I've recently started writing in a journal every morning - based on a suggestion from Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way. Morning pages consist of writing three pages of handwritten thoughts into a journal every morning, and it must be done first thing - that means before checking your cell phone or looking at your computer or email messages.
I have found that it really does clear your mind and help you have a more thoughtful, organized day. I've been doing this for about a week now and noticed a difference after the very first day.
When you're writing morning pages, you don't have to worry about spelling, neatness, or grammar. These pages are for your eyes only and really are an exercise for your mind and spirit - so it doesn't matter WHAT you right, just THAT you write.
I've found that writing out my thoughts in the morning inspires me to be more organized in my day. I have also started using a scheduling app called Todoist that is helping to keep me organized on the go. There is a free trial for the paid version and a free version, which I am trying out right now.
One day I missed writing the morning pages - because it was a weekend out of town and I wanted to jump out of bed and join my husband outside for a walk with our dog, so I wrote in the evening instead. I think it was still helpful, and it proved to me that writing out your thoughts is a good mind clearing exercise - the next morning I noticed I didn't have as much to write about. It was actually even better to have written both in the evening and in the morning. However, I'm going to stick to just mornings!
Give morning pages a try, and let me know what you think!
Wishing you a wonderful holiday!
If your business is using Pinterest, Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter, you may find that you want to add graphics to your posts.
An easy way to create digital graphics using pre-set templates is Canva.com. The beauty of using Canva.com, in addition to how simple it is to use, is that it has various common graphic sizes available to choose from, so you don’t need to figure out what size is needed for each social media site. And, the service is free.
Below are a few designs I’ve created using Canva - for a blog post, a Facebook post, and for Linkedin. One easy way to create a social media graphic is to take a nice photograph and add a quote or some helpful tips. Canva also offers some design templates that you can modify by simply changing the copy. The graphic shown with this post "Designing Social Media Graphics" used one of their free templates as a starting point.
Canva's free service should be sufficient for anything you need when it comes to creating social media graphics, but they also offer a paid, premium service, which allows you to save all your designs online so that you can make changes to them at a later date. Plus with the paid service, you'll have the option to use their “magic resize” feature. This allows you to create the same design in different sizes/aspect ratios for use on multiple social media sites with one click.
If you're like me, though, you might prefer to copy the design and change the dimensions yourself. Then you can move elements around to your liking, which does not take much time at all.
When using your graphic as part of a blog post on your website, add a "pin it" button to your graphic. It will allow others to pin your graphic to their own Pinterest boards and the pins will link back to your website.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or if I can help you with any of your designs!
(click on each image below to enlarge)
There are many elements involved in shooting a film or video. One of the most important is film continuity. Without it, the footage you shoot can't be edited into a finished piece that makes sense to the viewer.
Continuity has to do with several factors, including action, dialogue, timing, camera information and more. Put them all together for a successful edit!
Timing your script ahead of time, and making notes on the timing of each scene (and take) as you are shooting, will help you stay within your desired timing throughout filming. For each scene, the action and dialogue should be performed at about the same timing from all camera angles.
2. Matching Action
Did the actor take a step forward before or after he delivered his line of dialogue? If the editor wants to cut between two different camera angles shot separately, the edit will only work if the action matches in both angles. Screen direction and the talent's eye line should also be noted and matched from scene to scene.
Make sure you cover all the dialogue / content for a given scene in the master shot, and again in additional angles from which you shoot the scene. For example, you may have covered all of a scene's dialogue or action in the wide shot, but if you forget to cover it in the close up, you won’t have a close up shot to cut to in the edit.
It’s also important to make sure the actors are following the script and not forgetting or changing anything; otherwise, the writer’s intent may be lost or parts of the story may be missing or altered.
4. Taking Notes
Which take was our favorite in the wide shot? If someone has taken good notes, you can go back and watch that take, or refer to notes on that take, to decide how best to match your action in the close up or additional camera angles. These notes can also save time in editing.
5. Camera Information
Knowing what camera lens was used with a particular shot can help if there is a re-shoot needed later on. You’ll also need to know camera/lens information If you want match frames between two or more shots or scenes. Camera information can also be beneficial if there will be visual effects needed for a scene, in which case additional information like lens height and the distance to the subject may also be needed. Screen shots from the video monitor are also helpful references while shooting and during post production.
There are many more ways continuity can be helpful, including continuity with art/props, wardrobe, makeup and more, but these tips should help you be on your way to a polished finished piece!
I recently found this quote from Maya Angelou on goodreads.com:
“You can’t use up creativity.
The more you use, the more you have.”
If that's true, then just like practicing a physical activity helps you get better at it, or studying and reading enhances your brain, the act of being creative can spark even more creativity.
What does creativity mean to you?
Copyblogger recently wrote about creativity, and included an interview with a scientist and a poster featuring several responses to the question, "What is creativity?"
There's the standard definition of creativity, of course, but each person has their own subjective point of view.
I believe that anyone can be creative. It has to do with the ability to take an original idea and follow it freely; the process of taking your idea to another level and creating something new.
Only you can do this in your own, unique way.
Please let me know your thoughts!
