of the issues I think I have is that I tend to worry so much that the quality is not up to par that I stop myself short of posting something or I hold myself back from actually launching an online shop.  Committing to a 30-day goal should help me overcome some of those hurdles.

So wish me luck as I embark on my latest challenge – this is one I’m looking forward to!

These words of advice will make you want to keep going

Ira Glass, the This American Life presenter had some powerful things to say about pushing through the creative barrier and how long it takes.  Photographer Daniel Sax was so inspired by what Ira had to say that he created a rather remarkable video to showcase Ira’s words of advice against his own medium.  All in all, it took him a full year to develop the concept, film and upload the video and I for one, absolutely love the result.  Bottom line: if you think you’re not good enough, or are struggling to get to the next level, watch this:

Pretty powerful stuff, huh?  I feel like this is a message that applies not just to creative people, but to anyone who is just starting something and trying to get to the next level.  Feelings of inadequacy and of not being on the same level as others bog most of us down at one time or another, but it’s so important to realize that success does not come overnight for anyone.  Persistence and hard work is the key to making it in any industry.

5 Ways to Find the Inspiration

So I’ll be the first to admit that occasionally (quite often), I’m at a loss for what to write or what to create.  Sometimes the blank page just stares back at me and it’s like it’s crying out for me to do something, but I’ve got absolutely nothing to give.  I think everyone goes through this and it is incredibly frustrating.  So here are 5 quick ways to get inspired if you’re feeling creatively challenged:

1. Change your scenery

If you’re stuck in a rut, one of the best things you can do is go someplace new.  Go for a walk outside, go watch people at the mall (but don’t be creepy about it), go to a park and swing for awhile.  I swear it’ll improve your mood and you’ll probably get some fresh ideas just by moving to a new location.

2. Change your perspective

This one is something that I’ve tried and it can be so much fun if you let it.  What you do is you put yourself in the shoes of someone or something else to see what the world looks like through their eyes.  For instance, if you have a dog, try looking at the world for his perspective for a few hours.  How much does the home you see every day change when you’re looking at it from a new perspective?  Just getting a new angle on the everyday can easily start that creative spark.

3. Play that funky music

…white boy.  Just kidding, but in all reality, music can be so inspirational and can impact your mood in a major way.  If you’ve been playing the same old tracks over and over, change it up.  Listen to a genre or an artist that isn’t really up your alley.  If you’re into the emo scene, maybe try a little old school jazz, or if you are a classical buff, put on a some classic ACDC and rock out for awhile.  You may find that you still don’t really like jumping into a totally new genre, but then again, you may surprise yourself.

4. R.E.A.D.

Ok, I really didn’t need to put the periods in there, but I think it is so important that reading deserves to be bolded and capitalized.  If your inspiration has run dry, go read something.  Read a blog, comb through Reddit, read some inspirational quotes.  Even better, hop on Wikipedia and read about the lives of creative, successful people.  While reading isn’t overly visually stimulating, it’ll get your brain moving and thinking in a different way, which is just as important.

5. Frame it up

There is this scene in the movie Sabrina (the one with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormand) where Sabrina is talking about why she loves taking pictures.  She explains that when you look at something through a lens, you constantly find yourself in the middle of a story.  For instance, if you frame up a lighthouse, you could find yourself asking, “What kind of a man takes a job in a lighthouse?”  When you look through a camera lens, it automatically puts you in an open frame of mind because you are actively trying to see the world around you.  So often these days, we’re completely absorbed by our technology or our busy schedules that just taking the time to open your eyes can give you all the inspiration you’ll ever need.


Daily Inspiration – Grecian Blue

Today’s inspiration comes courtesy of  my dad, Dave.  He took this shot a couple of years ago while he and my mom were on a cruise in the Mediterranean.  This particular image was shot on the Greek island of Santorini and if you’ve seen pictures of Santorini before or if you’re lucky enough to have traveled there personally, you’ll instantly recognize the white and blue color scheme.

Maybe it’s because it’s snowy and cold here in Nebraska today or maybe it’s just because I love the colors in this picture so much, but this is one of those images that really resonates with me.  From the detail of the old, broken-down boat to the wide expanse of blue sea, the image is bursting with energy.  Just looking out over the horizon into the water makes me feel like there is a world of possibility and opportunity.  Thanks for the inspiration dad!

Daily Inspriation – Happy

So this is something that I’m going to be doing on a regular basis – posting things that inspire me, brighten my day or just make me smile.  Today’s inspiration comes from the musical genius that is Pharrell Williams.  I’m borderline obsessed with his song, “Happy” right now.  The groove is infectious, I love the lyrics and it seriously puts me in a good mood.  I defy you to listen to this song and not start swaying with a smile on your face!  It is not possible.  Thank you Pharrell for putting a little happy in my day.  Enjoy! 🙂