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creativity

In creativity, Lifestyle on
May 17, 2018

How To Get Inspired When Your Creative Outlet Is Your Job

Happy Thursday y’all,

Over the last year, I have transitioned away from school and into my own as a freelance writer. I am still getting my business off the ground, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to write.

Writing has been both a creative outlet for me and a job for the last little bit, so I wanted to share some tips on balancing your creative passions as both an outlet and a career choice.

Related Reading: 12 Tips To Help You Get Out Of Any Slump And Back In Creative Alignment

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

How To Get Inspired When Your Creative Outlet Is Your Job | When your creative outlet is your job you face some interesting challenges. Today's blog is geared toward the people who are living their creative dreams. Don't lose sight of what made you creatively inspired. #Creativity #CareerAdvice #CreativeAdvice

Keep Reading, Darling

In Lifestyle on
May 8, 2018

12 Tips To Help You Get Out Of Any Slump And Back In Creative Alignment

A few weeks ago I was dealing with a major creative slump, y’all! I was trying to get myself together after a death in my family and dealing with all the freelance work I was fortunate enough to do, and The Happy Arkansan honestly fell by the wayside. It took a while for me to feel comfortable getting back into regularly scheduled blog events.

I have been posting regularly for the past few weeks, even though I recently decided only to promise two posts a week. I have been feeling more inspired lately, and I wanted to share some ways to get realigned after you have fallen into a slump.

Related Reading: How To Chase Your Creative Dreams With Diet Coke®

 12 Tips To Help You Get Out Of Any Slump And Back In Creative Alignment | A slump of any kind is the worst! Today, on the blog, I am sharing my best tips and tricks for getting out of your rut and back in creative alignment. #Creativity #CreativeMillennial #MillennialAdvice

1. Pray About It

Sometimes you just gotta spend some time with God (however you choose to address Him/Her.)

I know that praying isn’t for everyone, but it helps me to spend some time praying and thinking about my next move.

Often we worry so much about things, but that doesn’t help in the long haul. Work hard, pray, and then let it go.

Pray about it and wait for a response.

When God answers, don’t ask for a different answer. Often we get a million signs pointing us in one direction, but we still choose to defy it.

If you are gonna pray about it, don’t fight about it later.

2. Journal

Another thing I love to do when I am in a slump is journal.

I am not all woo-woo, but I do believe what you put out there, you get back.

With that being said, don’t forget to journal about the positive things happening in your life.

At the end of the day, I am all about putting out more positive energy than you do negative energy. You can journal about your problems, but don’t forget to journal about your not problems.

3. Get Outside

A few weeks ago I started sitting outside in the afternoon.

I am usually one to spend all day cooped up inside, but a few times a week I like to spend about an hour and just sit outside in a lawn chair close to sunset.

Part of the time I just sit with my own thoughts and sing songs to myself.

The other part of that time I take my laptop outside, and I write.

Sometimes when you are getting out of a slump, you just need to do whatever you do in a different location.

That might be outside, that might be in a coffee shop, that might be in a different country, etc. 

Changing up your scenery does wonders for your realignment.

It may not be the most permanent solution, of course, but some new scenery never hurt anyone.

4. Take Your Time

Life is dandy when the stars all align, and you can walk confidently in your purpose, but sometimes that takes time.

You can’t force yourself back into alignment, so don’t be afraid to take your time.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you sit around, do nothing, and mope around all day.

Quite the opposite.

It means you take your time while doing.

All these activities can be done over time.

Don’t rush or try to force alignment. You will know when you are properly aligned.

Do something to get you closer to that alignment every day, and give those activities time to work.

5. Think About The Bigger Picture

So often, we are out of alignment with our purpose because we get stuck in the day to day grind.

You need to give yourself some inspiration.

Create a mood board or poster board with your why on it.

Then you can make sure that at least some of the activities you do every day get you to that why.

Also, think about your activities in a different way.

Yes, babysitting in and of itself might not get you closer to your why. BUT: babysitting leads to income that you can save that will allow you to feel comfortable pursuing your why later on.

So, those small tasks that you find yourself doing may not be directly related to your purpose and passion, but they will make walking in your purpose that much easier.

6. Seek Some Guidance

Sometimes, you just need some help.

Whether that’s hiring someone to coach you, listening to a podcast, crying to your sister, or anything in between––that’s up to you.

We cannot go through this world alone.

It’s okay to lean on and get help from others.

Humans are social creatures, and God made us this way for a reason.

So, instead of holding all your thoughts in and suffering through this time alone, reach out to other people who are here to help you.

See that counselor, hire that coach, reach out to friends online and in person.

