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?