Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Behind the Scenes: Zilch. Notta. Nothing. Something.

I have eighteen word documents saved in my Unfinished Posts folder.

I also have a list of seventy-eight post ideas that I have jotted down over the past few months. I think of them in the middle of the night, or when I am on the treadmill, or when I am brushing my teeth. They aren't usually accompanied by a detailed outline; they are just ideas. In fact sometimes it's just one word like BACON or a thought like WINNING THE LOTTERY. I record them for when I need some inspiration I can take a look at the list and be inspired.
Sounds like a great resource for a blogger, right? 

Well, not so much.

I look at the list all the time, and I am STILL having troubles achieving my goal of writing at least two posts a week! You may have noticed this, considering I haven't posted anything in the last seventeen days. All this list has been doing for me lately is enabling me to fill up that Unfinished Posts folder I mentioned earlier.

The problem is that I start writing something but then I give up on it. I have been having a really hard time getting to the end and feeling good about anything lately. All this time, you may have been thinking that I am gone on vacation, or just dropping Mine like it's hot, but you have been wrong.

I have been sitting here everyday, writing my little fingers to the bone about things that end up sounding ridiculous so they never get posted. Or they are (what I like to call) the BITCH MEMOIRS. Please note that there is no page on this blog designated for the BITCH MEMOIRS. I am saving them all up for a book I'm going to write someday.

ANYWAY… I have been here, writing, but not feeling confident that I am actually saying anything useful, until today. I think this might be something worth posting. I guess if you're reading it, then in the end I thought it was.


Launch Your Genius is the name of my new favorite blog. Here is the way that the owner Harish Kumar describes his space. (He says it perfectly and let's be real...I would probably write a 500 word essay if I gave my own description)

It couldn’t possibly be MORE up my alley! I absolutely love this place. The topics range from  9 Actions Tips to Enhance Your Creativity to The Anatomy of Procrastination. Click on one of these links and head over to check it out (when you're done hanging out with me, of course).

Below is a quote from Launch Your Genius that I actually have hanging on my refrigerator for me to read everyday. The background is me with my two besties at a dance recital when we were kids. We are dressed like chick-a-dees. See the yellow wings? I thought it fit the quote nicely.

This is just an example of one of the amazing things that Launch Your Genius has to offer. Trust me, you won't be disappointed with the insights and knowledge on the everyday world.

The previously mentioned post 9 Actions Tips to Enhance Your Creativity was my inspiration to write something today. I have been struggling with creativity lately. I can start out really good and strong, but then posts go from talking about how important it is to believe in yourself to my child's addiction to bananas to the war in Syria. To say I am "all over the map" is quite the understatement.

For a moment, I thought that maybe it had finally happened. Maybe I have finally lost my mind!
I really thought it could be possible until I read this post on creativity and realized that I am definitely running the metaphoric race here, but I'm just on the wrong track. 

In this post from Launch Your Genius he writes about the common myths of creativity and how they can negatively influence people.
  • Rules inhibit creativity
  • Rules make it harder to work and complicate matters
  • Art should not have rules and should be free-flowing 
  • Extreme time pressure and stress is good for creativity
  • Having endless time is good for creativity

My first thought was that I read it wrong. They didn’t look like myths to me. These are things that I believe. After reading through each one and being delighted by some amazing insights, the one that stood out the most for me was Rules inhibit creativity.

I always believed this to be true. I thought that if things were too structured with my writing then the creative juices wouldn’t be able to flow as freely.

But I was wrong.

He says that according to lead Game Designer for the game Magic -The gathering, Mark Rosewater:
…if you gave an experienced writer a topic on even days and allowed her mind to freely wander on odd days, she would be more creative on the even days.

If you do not give a writer a topic to write and ask them to come up with ideas, their mind will freely wander and may revert back to what they know. However, if you gave a writer a fixed topic such as the local farmers market, their creativity will go on overdrive and they may write a story about the life and challenges of the local farmer and their neighbor, the soap maker.