 12 Tips To Help You Get Out Of Any Slump And Back In Creative Alignment | A slump of any kind is the worst! Today, on the blog, I am sharing my best tips and tricks for getting out of your rut and back in creative alignment. #Creativity #CreativeMillennial #MillennialAdvice

7. Read Motivational Books

No, I am not talking about the sappy motivational books.

I am talking about the ones that will make you feel like a total badass.

The ones that will tell you the truth instead of sugarcoating it and giving you awful advice.

Get an Audible subscription and listen to some audiobooks. Or simply take some time to read a chapter a night.

I really enjoyed “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck” by Mark Manson and “You’re A Badass” by Jen Sincero.

8. Start Before You Get Aligned

As I talked about in the Take Your Time section, I want you to take the time, but I want you to do so actively.

Sometimes you just need to dive head first into your work.

Even when the ground is shaky.

Even when you aren’t sure what your next move should be.

Even when taking the next step feels like it might actually make you vomit.

Sometimes you just need to do something that will take your life to the next level.

Take it from Nike and Just Do It!

9. Rethink What Aligned Means To You

We often get so caught up in what aligned means to other people that we don’t think about what aligned means to us.

Maybe you are aligned, just not the cookie cutter definition of what aligned usually looks like.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t work to better yourself or work to focus your life.

It does mean that you may want to reconsider where you got your definition of aligned from.

Determine if this definition is serving or hurting you.

10. Refocus On What’s Important

It’s so easy to get out of whack with what’s actually important in your life.

Think back to your bigger picture, then look at what you are currently spending your time on.

If those don’t align, get back to the basics.

For me, this required that I scale back the promised blogs on The Happy Arkansan and my other site Amanda Cross Co. I wanted to offer both audiences the best of me, and I couldn’t do that while posting 5 times a week.

Look at your personal commitments. What fat could you trim? Likely, quite a bit of random responsibilities you have gathered over the years.

11. Support Yourself

You gotta support yourself because no one else is gonna support you like you.

This means:

  • Updating your sleeping routine
  • Eating right on a daily basis
  • Getting a bit of outside and/or exercise time in
  • Investing in your mental health

These are things I am working on the most as I try to make sure that I am more aligned and in tune with myself.

Don’t be afraid to take all aspects of yourself more seriously.

12. Get Your Space Together

It’s the perfect time for a little spring cleaning.

I have been slowly cleaning the random spaces in my life. I gotta lot to do because I am a messy person by nature.

Mess clogs up your natural alignment, though, as much as I think most creatives would hate to admit it.

Don’t be afraid to throw some stuff away so you can get back in alignment!

Conclusion

A slump (creative or otherwise) is never fun, but you don’t have to wallow in it.

I hope that today’s article helped you think of slumps differently.

You don’t have to be helpless when a slump heads in your direction!

Have you ever experienced a slump? How did you get out of it?

In Lifestyle on
February 12, 2018

How To Chase Your Creative Dreams With Diet Coke®

Disclaimer: This shop/post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #BreakFromOrdinary #DietCoke #CollectiveBias

Living your creative dreams is far from ordinary. Most people go their entire lives within the confines of the status quo, afraid to chase after the things that make them happiest. Today with the help of Diet Coke® we are going to break from the ordinary, and find out how to chase our creative dreams when we are going through college or living the 9-5 life.

 AD: How To Chase Your Creative Dreams With Diet Coke | You were meant to chase your creative dreams and break from the ordinary, but how do you do that with a 9-5 job or while you are in college? Today with the help of Diet Coke (now available in sleek 12 oz cans and new flavors at @Walmart) we are going to learn how to live our creative dreams right now. #BreakFromOrdinary #DietCoke #CollectiveBias

1. Start Now

I love freelance writing, but one thing I wish I did was start sooner. I didn’t give myself a running start like I should have, and now I am trying to play catch up! So, instead of waiting until the moment is perfect, start now.

If you want to break from the ordinary, you have to be ready to make big moves. Now, this doesn’t mean being irrational and quitting your stable 9-5 job, but it does mean taking time to start the projects that you want to start now. Do it on the side until the side can become your full-time gig.

Diet Coke is the perfect companion to following your creative dreams. Your best decisions come when you are relaxed, drinking your fave beverage, and thinking about the tough decisions you need to make to create focus.

2. Create Some Focus

There is a huge misconception that creative people are unfocused, that they bounce from project to project, or that they live by the seat of their pants. This is simply not true. You can’t do everything in the world, and this is just something that you will have to grapple with.

Be honest with yourself. Create some focus in your life by drilling down to what’s most important to you. Sometimes that means that you will have to prioritize creative work over taking a second nap or watching your favorite show on television.

Think About What You Focus On Daily

Go through your day and notice what you focus on. Write down on a sheet of paper all the things you focused on today. Do you find yourself focusing or bringing importance to things that aren’t all that important to you? Create a list of things you actually want to focus on. Compare the list of what you want to focus on and what you focused on. Adjust your life accordingly to make sure that you are focusing on the important things in your life.

