On Creativity


Last week, Emily and I had a little kerfuffle with our posts and our wires got crossed somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean… We agreed on the topic of the week but somehow ended up writing about different topics: I wrote about comparison and she wrote about creativity. The kerfuffle sort of works for me though as I have just recorded Saturday’s episode of Spirit Animal and this week we will be chatting about creativity at work with a special guest. This means you get double dose from me – high five.

As someone whose goal was to write, I knew what I was getting into, creatively speaking. Or at least I thought so… I knew I would have to squeeze every single idea out of my brain in order to try and turn it into something tangible. To me, this defines creativity: being able to turn brain mush into something relatable, tangible and beautiful. I think by now I have the first two under control, so I am striving for the last one.

When I started blogging, I didn’t really see it as a creative pursuit, I saw it as an outlet for my writing. The platform was somewhat rigid at the time (hello blogger in 2007) and so it was mostly a vehicle for words. I hadn’t yet pursued photography properly and so the whole thing, while it may have been interesting to read, was a bit of a mess, but it certainly fulfilled a need for me and that was all I cared about at the time.

Fast forward a few years and I am much more conscious of what I am putting out there. The internet has become more flexible, my skills have evolved and writing isn’t my only creative outlet anymore. I am now fulfilled by photography, writing, coding, editing and recording my podcast. All these micro-tasks I do weekly all work towards the same goal: making me feel like I am achieving something. When everything works, it is wonderful.

Some days, it doesn’t work. A lot of days it doesn’t work actually, and this for various reasons: my tools aren’t cooperating (I spent an entire day this week trying to solve a coding puzzle that almost made my brain explode), I am suddenly hyper critical of my work and start comparing it to other people’s or sometimes I am simply not inspired at all. Because it happens! We are not machines and this creativity thing doesn’t just happen when you snap your fingers. You need to be open to it to some extent (and you should read Big Magic if you want to dig deeper), you need to be willing to create something on that day. Some days I wake up stressed and with a mountain of life admin to climb and beautiful ideas don’t tend to come to me. Other days however, I will wake up with a huge amount of energy BECAUSE I thought of something great I want to create.

I am very fortunate that after a decade of blogging, I am still massively in love with what I do. Sure, I have off days, but overall, I am so excited to publish new posts, push myself to try and make the whole experience more interesting for my readers and generally enjoy the intense freedom that comes with blogging and running your own business. If you want to hear more on how to channel your creativity when working for others, do tune in to Spirit Animal this Saturday!

Head over to FFG to read her post on comparison…