6 Tips To Stay Inspired And Creative

I often find that when life gets that much harder or complex, I need to exhale and go back to the drawing board. There is so much negativity and difficulty surrounding us daily, that if we don’t make a concerted effort, we can drown in it.

I like to constantly be on the look out for inspiration & creativity, especially in the industry that I work in. Being creative on demand can be a bust if you aren’t constantly looking for what is out there and seeking ways to feed your creative brain.

I thought I would share a few tips that help me along my way:

1) Stay curious. Stay inspired.

That’s a motto I live by. You often don’t realise how much you utilise from your daily life to come up with ideas for your work. By daily life, I mean, things you see or experience in your life outside of ‘work’ and sometimes at work (at least in my experience) that actually influence your work. The more I sit in brainstorming sessions at work, the more I realise that my ideas stem from what I see and experience in my life.

Stay Curious | Stay Inspired

Stay Curious | Stay Inspired

Staying inspired requires that you do things that you enjoy, go to places that are of interest, engage in conversations that are enlightening, read up on aspects that interest you, try new things… There are many ways to be inspired. The key here though is to keep on doing those things. It makes it that much simpler for you to be ‘creative on demand’ in your 9 to 5 life.

2) Read.

I know I mentioned this above but it needs to be its own point here. By read, I mean having a thirst for knowledge and for challenging your mind. Read different kinds of books/articles/blogs/whatever that may or may not fall in line with your line of creativity. I’ve learnt not to inhibit myself to one genre. I really enjoy biographies and African literature, but once in a while, it’s good to open oneself up to a more challenging read. It helps with perspective and to see things that you may not have seen before.

3) Make Notes

I always, and I mean ALWAYS, keep a notebook/phone/tablet or something to write my ideas down close to me. This whole blog post came to me in a moment of inspiration. It just took a couple of minutes for me to put my thoughts down in my Notes for fine-tuning later.

It helps you to harness those great ideas while they’re still fresh. You can always go back and review them at a later stage.

Some of my best and most inspired ideas come to me as I fall asleep at night. I no longer play the tomorrow game. I always whip out my phone and take down my ideas before knocking out. I hardly ever remember my great ideas the next day if I don’t put them down.

3) Write. Paint. Sing. Take photos.

Aside from putting down your ideas, you need an outlet for your thoughts and feelings. This may not always be in the form with which your finished product is relayed. I’m not a photographer, but I love to capture things that inspire me.

An outlet is so important as it enables you to cultivate your creative skills and it often provides moments of clarity. Remember my post on the little birdie I captured in a pic that left me inspired?

4) Scrapbooking

I don’t mean this in the literal sense, but something I have recently found myself doing is Scrapbooking images and articles that resonate with me. Kind of like an inspiration board.

You won’t always know when you’ll use it, but you resonate with what you see and want to capture that in a capsule for future reference.

5) Follow the Fundis

In the era we live in, it’s much easier to keep up with those who inspire you and not have to wait for an opportunity to meet with them.

Read up on those who you look up to or who have paved the way before. Follow them on social media to get a sense of what they do and how they do it. There’s a maze out there which you can get lost in. Just be sure to remember the way out.

6) Take time out with you

Part of being a creative is harnessing your uniqueness and using that as a differentiating factor in what you do.

Sometimes we can get lost in the world of inspiration. It’s important to take time out and connect with yourself. Highlight things that inspire you and what you’re about and what your current focus is. As much as being creative allows for freedom, that freedom needs to be guided productively and channeled into the right areas. Decide for you what that focus will be and how you intend to go from strength to strength whilst staying true to you.

What are some of the things that keep you going as a creative? Do share in the comments below!

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Confessions of a Church Girl

Photo Cred: Script Mag

Photo Cred: Script Mag

Another day, another church service. As she sat down in her seat for another one of the weekly Sabbath services, her mind was racing. She watched as sisters greeted each other with hugs and smiles. Once done, they were looking each other up and down doing an in-depth dissection of what others were wearing. After tearing their fellow sisters’ outfits to shreds, they sat up straight feeling good about themselves, flashing their new pair of sky-high stilettos and their new hair.

At lunchtime, the cliques set up on their marked territory. The lines were clear cut and trespassers were sure to be made to feel uncomfortable. She watched in boredom as the ladies fawned over the latest hottie on the church scene whilst he basked in the attention of these estrogen charged females on an aggressive man hunt. It didn’t matter that they were all friends. Church boys were few and time was ticking. Moms and Dads had their eyes on their clock – when would them cows come home and when would they get those grand babies?

The relationships in the church, as a result, were somewhat incestuous. When it failed between two people, someone else went in for the kill. It did not matter if they were friends. The end goal was to be the ‘it couple’ and have that wedding. It was a dog eat it dog world in the game of getting married at church.

As the ladies desperately hoped to meet their future husbands, the men took their sweet time playing the field. Boys just wanna have fun right? And fun was definitely being had. They would lead on a couple of ladies in the church whilst they got the perks of a non-devout Adventist girlfriend outside of the church who met their ‘needs’.

Then there was church politics. Different people vying for leadership positions in the church and wanting their will to be done. This led to small factions and manipulative behaviour as they sought to get that coveted position. Once in the role, performing was secondary. The title was paramount. Making a difference was not necessarily a part of the plan.

Church. The place that growing up, she sought as a place of refuge. A safe space in which to get in touch with her Creator and to lay it all at His feet. A place where she sang hymns to God in acknowledgement of His supremacy and saving grace. A place of fellowship and upliftment.

With age comes the realisation that everything isn’t as it seems. As she grew older, she realised the intentions of her fellow brothers and sisters in Christ weren’t always noble. A shock to the system for a trusting and genuine girl initially, but when the scales fell from her eyes, she acknowledged that there is a lot more than what meets the eye.

There were those seemingly on a power trip to those on a popularity campaign. Some seeking attention to feed their starving spirits and those simply on a Cassanova cruise. This was by no means a conclusive statement about all churches or churchgoers she’d met, but was merely the confessions of a church girl & her view of the world.

She found herself in great wonder. How could we claim to serve the same God and yet, the amount of hurt, pain, selfishness, game playing and insincerity in the Church seems to beat that of the so-called secular world? How could it be? The God she had come to know, love and serve was about compassion, love, honesty, generosity, kindness, mercy and grace. Did she get the memo wrong?

It broke her to see Christianity misrepresented on the very pews where lessons from Christ were taught. “Could we all be so far gone? How do we wake up from this stupor and realise that we are called to do better, be better and be a beacon of light?” she wondered. “How do we move away from self-seeking behaviour and move towards a selfless nature? When will we wake up from seeking our own interests to seeking the best for all?” she asked.

Some might ask, ‘Well, why does she stay?’ Something her Mama always used to say was ‘You don’t go to church for the people’. A lot of people had left church because of the way in which they were treated. Sadly so, but what her mom meant was that she needed to seek a higher purpose when she went to church. She sought to be better and do better. She sought an intimate relationship with God and a true connection with Him. She sought not to let the happenings at church divert her from the truth and her salvation.

A passage that was often shared at church and resonated so deeply with her was what Christ Himself said when He was on earth:

“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”

Matthew 18:11

She was by no means perfect. Far from it. Her heart bled for her faith. Her prayers were for her brothers and sisters in Christ. Her prayer was for herself too.

That in her awareness, she would do better and be better with God’s hand in her life. That she would not run and hide, or point fingers or shake heads. That she would get on her knees and pray for God’s guidance and that the Holy Spirit would prevail in all their lives.