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a time of celebration! The parades, costumes and music are bold, lively and fun, and so are the carnival colors – purple, green and gold.
It’s been said that Rex, the King of Carnival, chose the colors in 1872, with purple representing justice, green for faith, and gold for power. But where did the meanings come from?
Historians say the King of Carnival didn’t even declare the meaning behind the colors until 1892, two decades later, and that he chose them simply because he liked the way they looked together.
Regardless of how or why the colors were chosen, they were a good choice and remain an important part of the Mardi Gras tradition. The colors are a bold, bright combination that works.
If you look at color charts used by visual artists, the purple, green and gold of Mardi Gras actually look pretty similar to the color triad of purple, green and orange from the color wheel used in color theory. The colors in color triads are equidistant on the color wheel, so they create a balanced color scheme.
It’s no wonder that, between the boldness of each of the Mardi Gras colors and the balance created by using them together, Mardi Gras colors are as appealing and lively as the celebration itself.
Happy Mardi Gras!
If you find it difficult to focus when working on creative projects, try establishing a routine. Many successful artists and writers, including Stephen King and Twyla Tharp, rely on their daily routines to help them do their best creative work.
Whether it’s working on your creative projects first thing in the morning, taking breaks, or getting more rest, you’ll find that the right routine can help you be more creative and productive.
Work on Creative Projects at the Beginning of the Day
Research has shown that we are most productive at the beginning of the day, especially the first two hours after waking up. So it makes sense to spend this time on the work that’s most important. Turn off your email and text notifications and carve out at least one to two hours for your creative work or other important projects first thing in the morning. Save the rest of the day for responding to emails, answering messages and meetings. See this article for more.
Establish a Routine that Works for You
Not everyone is a morning person. You may find that there are other times of the day when you’re most creative and productive. Schedule your important work during the time of day that works best for you, then schedule meetings, phone calls, bookkeeping and administrative tasks during alternate times. If you have a shared calendar at work, block time out in the calendar for your creative work, so others know that you won’t be available. Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind is a wonderful book full of valuable suggestions on establishing a routine and a mindset to help you be more creative and productive.
Limit Social Media and Other Distractions
We love social media for a lot of reasons, but it can also take up a lot of time and energy. If you have important content to post, consider using a social media management tool like Hoot Suite to schedule your posts ahead of time and limit how often you need to log on. Another option is to schedule certain periods of time to spend on social media, which may also help you become more mindful and intentional with your posts. For tips on using social media mindfully, see Lori Deschene’s article.
Sometimes thoughts may pop into your mind while you’re trying to focus on your creative work – if so, just jot them down on paper so you can review them later.
Take Time For Yourself
It’s important to take time for yourself on workdays, including time to eat, relax, meditate or daydream. Taking a few minutes to daydream may actually lead to some new ideas. And studies have shown that because of our natural body rhythms, we need breaks every 90 minutes (see this article). Getting enough rest is another way to take care of yourself. This video and this article both have some helpful tips on getting a good night’s sleep.
Studies have shown that physical exercise can help you to be more productive and more creative. A recent study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management showed that people who exercised were 23% more productive on the days they exercised than they were on days they didn't. And a study by Rhode Island College showed that our creative potential is greater after aerobic exercise.
Recommendations on the amount of daily exercise we need vary, but if you need help getting a jumpstart on your daily exercise, try going for a walk, taking the stairs, or download the easy to follow Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout. The app can be found here.
Once you find a schedule that works for you, and give yourself the time and resources you need to focus on your creativity, you’ll discover that you can be happier, more productive, and do your best creative work.
Do you have a routine that helps you produce your best work? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Are you looking for some creative inspiration for the New Year? You don’t have to make big changes; even small ones can help bring out your creativity.
1. Turn off Distractions
It’s hard to focus with distractions all around us. See if you can go a week without one, or all, of these:
2. Make Creativity a Habit
Having a daily routine can help bring out your most creative self. In her book, The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp explains her habit of waking up at the same time each day, starting her day by going to the gym to exercise, and how she has done this daily for many years. Read her book for much more.
3. Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal helps quiet your mind by forcing you to put your thoughts down on paper. Try writing for at least 20 minutes a day and see what you discover. Bonus – It’s believed that putting our thoughts on paper before going to bed helps us relax and get a good night’s sleep.
4. Stop Multi-Tasking
This can be hard to do since we have so much to do and so little time. If you’re talking on the phone, just have the phone conversation and do nothing else. If you’re in a meeting or at dinner, put your smart phone away (try the app dinnermode). When you go for a walk, enjoy the walk completely and take in your surroundings. Your next creative idea may come to you without even trying.
5. Discover your Inner Child
Try doing a child-like exercise, such as coloring in a coloring book, or completing a simple craft project. Coloring can be an easy way to escape, be in the moment and be creative. The fact that coloring books for adults have recently become popular is a clue that we all probably need to take a few moments for ourselves to de-stress and find our inner creativity. For more on this read this WSJ article.
It doesn’t take much to get inspired. If you’re even the least bit motivated, just one of these ideas can help lead you to a more creative 2016. It’s time to celebrate a more creative you!
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