Defining the intersection between listening and living

Creative Pursuits

     Inspiration as defined at the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

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What is inspiration? I have been having a hard time centering myself, finding inspiration. Examining my process of self-evaluation through reflection, assessment and execution of life change. This process is one that I impose on myself bi-annually as a method of finding inspiration and focusing on what is most important to me. After completing this I know exactly what I need to do to accomplish my goals, be inspired and exert my creative energy.  I found the quote above refreshing and while it still did not help me center myself it provided a starting point to reach the center that I desired.

This year has been challenging and fun. With the approach of my child’s first birthday and my four year work anniversary I have been putting an importance on centering myself.  I am a reflective person by nature so I tend to use these questions when I am trying to find my center:

where I should go next?
What hobbies are worth my time?
What are the creative outlet(s) that I want to pursue?
Am I on the right career path?
Have I been fulfilling my duties as a husband and father?
What do I want out of life?

While this looks like a person in crisis these are questions that I find helpful in centering myself. Centering to me is ensuring that my priorities and thoughts are aligned with the direction that I have for my life. While I do not have all my life planned out I do enjoy focusing my mind on the tasks that I deem important. Most of the time I use the energy from meaningful conversations to fuel my self-reflection, centering on what I can do differently, how can I be innovative and how I can exert my creative energies. Unfortunately I have not had any conversations that I deem meaningful. This is not because I have not had conversations but I have been trying to focus myself in two different directions. At the same time at working on centering myself. I am also looking at new creative hobbies as the ones that I used to pursue are no longer allowing me the engagement that is necessary to feed my creative hunger. Not being able to focus all my energy in a single direction on either centering myself as a whole or finding a creative outlet has made my mind just between the two.  I should take the time to first sort and prioritize if becoming centered or focusing my creative energies is more important so I know which to accomplish first. I know if I can prioritize these I would be able to breakthrough in both centering and exerting my creativity.

Since I have not been able to accomplish this yet I decided to just conduct research on the possible creative outlets were available to me. I found several, but I have narrowed it down to a couple.

Working on design: logos, identity and branding

Concentrate on blogging

Reading more machine-translated wuxia novels

While I have been absent from blogging I’ve been experiencing life. Spending time living is my inspiration for blogging but I have not had any topics that I wanted to publish. This is because I have been using my blogging time to read and consume information on improving myself as a creative. I keep reading books, articles and posts about blogging. If you have read some of my previous posts you know that I feel like I struggle with aspects of writing. I do not have a defined process so I am trying to work on that.  So I did the thing that I enjoy the most research. After all the research and narrowing my list I decided to do them all. I could not decide as each allowed me to exert a different part of my creative side. This provided the necessary amount of engagement to satisfy my curiosity and creative hunger.
Writing helps me clear my thoughts. Though I do not spend enough time with it, it allows me to at least reset my thoughts. In focusing my creative energies and reading a post by, Age of the Diary, I had   the breakthrough that I needed. After reading the post I found that I would first work on my process. This would help me with two of the hobbies and centering myself. By utilizing a notebook system to take notes on accomplishments, inspirations and tasks this would help me more effectively focus on centering. I would be able to not only account and prioritize my goals but also my creative tasks. My process will be different two years ago I moved away from physical notebooks as I have an obsession with collecting sketchbooks, notebooks and post-its. I made the decision to convert most of the information that I have in these to digital. In applying the principles from Age of the Diary’s process I want to create several notebooks for each task. Using Evernote, my solution for web note-booking, gives me the ability to see my notes on the go and flexibility to search. I tend to use my phone or tablet for note taking. In doing this I do not need to take anything extra likes a physical notebook. These are already things that I carry. If you have not noticed I enjoy process and process improvement. So in designing my process I have become centered determining that this note booking system will allow me the foresight and focus necessary to accomplish my goals. Self-reflection and my creative energies should be achieved in the active use of the four notebook system. The use of quick searching and image collection in Evernote will o allow me to quick note inspirational images, and retrieve previous notes to add text.
So the inspiration that I was looking for came in a breakthrough in writing this post. Sometimes life is funny that way that it provides you just what you need, when you least expect it.

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