Finding it hard to locate your creative sparkle in winter? I hear you. The days are short and sometimes I can’t remember the last time I saw daylight. This time of year I would much rather be wrapped up, under a blanket with some hot chocolate, a roaring fire and a stack of good books within arms reach than trying to come up with creative content or searching for some inspiration. The problem is, once I start winding down into hibernation mode I find it next to impossible to shake off that feeling and find the inspiration that I need to produce some really great content. I thought I would share some tips that I use to help find my winter magic.
1. Wrap up & Get Out
This may seem counterproductive as you need to be at your desk but I promise it’s worth it. Find your favourite shawl or handknit hat and go show it off. Wrap up warm and get outside with a notebook, phone or camera and try and locate some local winter beauty that you won’t be able to find at any other time of the year. I took my camera to the beach the first week in December and it has produced some of the best images I have taken this year. If you plan on a long walk remember to pack some little heat pouches for your gloves or pockets to ward off frozen fingers. Reward yourself with some hot cocoa and some time by the fire when you get back.
2. Increase Time for You
This is a rather important one. In winter it is much easier to get burnt out and even the thought of the day ahead can drain energy from you. I find that I need to schedule more down time for me in winter than I do at any other time of the year. You can’t draw energy or inspiration from a well that is constantly tipping on empty so increase the time you have in your schedule for self-care. It’s ok to turn down some of those festive requests coming your way and have an early night or binge watch your favourite show. Fill your reserves first and then focus on what comes next.
3. Take an Inspiration Tour
Not feeling the creativity? Then it’s time for you to take an inspiration tour. Head to a local gallery or festive market and meet other creatives, I have lost count of the number of times collaborations have been formed over a cuppa or a chance meeting in town. When you are finding it hard to create sometimes you need to remember what it is that you love in order to find that spark again.
If you aren’t feeling up for venturing out into the wild then make your inspiration tour an online one. Delve into hashtags on social media and develop an inspiration board on Pinterest. Head over to Bloglovin or WordPress and search out some blog posts in your area. Immerse yourself in the social side of things for a while, you never know but that last humourous dog tweet might be the start of an idea for you.
4. Share & Support
One of the things that I love to do is share the content that I find that I do love. Then I ask myself why I loved it. What is it about the written piece that I like? Was it the tone or point of view? For photography was it the style, the edit or the caption? By sharing, I not only highlight the other amazing creators out there but I can go back and tease out why I loved it so much and make a mental note. I, however, do not in anyway mean steal or borrow! Be inspired by the fabulous work that others are creating. Put yourself out there and share some photography or writing and ask for some feedback but do so with the knowledge that the internet isn’t always a kind place.
5. Make Your Winter Dream List.
If I am feeling really down and lost I write a list of all of the things that I love about the Winter season. Things that disappear once spring arrives. I then try to incorporate this list or the feelings that this list creates into what I am writing or planning. If it is something that makes you smile you can guarantee that it will make others smile too.
6. Learn Something New
If you are really at a loss then its time to try something new. Take a course in something you want to achieve personally or can complement your skill set. By taking direction from others and following a course outline you can find a new way of creating or adding to your creator toolbox. You never know how a course in millinery will help your knitting or increase your Instagram prop bucket. The act of doing homework for a new course can be enough to kick-start your creative process again and you can find yourself looking forward to each segment or new assignment.
7. Find an Accountability Buddy.
I think this is one of the most important tips of all. I often let things slip by. Those dreams that I really want to achieve but often end up being indecisive or too scared to take the next step. I need a creative buddy to help me reach my next goal or target. Knowing that I have to answer to someone else actually makes me have a few ideas written down so that we can kick them around during our next call. It puts a hard deadline in front of me to get things done. I have been truly lucky with accountability buddies (Aless, Rose-Anne you guys are the business!) so reach out to a friend or other creative and help each other move towards your creative goals. Trust me they don’t seem as unreachable when you can chat it through with someone else.
There you have it, my tips on kick-starting creativity in winter. What are your secrets of inspiration during the darker months of the year? Is there anything that really works for you?
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