Creative Living — DIY Life

creative livingDid you know that one of the most popular pages on any blog tends to be the about page? The about page plays a key role in whether people stay or leave a blog. This is, of course, completely natural, because we operate similarly offline as well.

When we meet someone new, we want to know what they’re all about. What are their hobbies, what profession are they in, what’s currently the Big Thing in their life? These questions form the basis of our initial judgement — am I interested enough to pursue this relationship further?

For about a month and a half, I didn’t have an about page on this blog for that very reason. I didn’t know what this blog was about, so how could I articulate it on a page that new readers will almost invariably click on to figure out if they should stay or leave? Then eventually, I created one. If you read it, you’ll see it’s very frank and honest about the fact that I’m still figuring things out.

creative livingRecently I’ve been thinking about it a little more. And it seemed that a lot of feelings, thoughts, and ideas whirled together to create a concept that works. It’s not a novel concept, but it fits and it feels good. It gives this blog — and me — a visible direction..without restricting me; it’s something I can keep growing into.

If I peruse my blog, a theme starts to emerge. A theme of creativity. Not just in the artistic sense, but more broadly.

What is creativity? If you google ‘define creativity’, you get a myriad of answers. I decided to go to trusty Wikipedia and look at what it had to say, because I was looking for a specific type of definition. Here’s what I found:

Creativity can be defined “as the process of producing something that is both original and worthwhile.”

Then I decided to see what some of my favourite professionals had to say about creativity.

Elise Blaha Cripe: Creativity is the ability to make or think or see or hear something that did not exist before.

Chris Guillebeau: Remarkable, happy, creative people also tend to be pro-change or at least pro-risk, in the sense of being willing to push the envelope a little.

Cal Newport: As Robert Weisberg, a psychologist at Temple University, points out in his book Creativity, great scientific discoveries are rarely the result of “inspiration that blesses [only] geniuses.” They tend instead to be advances made by individuals at the bleeding-edge of knowledge and technique in their field. To the progenitors of breakthroughs, the ideas often seem obvious and incremental. To those without their level of expertise, however, they can seem miraculous.

Emma Chapman: It’s about attitude, not circumstances.

And so on and so forth.

I think this blog is a quest to build/manifest/inspire a creative life. A creative life involving thinking creatively and acting creatively.

artworkIt means being willing to take an old idea and thinking about it a little differently..I do this in my religious posts often. It means trying new things, like setting 20 goals to accomplish before turning 21 or going to the theatre on my own, or starting a new memory keeping project.

Of course, living a creative life means something different to everyone. You only have to look around the blogosphere for proof. Elise is living a creative life, Cal is living a creative life, Chris is living a creative life, Danielle is living a creative life, Marie is living a creative life…to give a few of the more well known examples.

In fact, this blog itself is part of my often unspoken quest to live creatively.

Current Blog DesignI went from a super busy blog design, to a cleaner design, to this very minimalistic design. Design is my obsession and I’m constantly going through different phases.

This blog is teaching me to take better photographs, both with my iPhone and a point-and-shoot camera..and eventually I’ll upgrade to a DSLR (when I have enough money), but I’m learning that I don’t need a DSLR to take good photos.

This blog helps me stay on track with Project Life, because I’m committed to sharing my weekly spreads here. It makes me want to experiment more with my spreads, with different photo styles, interesting stories from the week, and artsy techniques.

bloomWriting here regularly means that my life naturally becomes my go-to fodder for blog posts, which makes me want to do more interesting things in my real life, which encourages better blog posts, and it’s just a big huge cycle of awesomesauce.

But this blog isn’t just about any type of creativity, and the life I want to live isn’t just any type of creative life. This blog is about living a DIY-life. This blog is about taking responsibility for yourself, your growth, your experiences, your actions, your beliefs, your everything. Do It Yourself.

DIY spiritual practice.

DIY fitness.

DIY memory keeping.

There is no blaming other people. There is no letting other people tell you what to believe and how to act. There is no blindly following a path because so-and-so told you this is guaranteed path to success.

This is about owning the twists and turns of your life and experiences. Look, there’s no such thing as doing it ALL on your own. In our lives, we’re going to need help. A lot of it. It’s about learning when to ask for help and when not to. When to heed someone’s advice and when to go with your gut. And the truth is, we’re going to spend our whole lives figuring out this stuff.

And that stuff is really hard. It’s really hard to own everything good and bad in your life, day in and day out. So we’re going to slip. There will be days of crazy procrastination. And flying into a rage and blaming others for something that was probably just as much if not more, our fault. There will be days where pride won’t let us apologize. There will also be days when our ability to own our shit will give us the greatest adrenaline rush, ever.

So better start now. Better work it now. Start learning now. Because although it’s never too late, it’s almost always better to be early.

This is kind of turning into a mini manifesto, eh?

Bottom line, guys: I’m trying to cultivate a creative life where I learn to take full responsibility for myself. This blog is my invitation to you, the reader, to join me on my journey and who knows, maybe it might help you on whatever journey you are on. 🙂

In the comments, I’d love to hear how you invite creativity into your life. 🙂