Boosting Creativity

I've had several people ask me how to get ideas and boost creativity.  Here are my top 5 tips!

1. Read. A lot.

I  firmly believe in the power of reading. Read classics, contemporaries, fiction and non-fiction, anything you can get your hands on that piques your interest and stretches your mind. Every book you read will add to your bank of knowledge, and you can analyze what you read, applying the things you like to your own creative works. Good books will make you wonder about things, ask questions, and contemplate what it means to be human. 

Some of my writer friends might be worried that they are "copying" a story if they borrow themes, ideas, or other elements from it. There are only so many storylines/themes in the world, and everything is inspired by something else, to some extent. Just make sure you are adding a unique bit of you to your creative work, and you'll be good to go!

2. Pay attention to the world around you.
                                         

This sounds super simple, but you'd be surprised how much escapes us! Notice the subtle facial expressions that signify what someone's really thinking, listen to the calming sound of leaves crunching underfoot, touch things that have interesting textures, think about your favorite smells and why you like them so much. What memories do these sensations and observations trigger? What feelings are evoked? How could you express these things in art, writing, and music?

As a writer, I'm always looking for ways to make my characters unique and relatable. My favorite way to get character inspiration is "people-watching". I try to pay attention to what makes someone's voice unique. I like to try to guess their likes and dislikes based off what they're wearing. By doing this, I am made aware of how much I don't know about people. I can speculate and imagine, but the possibilities are endless. We all have our unique stories, and you can learn so much by observing what makes us tick and how we go about it in our daily life. The funny thing is, the more I people- watch, the more willing I am to give people the benefit of the doubt. Because, as I said before, there is so much I don't know about the person sitting across from me or the cashier or the bus driver. 

3. Change it up

Re-arrange your work space. Try a different Starbucks order.  Try a new kind of exercise. While routine is great and change isn't always comfortable, a stagnant lifestyle can mean a stagnant brain. Making small (or large) changes to your lifestyle can make you question why you have these habits in the first place. Creativity is dynamic, constantly changing and bouncing off your external surroundings. No change can eliminate that crucial stimulus your brain needs to get new ideas. 

4. Surround yourself with supportive people

When you are around people who support your creative pursuits and interest, you're more likely to share what makes you unique. Surround yourself with people who want the best for you, people who will be supportive as you work towards your goals. 
I've been in two different kinds of friends groups--the "friends" that you find yourself acting differently around, and the friends that you can be yourself around. I can be a total chameleon in regards to the way I act, speak, or share my ideas if I get the sense that the people I'm around wouldn't approve of my personality, interests, and lifestyle. This is the unfortunate thing about being a teenage girl--people tend to not include you or make you feel special if you're not just like them, following trends and constantly changing in order to be liked by the crowd. I deal with this a lot, actually, and I suppress my uniqueness out of fear that I'll be shunned. But, I'm unhappy when I do this and sooner or later, people find out. There's no magic spell for making people like you for who you are. 
BUT--when I'm around my group of genuine friends, I feel like I can be myself and be creative in my own way. We might not be exactly the same or have the same interests, but we respect each other's individuality and support each other's creative endeavors to the best of our ability. Find friends that will let you feel comfortable in your own skin. 

5. Don't let fear stop you

Whatever you create WILL have value because it's yours! You are a unique, beautiful, worthy human being, and you deserve to share what you love. Don't let fear of failure cripple you and inhibit your creative processes. Just savor the journey, and be proud of what you have accomplished! 

~

What do you do when you're stuck in a creative rut?

~ K A T H R Y N

*all images in this post via pinterest
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Aestas

i lay in the long grasses
sunbaked and dry 
rough to the touch
waiting
for
dreams
to 
smoothe
and 
soothe
my 
soul

a spider scurries over my arm
it starts to weave a silvery web over my eyes
i am not afraid
i embrace the filmy visage of gray 

how long have i been lying here?
a few minutes
an hour?

i feel the magic seeping up from the ground into my skin
coursing through my bloodstream
weakening my heart
liable to break if i don't take care
if i leave it out of the sun for too long

this corner of the world is pleasant



via pinterest




1

Preptober Resources + Inspiration

'Lo!