Say No

Saying no is hard. It’s especially hard when you have to say no to yourself. When I talk about saying no, I’m not just talking about saying no to your friends and family. Often we lose focus and try to do a million different things, but at the end of the day we have to hunker down and do what really matters. Think back to what your focus was from earlier, if you want to do something that’s not within that focus, you will probably have to say no.

I have been having to do this a lot lately. This weekend I even made a big move while sipping all the Diet Coke to make The Happy Arkansan my primary blog and to stop creating content as Amanda Cross Blog. This was a big move for me, because at first I thought combining my blogs would be the best bet, and upon further creative inspection, I realized that abandoning Amanda Cross Blog content altogether was the best move.

I recently got sent the entire collection of Diet Coke flavors in their sleek 12 oz can design. It was so fun to unbox the original Diet Coke along with four new flavors: Fiesty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange, Ginger Lime, and Twisted Mango. Each flavor is distinct and I can’t wait to share my favorite flavors with you later in the post.

3. Create A Creative Routine

Creativity blossoms when you create a specific routine for it to do so. If you have random spurts of creativity, you can’t expect to invite creativity in. Create some time in your schedule daily, weekly, or monthly where you are shining creatively. I encourage at least weekly, because it’s hard to start a monthly habit.

Often we think that we can’t afford to be creative, but often we are wasting time in other aspects of our life. Walk through your day, where are your time sucks? Are you spending too much time on homework because you are procrastinating? Are you wasting too much time on chores because you are thinking about doing chores instead of just doing them? Think through your day because chances are you are wasting at least a little bit of time that you could put towards creativity if you just switched your perspective a little.

Diet Coke and its four new flavors fit perfectly in your creative lifestyle. The sleek cans make creating and drinking your new favorite flavor a breeze. I love that they are available in packs or singles so that I can take my Diet Coke anywhere that my creative lifestyle takes me. You can pick which flavor looks best to you or you can try them all. The packs are perfect for sharing the bold and refreshing taste of Diet Coke with all your creative friends!

The Diet Coke can has a new look, but it’s still the same Diet Coke you have come to know and love! I love this new slim can because it takes up less space on my desk than the original 12 oz can. It makes burning the midnight creative oil so much easier.

How To Chase Your Creative Dreams With Diet Coke

Diet Coke Fiesty Cherry is my favorite of all the new flavors. It packs a cherry punch and I feel it’s the best gateway into trying all the new flavors from Diet Coke.

How To Chase Your Creative Dreams With Diet Coke

Diet Coke Ginger Lime was my second favorite flavor. It puts a unique spin on lime centered sodas, and it was so refreshing!

How To Chase Your Creative Dreams With Diet Coke

Diet Coke Twisted Mango is the most tropical of the new flavors from Diet Coke. It was fun to try this quirky, twisted mango flavor.

How To Chase Your Creative Dreams With Diet Coke

Diet Coke Zesty Blood Orange was probably my parents favorite one to try. I am a huge fan of orange in soda, so It was fun to try Diet Coke’s twist on this flavor.

4. Take Up Space For Creativity In Your Home

One huge way to be more creative is to make a space for creativity in your home. If you hide away your creative pursuits in a box in the corner, it’s going to be hard to convince yourself to whip out the box and set up for your creative endeavors. Instead of hiding your creativity, give it space to flourish and prosper. If you are an artist, set up an easel and a space for all your painting material; if you are a musician, set up a space for all your instruments; etc.

Once you have a space for your creative endeavors, all you have to do is go to that space and start creating. You don’t have to make a big scene of pulling out all your gear and losing interest in the process of doing so.

When I am getting ready to start blogging for the day, I like to sit down with my beverage of choice (which as of late has been Diet Coke Fiesty Cherry) and I pull out my computer. I like to keep my computer on consistently (only putting it in sleep mode) so that it boots up quickly and doesn’t hassle me. This helps me get right into blogging instead of waiting and losing interest.

All of these fun Diet Coke flavors are available at your local Walmart so you can try any of the cool new flavors by heading to your nearest store. I am obsessed with all the new flavors and my parents love them too. The new flavors have the same taste you would expect from any Diet Coke product, but with a twist of bold, fruity flavor.

Conclusion

If you are a creative, you should never lose your creative spirit. Do something every day that keeps up your creativity and helps you break from the ordinary routine of everyday life.

I want to thank The Coca-Cola Company one more time for sponsoring today’s blog post. Don’t forget to check out Diet Coke’s new slim 12 oz. cans and flavors at your nearest Walmart. I really do love these new flavors and I can’t wait for you to try them so we can talk about them.

What’s your best advice for living your creative dreams? What Diet Coke flavor are you looking forward to trying?