Melissa Dinwiddie’s Keys to Creative Flow

Melissa Dinwiddie is sharing a gift to the creative world. That, dear friends, is you. She has worked on and developed a series of ten rules for being creative in her own life. She’s sharing those rules with the rest of us, as her Keys to Creative Flow.

Not only are they ten great Keys, but she’s also put them into a lovely poster for you to enjoy, download and use. That’s it just below, but if you follow the link above, you’ll find out how she put the poster together. You’ll also find out how the Keys have helped Melissa become a creative producer and coach.

KeysToCreativeFlow_795x1599

Amazing fractal video, a little inspiration

Surface Detail

There’s nothing to add about this. Its inspirational beauty will suffice.

Ahem, apologies

It seems like something, and I’m not quite sure what at this point, has messed up this site. It could be an upgrade, but I don’t think I upgraded anything. It could be a hack, but really, would anyone want to hack this site?

What is more likely, is that I have done something, added a plugin or some other piece of code that has taken it upon itself to cause mischief.

Well, the site is back and currently running. But it does look a little weird at the moment.

Normal service will be resumed…. someday… soon…

Test

Well everyone has at least one test post

How to battle through writer’s block

Waiting for inspiration is another way of saying that you’re stalling. You don’t wait for inspiration, you command it to appear.

Those words from Seth Godin were quite apt for me this past month or so. I am writing a book. Not just any book, a commissioned 40,000 word novel, with a deadline, the real deal.

The problem was I had come to a full stop. The words weren’t coming and the prose that had seemed so easy for the first 10,000 words had dried up. I was at an impasse and the deadline was fast approaching.

The first hurdle was to renegotiate the deadline. I thought, that if I could reduce the pressure on myself, then the words would return. They didn’t.

I found myself continually staring at the word processor day after day and not getting anywhere. This was not going well, I really had a case of writer’s block. I was becoming overwhelmed and sinking fast.

When things get on top of me, I normally sit down with pen and paper and plan my way out. I list  what needs to be done, and that process often shows me the way to go. So I did the same with the writing. I already had the outline of the novel and also the chapter and scene breakdown. But could I break things down even further?

I began to write a sentence or phrase for each paragraph. Slowly the scenes and chapters began to fill up. As they did I found it easier to return to these sentences and elaborate on them, the block had been broken and the flood of words began to flow.

It worked for me and perhaps it will work for you. Keep reducing the task until you have the final version filling the space. As Seth says, you command inspiration to appear!

Making a soundtrack for your creativity

Remember mix tapes? Of course you do. A mix tape was a tape of songs that meant something to you and, hopefully, for the person you were making the mix tape for. If the mix tape was for a girl or boyfriend then odds were the tape would contain love songs. If it was for one of your friends it might contain an introduction to a genre of music you thought worthy of sharing. The point is, the music on the tape often had a purpose.

One purpose of music is to create atmosphere. And atmosphere is very important to the creative process. Music can lead us into the right frame of mind to get that creative task done. And it isn’t simply about music that you like.

I don’t know all the scientific explanations about right and left brain process and how certain types of music can get them working at their peak. What I do know is that different styles of music help me for different creative activities.

A lot of our creative time is now spent in front of a computer. This is good news for creating an atmosphere. Whether you have access to music stored on your computer or streamed via the net, you can create playlists depending on what you are creating.

When writing, I prefer something ambient and quiet, but when working on an image the sound is much louder and rhythmic. With this in mind I have created different playlists to use. I simply turn on the player (current favourite is Spotify) and click the preferred playlist.

Do you have a favourite style of music depending on your creative task? Have you got any recommended soundtracks to help creativity? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by Clix

New theme, widgets and stuff

If you’re reading this through an RSS feed then you may not be noticing any difference. However, if you are at the real site, the actual homepage then, you should have noticed a new theme. There is also a warning coming your way too. I am adding lots of widgets to help the site function better. Most of these widgets are behind the scenes, so if something doesn’t work properly, it is becasue a widget is having some teething problems… and nothing to do with me… honest.

So sit back and enjoy the ride… or more importantly, go an be creative, you know you want to.

Google chrome and software overload can destroy creativity!

If you simply watched the social networks you would think that Google Chrome, the browser to kill all other browsers, was the biggest thing to ever happen… ever. And, it well might be, it may well revolutionise the way we browse these here internets and even pave the way for a complete change in the operating system of choice for many. But…

… and here I insert another apology for a lack of updates…

… how much time is lost in our creative journey through trying out the latest and most advanced pieces of technology? Let me rewind a bit. For several reasons I haven’t updated recently. I haven’t been well being the primary one, but also I have been spending rather too much time setting up a new laptop that I bought.

Creative people tend to search out the latest ideas and gadgets, and then spend time trying them out. Actually most of the time is spent tinkering with them rather than actually using them. This is what I have been doing. Instead of using the software that I had been using and getting on with that, I have been searching for other programs that may give me just that little bit more.

There is nothing wrong with getting the best software for the job, but be careful not to lose precious creative time by looking for what you don’t really need. And to sign off I leave you with the unanswered question at this time, do we really need a change in the way we browse the net :)

Hello world… we’re back!

Well I have managed step one, upgrading to WP 2.5, although there was a slight detour via a server migration. I have to say WordPress handled it beautifully. I exported the posts and then imported them into this version. We should be working fine now.

I am using the fantastic sandbox theme, although I will be skinning it for !maginality. I have made the decision to make the skinning a viewable process. The reason being that if I leave it hidden, it will be out of sight and possibly out of mind. This way, if it looks bad, I should do something about it.

All the plugins aren’t fully loaded yet either, I’ll be choosing what ones to use and where soon, so hopefully not too much discomfort for those viewing.

Now let’s get back to being creative.

Photoshop Express

Adobe have opened up an online, and cut down, version of photoshop for you all to use. While it is a very cut down version it does look quite good. The site is also offering up to 2gb of storage for your digital creations. it is certainly worth checking out even if it is to see the flash navigation on the front page.

Photoshop Express