After several failed NaNoWriMos, I've resolved to actually plan this time. I'm working on outlines, trying to really get to know my characters, and spending a lot (too much...?) time perusing inspiration on Pinterest! That being said, I've been gathering some resources that have been useful in cementing my ideas and getting into the writing zone. While I am far from a fully planned plot, taking a step back and slowly compiling all my ideas into a semi-coherent plan will (hopefully) help November go more smoothly and productively.

via pinterest

Below are some of my favorite resources/inspiration this month. Comment your favorites or any tips you might have!


         → lots of great basic information if you're feeling a little lost
         → outlines, planning sheets, and more!
         → great tool for meaningful character names
5. Writing Playlists
         → fabulous for setting the mood of your scene
6. How to Plot a Novel: 7 Tips for Success
         → lots of good things to consider for planning this month
7. Writer's Edit Blog
         → a plethora of helpful articles



Let me know if you would like to see more NaNo posts! 

~ K A T H R Y N




   
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Memoria

grasping at half remembered visions
are they real
or
mere allusions to fill empty space?

some call them daydreams
idle wanderings of the mind to accompany the sun
but these meanderings keep me up
far into the dark night
when i can hear them 
burrowing
in 
  the depths of my brain

via pinterest


~

'Lo!

As you can probably tell, I'm quite rusty with words at the moment. One of my goals this month is to get back into the swing of regular blog posts + writing! I barely wrote anything this summer--instead, I did a lot of personal journaling. 

I also did a lot of brainstorming, especially in regards to some creative projects I hope I can accomplish! 

As for new posts--what would you all like to see? Would you like to see some lifestyle/advice posts? I'd like to change up the design on here eventually, as soon as I can figure out all that tech stuff. ;D

~ K A T H R Y N


3

Study Playlist

favorite classical + film scores for studying (or relaxation)


 click the picture to listen!
click the image to listen!








0

Currently {August}

'Lo,

I apologize for my rather long absence on here--the craziness of summer is starting to slow, and there's a brief lull before school and dance! I'm full of fresh ideas and lots of news, but for today, I wanted to type up a quick journal. 
i've been very into making smoothies lately...trying to get creative in an attempt to trick my vegetable-hating brother into consuming something semi-healthy :I 
~

reading: Jeeves and Wooster by P.G. Wodehouse (always a good laugh). I have a ton of books packed for our road trip to Washington D.C., so I'll have to let you all know what I finish!
watching: Stranger Things, The Princess Diaries (with my almost 10 year old sister who is totally into it), shark documentaries (don't ask)
listening to: I've been having fun making seasonally inspired playlists and trying out new artists, let me know down below if you want me to do a post + your favorite tunes at the moment
doing: Packing for D.C., doing some school prep, cleaning the house (yuck)
enjoying: harvesting vegetables from the garden, morning coffee, the sound of summer bugs
looking forward to: Our road trip to Washington D.C. next week!
missing: My friends, a time when I wasn't constantly busy
etc: I recently became a consultant for Lilla Rose, and have been busy educating myself about the company. Lilla Rose specializes in pretty (and practical) hair accessories, so if you're looking for some elven inspired hair bling (that still allows you to fight wraiths and make cookies and whatnot), check them out!

really like this family photo we took last month...everyone is looking at the camera and we only look slightly awkward! :D
i've been experimenting with dance photography
~
what have you been up to? spill the tea in the comments below!

K A T H R Y N

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Hello June








~

I got out of school on Monday 

I had a whole list of things that I wanted to do this summer, but so far I haven't had the motivation to do them. I'm restless, yet lacking the energy to do things. So far, I've been cleaning out my binders and room and giving my room a good tidy. I haven't done that in a long time. I'll have to clean out space in my closet for textbooks and notebooks since I'll be home for school next year. A clean space is a clean mind! (they say)

I'm glad I was able to make the decision to leave the school I had been at for two years for homeschool. I'll have more time for creative pursuits like writing and sketching and dance, and I can go to events I wasn't able to participate in while going to school. I'll miss my friends and teachers, however. I suppose that's the tricky thing about big decisions--there are pros and cons, and you need to weigh what is most important to you. I've become a terrible decision maker as of late. I hope next year works out all right. I hope my friends don't forget about me, now that I won't be seeing them every day. Funnily enough, I just found out one of my very good friends who had been living in Michigan is moving back here. I've also been seeing a lot of my old friends because of a play production I'm in. 

