I partnered with Workman Publishing to share their gorgeous new book, Creativity Takes Courage. All opinions are my own.
When was the last time that you flexed your creative muscles just for the sake of expressing yourself and not because you wanted to impress someone else? If you’re like me, it’s been a while! Workman Publishing, through their partnership with Flow magazine, released the perfect book that dares you to be more creative. Read on to find out how it’s helping me get back to expressing myself FOR myself again.
Creativity for the Sake of Creativity
We live in an over-scheduled digital world where finding time to simply sit and be creative is getting harder and harder. Sure, we think we’re being oh-so expressive by posting our dinner on Instagram or sharing our lunch menu with our Facebook friends, but if you think about it, often those creative moments are staged and edited. While edited photography and thoughts is definitely a form of self-expression, it’s not the most relaxing form if you ask me!
Case in point, nearly every photo I post, be it on social media or right here on my blog is staged, cropped, and often run through an editing software to get the lighting just so. Every. Single.Picture. I have so many hilarious pictures of my dogs that get rejected just because they are a smidge fuzzy, or because you can see a grungy toy laying on the ground in the background, or because the lighting just didn’t work.
For example, I love this picture of Freya, but it’s not “Instagram-worthy” because it’s blurry and shadowy. I almost deleted it, but ultimately decided to keep it just for me.
As for writing for fun, I can’t even remember the last time I did that! No, wait, I can. It was 1996. I used to write short stories all the time as a teen and young adult. I stopped because they were rejected by the whopping three magazines that I submitted them too. I have VERY thin skin. I gave up a dream of writing fiction because I didn’t think I was good enough, all because three people told me that I wasn’t a good fit for their magazine.
Now, as a single mom, my new excuse is time. As in, I have a hard time finding the time to write for my dream when there are so many bills to be paid, so many things to worry about, so many potential disasters just waiting to eat up my small savings.
I have SO much that I want to say, so many things I want to get out of my head and onto paper. From random thoughts about the world to stories from my childhood, they’re all just at the surface, begging to come out. I keep them locked away though because I’m used to writing for an audience. I think:
- This isn’t a “good fit” for my blog.
- People might think of me differently if they knew that I didn’t believe in time, or that I DID believe in fairies.
- I have to make sure I present the right “branded image” to the world now.
- I shouldn’t write something that doesn’t pay the bills when I could be spending that time working on things that DO pay the bills.
And on and on. So many excuses, so many ways to talk myself out of expressing my creativity in ways that benefit me and only me. The problem: I’m suffering from major burnout. My brain is so full of things that I’m not letting out that my “working brain” has very little energy left. I need to dare myself to be more creative for myself, and I need help doing it.
That’s where Creativity Takes Courage comes in!
Creativity Takes Courage Dares You to Express Yourself
Creativity Takes Courage literally dares you to be more creative in your everyday life through a series of 12 chapters intended to help you break free of old habits and make new creative habits. Each chapter focuses on a different “dare,” including things like:
- Dare to fail
- Dare to start
- Dare to be bored
- Dare to be a kid
Like all of the stunning books from Flow magazine, including my favorites A Book that Takes Its Time and Everything Grows With Love, this is so much more than self-help or how-to tome. It’s an interactive experience that takes you on a journey of self-discovery.
Throughout each chapter, you’ll learn why it’s important to allow yourself to do these things and how to get started. For example, why you need to fail in order to succeed, or how to start something new even when you’re scared.
You’ll be inspired by beautiful quotes, real-world examples, and expert statements before finding an “And Now You” activity at the end of the chapter. Some of the “And Now You” sections guide you through writing activities that help you find out what’s holding your creativity back.
Others inspire you to write in a small pocket journal (included) or pen short letters to friends on gorgeous post cards. The activities are short enough that you can do then anytime, anywhere, yet meaningful enough that you’ll really get something from them.
Throughout the book, you’ll also find inspiring essays that teach you things like:
- How to get started on a new project without getting overwhelmed.
- Learning how to enjoy being alone and doing nothing at all.
- Breaking free from your phone and your inbox.
Basically, things that we could all use in our very busy and over-scheduled high-tech lives.
Creativity Takes Courage is by the co-founders and creative directors of Flow magazine, Irene Smit and Astrid Van der Hulst. It is on sale starting today and retails for $21.95. You can find it wherever books are sold, including on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
So tell me, when was the last time you were creative just for the sake of creativity, just for you?
Time is my excuse, too, and it’s just that – an excuse. I could make time, but I think I am just procrastinating because I am scared of change.
I’m a food blogger that creates recipes, so I am fortunate that I get to be creative in this part of my life. My full time job allows for creativity within some confines, but still, I choose the format and how it is delivered. I love this book!!
I am a very expressive person who doesn’t hold back and is really confident in everything she says. I am blessed to have been born this way! I am thrilled to see that there are books out there for people who want to be more expressive though – because it’s fun and freeing! 🙂
I so wish I was like that! I am getting worse as I get older. I’m a non-conformist punk rock girl, but at the same time I’m afraid that people won’t like me. I’m an enigma, lol.
Ugh I am sorry to hear that! Why do you care what others think though?
If you never try anything different how will you know if people like it or if you enjoy doing it. So get out there and give it a go might be very surprised at yourself.
I love to write and I personally make it a point to do it daily. Not always for money either. That seems like a waste of my life. I mean yes, I like to make money, but that’s just a bonus for me. Writing is what I truly love. We can make time for anything if we try!
I can’t remember the last time that I wrote just for fun, either. I write all the time, but it is always for blogging or work! I will have to check out this book.
Exactly. I write probably 25,000+ words a week, but never just for my own creative writing goals or fiction writing dream. We really need to work on that!
I have someone in mind that this book would be perfect for. I’m a pretty creative person. I love crafting, cooking/baking… I was being creative this past weekend.
That’s fantastic! I’m so glad you find time to be creative every week.
I can relate.. blogging is definitely work and I haven’t even had time to blog about new recipes we have tried. It’s fun to get creative and make the effort to do new things.
This books sounds great! And totally like something I need. I fall into so many of the traps you mentioned–this photo isnt ‘gram-worthy, this story isn’t right for my blog, etc. I need something like this to inspire me!
I think we need to dare ourselves to post one less than perfect picture or something a month, then go from there!
I used to love getting creative, I used to do so many different things, sadly now my hands don’t allow me to do much but a bit of blogging.
Oh I like this book. I think a lack of confidence holds me back the most. I bet this book would inspire me to push past that.
Such a perfect book for me to enhance my creativity in different way. I should look into this, thanks for sharing it.
Just like you, I don’t have thick skin when it comes to rejection. It just take one to reject me and I’m done, which should not be the case.
I think this could be the perfect book for anyone trying to take on any creative endeavors. I’ll have to pick one up for myself!
When it comes to creativity I think I do OK but, I would love to read this book. I’m sure I could use some encouragement in that department, I love to look at different ways to be creative!
I have been really lacking in creativity lately. It feels awful when I think i was able to be really creative and let the juices flow not long ago, but I’m in a funk. need to work on it.
I think I need to pick up this book.I always love to explore ways of being creative!
I love being creative and having the confidence it takes to be so. I do have a couple of friends who needs to embrace creativity more. This book would make great gifts for them.