How to Find Creative Energy in Winter

Today I want to talk to you about inspiration – where to find it and how to hang onto it.

My creative energy comes from being outside. It doesn’t matter if it’s a long walk on cobblestones in Berlin or through the dried grass and tall trees around here. I bet you find more creative energy outside than you think, too. Even when you’re inside, the outside world influences you when the sun shines in or flowers on your table bloom.

Unfortunately on Friday evening, temperatures around here plummeted.

thermostat indoor outdoor

(Oh happy dance for a warm house after two winters in the icy tire house!)

It’s probably not surprising: I didn’t want to go outside for a second.

As a result, my creative energy nose dived right along with the temperatures. I rode the funk through Friday night. But by Saturday morning, I was through. We’ve got like five months of this kind of weather. And here, friends, is how I dig deep and find creative inspiration without grabbing my mittens.

get out of a winter funk

1. Make something.

I think it’s important to express yourself, and when you find something you love, do it as much as you can.

This season is going to be my winter of sewing. I’m going to do it because I love it. I’m going to do it because fabric equals a warm, cozy form of creativity to me. Unpacked boxes need to wait.

What will you make this season?

setting up a craft table

2. Know creativity is not a competition.

Developing a new Gadanke journal absorbs me completely. When my thoughts come together, I fill pages and pages of notes without being aware of anything around me. Martin says it’s like watching a mind literally pour onto a notebook in an inky frenzy. And then when I look up, the bucket of ideas is empty. I have nothing more.

The thing that gets me every time is knowing that I haven’t stopped to write to you in all this frenzy. There is a blog post that needs to be written for the next day. But I can’t. My mind is blank. All my current ideas are on paper, ready to slowly twist and turn into a new journal.

Posts by other bloggers are popping up all around me. I sit at the computer, thinking, “I should say something.” And I keep sitting.

Creativity is not a competition. It isn’t about who has more pins on Pinterest, comments, or facebook likes. Not at all. What matters is the creativity that you are growing from and sharing.

sewing green fabric

3. Know that you’re not always going to have inspiration. That’s okay.

Sometimes, you’re just going to want to watch a movie. Leave the dirty dishes on the counter for a night. Forget the projects. Watch something on TV. Or do something someone else wants to do or needs help with. (That’s how I wound up sorting expired airplane gaskets on Friday. ha!)

4. Journal about what types of creative things make you feel alive, then be prepared. You may want to dive into one of them.

When you sit and think, “Okay, what do I like to do?”, it’s easy to become too deliberate. You’ll get distracted by what you think you should love instead of what you really enjoy.

A pen softens the heart. The strokes of ink somehow override what your brain says you’re supposed to do, and it gets at the root of what you love.

If you’re not sure of the creative things you’re drawn to, try writing about it. That’s ultimately how I crossed off a lot of hobbies I wasn’t interested in (and managed to purge the excess supplies!).

Each time I start journaling about creativity, I barely finish the entry. I’m ready to go create.

fabric squares

5. Keep a hobby that has nothing to do with your work.

You need a creative outlet that’s just for you. If it comes with gifts you can give others, interaction with others, or entertainment for others, that’s a bonus. You just don’t want to make it all about work.

It doesn’t matter what line of work you’re in. It can overlap with your hobby. Don’t believe me? I used to work in construction management. Now there’s a blur in my life.

Likewise, I used to think of how I could incorporate sewing into Gadanke. Then I stopped. The sewing is for me. What’s for you?

Creativity this winter? Go for it!

What types of creative work do you hope to nurture this season?