Sometimes you need a creativity reboot

creative intrigue |
I woke up tired on Saturday morning and needed something different. I had a to-do list that I just couldn’t face and as I felt the need to cocoon at home, heading out didn’t appeal. I wanted to create but I didn’t want it to be for work. So I grabbed a pile of magazines and a notebook, made myself a big-ass coffee and camped out on my bed with some Hay House interviews. I had no end goal in mind, for a change, and simply fancied making something out of nothing. To tune out my think-y mind and ease into my feel-y body. To get glue on my hands. To play.

creating calm fire |
I began by tearing out images, clipping the sort of words I usually snip when working in my Creative Dream Journal: LOVE, confident, CONNECTION, joy. I created a few pages, but the visioning felt a bit perfunctory. Without thinking too much about it, I laid out my collection of words in front of me and began putting fragments together. I’ve been really drawn to orange lately, and when I spotted “creating calm” and “FIRE” near each other I stuck them down and felt the Nudge. I’m on to something here, I thought.
That first word combo lead me to other random pairings, words I might not have typed onto a page, but pulled together with the serendipity of collage they suddenly seemed to make sense. As more words found each other, I ended up with a series of collage poems that feel silly and serious, loose and free. Worlds away from what I’d usually do, and all the better for it.

lovebombing |
My spontaneous creativity reboot felt really decadent — I didn’t do any real work all weekend! — which is why it was exactly what I needed. Being self-employed is great and I pour everything into what I do, but sometimes you just gotta shelve the to-do list and do something DIFFERENT. I try to remember this, and am getting better at taking time off, but this weekend reminded me that it’s okay to indulge in creative play that has no specific destination in mind. It’s the best-ideas-in-the-shower syndrome — by doing something else you make space for epiphanies. By Sunday night I’d downloaded the name of my next course, the one I’ve been composting in notebooks for months. I hadn’t even been thinking about work, but there it was, fully formed and ready to jump start the new inspiration that’s now bouncing around my head.

join life imperfectly |
So the lesson is: boost your creativity by doing other creative things. It’s hardly ground breaking is it? But it’s been a timely reminder for this self-employed workaholic. The challenge now is to do it more often. Can you imagine?!

red chaos |

28 responses
  1. Katie

    Oh Susannah these are so beautiful! They remind me of propoganda posters – but for love and inspiration! :)

    So great that you followed a creative path to lead you to answers. Truly luscious. And perfunctory is a great word – I had to look it up!

    Can’t wait to hear more about what your new course will be and what’s next for you, exciting times!

    Katie. X

  2. Tina tierson

    Oh Susannah! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this post! I could go on for paragraphs and paragraphs, but will stop at just telling you how much I love this and how much I love you! xoxo

  3. Becki macary


    If you listed these as prints on Etsy, they’d sell like hotcakes. SO incredible, I can’t wait to do the same.

    Becki :)

  4. Shandi

    I can’t wait to hear more about this new course! :)

  5. AManda

    LOVE this!! FEELING the need for some creative boost like this.

  6. Cora

    This is so inspirational and I love the words and images!! Simple and profound at the same time. Thank you.

  7. Ximena

    Thank you for such an inspiring post, Susannah! I sometimes feel the same way: completely overwhelmed by daily life and burned out by obligations and to-do’s. Your words were just what I needed today. Your work is lovely!

  8. changesofheart

    Love this way of using words in collage & the reminder to just play & to enjoy ‘being’ not just always ‘doing’. Looks like some meaningful insights emerged also. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Carolyn

    Love this! It’s a lot of fun to just play with images and words sometimes, isn’t it? I can’t wait to hear about your new course too.

  10. Catalina

    Lovely and beautiful! a flow of art

  11. stacey mattraw

    love this Susannah, thank you!!!! Oxo

  12. suzie farrell

    Thank you for this! I love it… can’t wait to hear about the new course!

  13. An

    Love these – they are gorgeous! – and love the behind-the-scenes story even more! xx

  14. leonie

    i love me a good found poem and yours are truly gorgeous. i have loved seeing these pop up on instagram – your word combos are surprising and juicy.

    reinvent your happy daily indeed

  15. Liz Smith

    I’m so glad I stopped by here today, you creative soul you!

    I found myself pulling out watercolour pencils and paper over the weekend, for no other reason than I needed a creative outlet that was a no brainer (I can’t paint or draw). My little ones joined me at the table and we all got our creative on that day.

  16. Xanthe

    I love this! xxx

  17. Niki

    Absolutely love this! The spontaneity and the creativity that came forth from that is just…wow.

  18. Lydia

    As usual, you are inspiring. I, too, can’t wait to hear about your new course. I hope that it is something re: meditation. Have a great weekend. Blessings, Lydia

  19. shannon

    Oh how I love this so much. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me!

  20. Kristy Daum

    I haven’t made those sorts of collages in ages. It was a normal practice when I was an undergrad at university studying Art.

    I might have to pull out some magazines and begin once again. Thanks for the inspiration as always!

  21. ~Christy

    Susannah, I adore this and can completely relate to this place you find yourself in (in today’s love letter). I, too, am incubating and nurturing however I am able. It’s the creating space that I’m having trouble with…space for things to be as busy and full of good stuff as possible while maintaining stillness. My feeling is that the shift I’m undertaking is in my foundation — how I work will just be different going forward. What I need and how much, when and where. It’s a delicious process if we’re willing to let go of the reigns a little bit. My immediate part of the co-creative process. Thank you for this and your perspective. I will be carving out some playtime soon. Very soon. xx

  22. fanny

    Love these collages! I also collage when I need to get out of my head and to something with my hands. These images and word combinations are gorgeous!

  23. Madeleine MARY

    Its funny how non-work related creativity overflows into work at the end of the day anyway.

    Very cool collages Susannah.

  24. Marta Chan

    This is so beautiful, you are such a creative soul!

  25. Kathryn Hall

    These are really wonderful and so inspiring. I haven’t done any ‘play’ creativity activities for ages and this post has really made me want to dig out some magazines and get chopping! Thank you for sharing.

  26. Cole

    I love these! I love creating found poems when I’m in a creativity rut, too. I have a binder full of them but I’ve always been too scared to share them on my blog.

  27. susannah

    Share them! :)

  28. Meg O'Sullivan

    “Reinvent your happy daily”

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

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