Interesting, right? All this time I thought that my best ideas came from all the wandering around in my mind that I have been doing, but apparently it’s not so. If I have more rules and structure I will be better off and probably increase my creativity!
may revert back to what they know - this really hit home for me too.

I don't write my blog to revert back to what I already know!
I am here to explore.
I am here to challenge myself.
I am here to learn and grow!

AH-HA moment for the day: Revealed!

And after reading this I thought about my space here at Mine, and realized that I DID do my best writing when I was writing more specifically. During my 30 to 30 Challenge I set a rule for myself which was to write every day, and it worked. The topics weren’t specific but it gave me STRUCTURE and RESTRICTIONS and RULES to follow, and I actually posted the words that I wrote. Over the past few weeks I had been lacking rules and structure and look where it has gotten me: Posting zilch, notta, nothing.

So I guess what I am trying to say (and as usual it has taken me a while to get to it) is that I am going to start organizing myself a little more in the coming weeks. I am going to create some rules, maybe a structure or two and see what happens to Mine. I am really excited about it and I think you will see a big difference too.

I know this place is really good for my soul, otherwise I would have never created it. And I know I have to do something because I miss terribly the feeling I used to get when I sat down here in my blue chair, sporting my ratty yoga pants and hoodie, sipping my french vanilla coffee with a smile on my face because I knew I was doing something good for me. I miss writing about what makes me happy. So let's see if I can find it again.

Am I a complete freak and over-thinking this, as usual?


Is this really something that I need to be explaining to you instead of just doing it?

Probably not.

But did it get me writing and posting something again?

Why YES, it did!

Stay tuned…for something.



  1. Katie great post! I am going to check out "launch your genius" right away. That quote you posted was very inspiring (I do remember when i thought i could fly, until the day i had to go to the doctors with a sprained arm). I think we all get stuck in ruts when it comes to our creativity, i often go months before I start painting again, and then all of a sudden i will do a whole bunch!I think your blog is a great source of self-expression and challenging yourself is a key to happiness! Blogging expands your self-definition, you are not just super mom, or a crafting guru, you are larger than that now! You are a blogger!! and a damn good one at that! i just want to read the 30 unfinished posts that youve started! Whether they are bitch memoirs or not i would like to read them, because, as a mom too, i can usually relate! I think your blog will someday be a great treasure house of memories and ideas that you can really be proud of! Keep the posts coming!!! Love you!

  2. Thank you Amy. I am so glad that you can relate with the whole creativity challenge. I am determined to figure out a way to be more consistent with it. Those "ruts" are lasting too long for me these days and it makes me sad because I know my life is meant to be full of creative moments! I can't wait to see some of your latest artwork! ;) XO

  3. Hello Kate!
    I really like your blog and I commend your effort in writing! I am in complete agreement with Amy above that the world would greatly benefit from and cherish your writing! It is with the little stories of our struggles and celebrations that we speak to the hearts of others and uplift them! So, keep then coming along!

    I also deeply appreciate that you mentioned launchyourgenius in your post. Thanks!

    All the creative best and have a great week!

    1. Thank YOU very much for all the inspiration Harish!

      All the best to you as well!


  4. You have really hit on something that I have been thinking about. I actually wrote two lists under two headings - job vs freedom. On one side I tried to list all the benefits of the structure of work and there were several - thinks like a pay cheque, routine, order, schedules etc. On the freedom side (which for me means allowing the universe to bring me money while I free fall) were words like creativity, exploration, self-motivation, in the moment, bliss-full leap-frogging through life from one project to the next, puttering away at things, impulsiveness and joy everywhere - but maybe no money. So long-story-short, I think I need a bit of both - some fine-tuned balance that meets in the middle and puts just enough order into life to keep it from overflowing and diffusing into a whole lot of nothin'. Thanks for the inspiration Kate!


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