What gets Me in the Mood

Before you all start thinking “whoa Chook is getting all sexy and 50 Shades of Grey on us”, this has nothing to do with the bedroom!!!

This has to do with where and how I get my motivation and ideas to be – “creative”.  And by creative I mean, writing, drawing, photography, painting, blogging, reading.

Being creative is not much I thought about a whole lot. I mean, I loved photography and meandered my way through trying to do it as a business and giving up as I was a) scared, b) had no idea how to run a business, c) thought my work was crap, d) I didn’t like asking people for money, and e) I was really bad at comparing my work to others.

Last year was a real turning point for me and my creativity has really given me a new direction and focus.  I have been able to overcome my fear (well mostly) of what people will think, and whether I’m good enough (which I still do occasionally fall into the trap of asking myself this).

This time last year I wasn’t writing, or photographing;  painting or drawing.  I was still in grieving mode with a lot going on in my head that had to come out.

liz gilbert creative

Fast forward 12 months and this is me.

These creative things don’t come naturally to me, not much does.  I often wonder and admire friends that can just step out the door for a 10km run, just like that; I never could.  I had to plan and prepare and psych myself up and then I would have mind talks with myself the whole way.

My creativity is a bit the same.  I can’t just sit down and my laptop and write brilliant sentences and paragraphs.  And I can’t just sit at my desks with my paints and produce a Picasso.

I need to think, and mull over things, words, colours, shapes, camera settings.  The discussions in my head are long and tiring and sometimes not there at all.

Here are a few things that help me

“Get in the Mood”

to produce my creative work.

Cleaning Mum and Dad’s house – I actually think this is hilarious as I hate cleaning. I have someone who cleans my house; but a few years ago when mum was getting sicker I started helping out and cleaning their house.  It is something that I have continued to do since she passed, as dad is still working and it helps him out.

When I walk in their front door, it’s like the ideas come to me. As I see all the things that mum as made hanging up and sitting on shelves, and all the memories; words and sentences start coming together.

The amount of blog posts that I can nut out while vacuuming and mopping floors is uncanny.

Thank goodness there is always a note pad and pen on the table for me to scribble things down.

File 19-05-2017, 9 38 15 AM

Walking the Dog – Being out in the fresh air getting some exercise is good for clearing the mind, but for me, also filling it.  I switch between listening to music where I find myself listening to the lyrics and letting my mind wander; to listening to Podcasts.  Podcasts are great and there are so many different ones to listen too.  Whether its about motivation, educational, comedy or just every day people telling a story.  It always leads me to think, wonder and ponder.  I often find myself stopping and making notes on my phone to refer back to.

Walking also gives me ideas for photos and my other art work.  Nature really does provide us with so many opportunities.  I’m also on the look out for subjects for Tuesday’s Turds too 🙂

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Me and my walking buddy 🙂

Driving – I spend a couple of hours a day in the car driving the kids to and from school and driving me around to a few things that I do.  As much as I need to be attentive to my driving, it’s also a place for ones mind to wander. Looking around and seeing people, buildings and nature and wondering what is going on inside them, or around them provide me with ideas for characters in my writing; ideas for my art or photos.  Even ideas for my blog or daily Facebook posts.

Sometimes the topics of discussion on the radio lead to thoughts and ideas and lately I’ve been listening to audio books in the car too.

File 19-05-2017, 10 09 36 AM

Josh Groban – Mum and I had a bit of a thing for John Groban, not only was he easy on the eye, but he has the most beautiful of voice.  Deep, operatic, pop, baritone.  We went to both of his Adelaide concerts; the second one was on her bucket list and one that we could tick off together.  I remember her holding my hand when he sang “You Raise me Up”. I will never forget that moment or song.  His music evokes so many memories and emotions that I draw on.

The sound of silence – When it comes to the crunch, I work best in the quiet.  When I sit at my laptop or desk; whether it’s writing or art ; it’s the quiet is what allows me to focus and get my thoughts in order.

I’ve now set up a space or “studio” as I like to call it, where it is quiet. It’s in the back yard, so I can see the sky and hear the birds.  I can look out the sliding doors and gather my thoughts.

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This is where most of the creative action happens.


What get’s you in the mood?





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