On Creativity

I've created a habit of taking Frodo outside for a walk about in the yard and I grab the big camera to accompany us.  Same yard, over and over.  I marvel over how even though the yard is the same, through a camera lens I find exquisite details that I would not even glance at as a scurry about my days.

My camera yields to a meaningful pause in my day to stop and 'see' nature's beauty.  How sad at times that I allow the busyness of the world, the eternally changing news feed to infiltrate my creativity.

And yet, I don't.  I do take time out of my day and take a break from the world to walk around my yard with a camera.  I need more of this habit and less of my other habits that do not support creativity.

I walked about the yard feeling so fresh and happy!  How nice to see Fall arriving in leaps and bounds.  I drive into my driveway daily and I don't think I even notice the details of the leaves changing.  Or the way the light angles are shifting ever so slightly.

I've mentioned previously my desire to sketch, to create a daily habit.  I have yet to do this.  My notebook and pencils are right there - beside me waiting.  I know what is happening.  I fear making mistakes, of not knowing what to draw! 

When I first started to write daily in the mornings in a journal, the same experience occurred.  I sat with a blank page and wondered 'what do I write about?'.  I want it to be meaningful, well said, and powerful. 

Oh the pressures I put on myself.

I remember just writing.  I remember saying to myself, just fill the page - just do IT.

This is what will happen with the sketching, one day I will just do it. 

I've been knitting for decades.  I am guessing for 40+ years.  I was once a novice, a beginner.  I had some epic knitting flops as does anyone.  I've had horrible ugly finished knits and learned from each of them.  I've had many successful knits and those successes urged me forward to more complicated knitting patterns.

The thing is, I didn't stop or give up.  I wanted to knit, so I did. 

there is a cat in the window but she's hard to find

Creativity is a skillset that is practiced from just doing.  I knit daily, I create and I make some awesome things.  I also have some failures even after 40+ years.  Maybe the pattern wasn't a good choice, or the yarn or maybe I didn't do gauge (gasp!).

My confidence in knitting is full.  My photography confidence is also pretty strong.  I spent years walking around my yard taking photographs and deleting oh so many. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that being creative is a creative process.  I've learned to let go of expectations and the end results.  Creativity is enjoying the process and learning from each project. 

Tomorrow morning, I will set aside time and sketch.  I will ignore my doubts and fears.  I know one day I will be confident, when daily practice establishes a path to creativity.

I will fill the page with something.

How do you foster creativity? 

Do you have any tips?

scrap yarn for some hats


  1. I can't honestly say that I often try to foster creativity. It comes on rare occasions, and if I'm thinking instead of being too busy, I pay attention to it. Some of my best creative ideas strike when I'm doing mindless tasks like ironing or cleaning the bathroom. I doubt that I'm going to clean more, so I really need to pay attention more.

  2. No tips other than the ones you've already come up with! Just Do It!!! (and I love the line "being creative is a creative process" :-)

  3. My Year of Stitching opened the creativity door - I gave my self permission to "not like" what I stitched that day, and I promised myself I would not "rip back" but let it be... it was the best lesson ever for myself. I learned that sometimes creativity is not attractive and that is sometimes is a process. By the end of the month, the stitches I thought were imperfect, fit perfectly and were exactly what the piece needed. Our need for perfection stymies us and if we can get beyond that, there true creativity lies! Enjoy your drawing time tomorrow! XO

  4. I suppose I don't actively THINK about being creative, but just let thoughts roll in and out of my mind and every once in awhile, something will stand out among the others.

  5. Love this. So inspirational as I have been thinking along the same lines lately. Your green piece (a shawl?) is GORGEOUS. ~Jill M

  6. Interesting and inspirational post. Creativity comes in so many different guises. I don't "think" about it, but ideas float around. Just an hour ago I was thinking I need a set of colored pencils - I want to design some colorwork things.

  7. I have not been knitting as long as you have, but I have had some very ugly finishes. I've learned from them. I find creativity in choosing my yarn colors. I almost never knit the color of the photo in the pattern. I find knitting soothing most of the time. I encourage Fireman when he does woodworking, to go ahead and make some mistakes. Its all good. We need to be creative I think. And I love your yard posts.

  8. I allow myself the time to be creative and enjoy the process of design. I no longer feel guilty about spending time crafting and creating in whatever guise.

  9. How coincidental...once again. I'm in the Smoky Mountains at a photography workshop this week...chasing the light and developing compositional skills....and learning a few photoshop tricks....which will really be necessary to change our scenes into fall. Not a colored leaf to be seen anywhere. What a strange fall we're having here in Ky/Tn this year!!!
    Grab any chance you can to get out and enjoy the world....through a lens, through pencils/crayons, or by taking a deep breath!!! Enjoy!

  10. I have been playing with sketching, keeping my notebook and pencils on the table, but I struggle to be consistent. I love the idea of walking in the same place and noticing the changes. Another beautiful post Karen.

  11. Love your gorgeous photos. I can enjoy fall though you. I have knit for over 30 years, crocheted for a bit less, still I never feel proficient and still have some unbelievable flops. still I love it so much. Have a great week.

  12. I couldn't agree more with your thoughts on creativity. Yes...just do it. I've kept a nature journal for years along side my girls whilst we have homeschooled. Looking back at my first entries I can see how fmuch my sketching and painting skills have improved and it's all down to just doing it. Practice...that's all it takes. Taking time out to do the things that we want to do :)

  13. I can relate to this so much! Right now I'm on Curaçao without any possibility of knitting (not sure how will I survive) and I was planning to try sketching to do something to spark my creativity during these weeks. But I still haven't...

  14. Karen, I think you said it perfectly, a creative practice must be tended to regularly in order to grow. Having written this, I can also say I am so guilty of not following my own advice. Fear plays a big part I think, although I try to downplay it, especially when it come to painting. I've been working hard to show up daily, if only for an hour. Great post! xo


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