Maybe that's why I haven't been inspired to write. Maybe I'm scared to make decisions about what I want to show to the world--I admit, as of late, I've become more scared of what people will think of my writing, my appearance, my general being. It sounds silly, and people tell me "who CARES what other people think", but it's surprisingly hard to rid yourself of the worm that is self-doubt. The deeper it burrows into you, the more you change. It's a constant cycle of re-evaluation and wondering and worrying. That's certainly NOT who I want to be. But how do I find inspiration? How do I re-ignite that magic, creative fire that used to make life just downright exciting?

I don't know.

I've heard many people say that waiting for inspiration does nobody good. Okay, okay. But I've changed as a writer and a person in general. I crave perfection, but I know this is unattainable. 

If excellence is fulfilling oneself, then I choose excellence. But how do I know if my creative manifestations are really and truly excellent, and not just the product of a dormant imagination sputtering out half-baked wishes? Am I creating for myself, for the pursuit of beauty and virtue, or am I really just creating what I think people want to see?

Again, I don't know. But I'm willing to wait--I know inspiration will come, somehow.

But for now--time to scour the library shelves, peruse Pinterest, and put a little more effort into those half-hearted poems.

Hello, June!

~ K A T H R Y N






3

Recent Reads // April 2018

*eeks, sorry I forgot to post this.*

'Lo,

This month has been a great reading month due to the fact I had a kick-start with spring vacation! Normally it takes me forever to finish a book when I'm in school, so it was great to have some extra   R & R time (reading and relaxation time, of course.) I'll be providing summaries/blurbs from Goodreads, in case you've never heard of these books and want to find out more.


̲̲

Scythe // Neal Shusterman

★★★


I discovered Neal Shusterman last month when I read his intriguing, disturbing, and intensely thought-provoking book Unwind (highly recommend.) I found this one at the library and I liked the cover, so I brought in on vacation. The whole concept interested me, and that kept me reading. I kept hoping for more, and I had so many questions that were never answered. This book lacked the development I was expecting after experiencing the amazing exposition in Unwind. While this book was definitely original and had potential, I wasn't that impressed. I'm willing to read the sequel, though. 


A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Tales of the Peculiar // Ransom Riggs

★★★★



I think two types of people would like this book: those who enjoyed the original series Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and those who like odd fairy tales/folk tales. I'm both, so this was a fun and quick read for me! Riggs goes into some Ymbryne history in this book, which explains how loops/time pockets worked. This was just a fun little vacation read. :)


Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales. 

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. The origins of the first ymbryne. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—known to hide information about the peculiar world—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories, as collected and annotated by Millard Nullings, ward of Miss Peregrine and scholar of all things peculiar.

A Monster Calls // Patrick Ness

★★★★★



This book was incredibly sad, focusing on loss, or the fear of loss. Ness subtly immerses you in the story, making you feel the main character's pain with startling clarity. One of the most significant points in this book is the fact that most of the time, fear of loss is more painful than the loss itself. Letting go of your false hopes and facing the truth can open up new doors of appreciation and reflection that make loss less painful.


An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor. 



At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting - he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.



From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd - whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself - Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.


~ K A T H R Y N








1

Petrichor

salty streams 
of pearl
hopes and dreams                       
unfurl
from deep pools
of past
almost there
at last



 

~ K A T H R Y N




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Woodsy Wonderland



this picture isn't that great, but this is the house we were staying in! it was amazing! i got my own room. :)


my siblings were making little rafts out of driftwood


mum enjoying some tea while watching the smol ones play
a fun fall display near one of the local markets


hiking was glorious, i loved pretending i was a fairytale character lost in the woods

the little monster being all cute. don't let him fool you
this was a rocky trail, very fun. 





this is very washed out, but the iconic trio wanted a pic
sunsets never fail to take my breath away

there's this adorable custard shop that we go to ever time we're in the area, the custard is fantabulous
my mouth is watering

~

My knowledge of technology is very limited, I admit. Dad lent me his camera when we went to Door County last fall, and I thought I lost all the pictures I took. My brother (who is significantly more knowledgeable when it comes to things with cords and memory cards) was fiddling around with the camera this morning and was able to find all of the pictures! 
These are a couple of my favorites. 

This was my first time using a 'real' camera, and it was so fun! I'll be sure to share the rest of the pictures soon. 

~ K A T H R Y N


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