Hey girl. Yes you, the one who wants to write a book, or start a blog, or open an etsy shop. You, the one with a full time job and a shitty commute who just feels too drained at the end of the day to be creative. I feel your pain. Lately my plate has been way too full. Think 12 hour work days out of the house, keeping up with my home based business on the side, oh yeah… and this blog. Sleep? Nope, haven’t been doing much of that to be honest with you. And sometimes I’m just pooped out and cranky and unmotivated. Actually I was feeling that way the day I shot this look (didn’t feel like doing it!), but I overcame feeling like a Mrs. Crankypants and in the end was glad I did!
So what is a girl to do when she’s got so much going on it’s hard to let those creative juices flow? Well, it’s not always easy but it IS possible to start a creative project (or keep up with one) while enduring the daily grind. In fact, during the last 2 months even though I’ve struggled to stay on top of blogging I managed put out some pretty awesome posts & grow Classic In Gray’s blog traffic by 125%!
So for all my ladies (and gents) out there hustling to make magic happen outside of office hours, this one’s for you. Here’s the lowdown on my very best tips to stay creative (or break out of a creative rut when you fall into one):
Inspiration can strike at the strangest times, so make sure to always (always!) have something handy to take notes with. I like to keep a notepad app on the main screen of my phone so that I always have a quick place to jot down ideas. Once a week open up your notepad to review anything you’ve written down and choose a few ideas to explore further.
Find time to be alone. Alone alone. Not just “my husband is in the next room watching youtube and might pop in at any moment to show me a cute animal meme” alone. In my current reality that mean’s I do most of my best writing A) after my husband falls asleep or B) before I start work or on my lunch break. Coffee shops are such an amazing resource for free wifi and chill music to keep you in the zone… go get a coffee and turn off your phone for an hour, you’ll be amazed at how productive you can be!
Okay kids, this is about to get dramatic… Turn off the TV. Close Instagram. Turn off your ringer. Now go for a walk. Or go camping. Find some way to get back in touch with nature and rejuvenate your real human self. Feel connected to the world, it’ll do wonders for your mind & spirit.
One of my very favorite ways to reinvigorate my creativity is to spend some time around like minded creatives. Let someone else’s passion rub off on you! Reach out to a local who you admire and strike up a friendship (Instagram is fantastic for this), it sounds scary but in my experience most people are really open to meeting new friends/peers. Collaborate together on a project or just grab a coffee to bounce ideas off of each other… this never goes wrong for me!
…even if you don’t feel like it! It seems counter-intuitive but the truth is that sometimes you have to force yourself to start on a project even if you don’t feel like it. Chances are that once you get started you’ll get a second wind of motivation and inspiration. Maybe you’ll even discover something new since you’re looking at things with a different perspective.
less, but better
There are times in life when you try your very hardest to keep up but there still aren’t enough hours in the day. That feeling is the worst! When that happens commit to doing less, so that what you are doing is something you can truly be proud of. I used to post 3-4 times a week but with lack of sleep I felt the quality start to slip, and that made me feel unmotivated. Lately I post 2 (or gasp, sometimes 1!) post a week. I’m okay with that because I’d rather pour my heart & soul into this blog than churn out meaningless fluff just to say I did it (and PS: blog traffic hasn’t suffered one bit!).
a bonus tip for bloggers
This one is mostly applicable to my blogger baes: automate whatever you can, as soon as you can afford to. I use Tailwind* to schedule my pins, coschedule* as my editorial calendar & to schedule my tweets, and Later* to help me manage my instagram feed. Automating these tasks saves me so much time and mental energy that is better used toward writing, photography, and daydreaming (or sleep!). *referral links
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