Creativity needs space

#14 on overdoing it, getting unstuck, self-expression and being selective

Hey 1,220+ friends, it’s Hannah here from Quoted Visually!

Welcome to another issue of Floating Thoughts where I share an insight, image and personal update. 1 day late… you’ll find out why 🤣

Are you a slave to your long to-do list?

It is easy to jam-pack every single waking hour with some kind of *productive activity* to make sure we are satisfied with how we are spending our short time on Earth!

I’m guilty of this too.

But in our efforts to maximise, we unintentionally push all the creativity out.

We fall into the trap of overdoing it and trying too hard.

Our pursuit is flawed because creativity can’t be planned, it can only be anticipated.

Because if everything is predefined, then there is no space for things to be other than what they are.

“You can’t manage creativity. You need to manage for creativity. You need to create the space for it to emerge.”

- Arianna Huffington

When we feel stuck, it’s likely that we’ve not created enough space for cogs to turn and things to move, and this is something we can change.

That session in the gym, that quick jog, short work, long walk, or drive to see some friends, whatever space it is that you need to create, do it.

Solitude especially can allow us to listen to ourselves.

But maybe it is in the company of others ~ when we are away from our desks, out living our lives ~ that we will come up with new ideas.

Everyone has creativity within them. It's just a matter of unlocking that creativity.

- Christina canters

Because when we are fully immersed in only our work, we're not letting ourselves live and observe real life, which will not only feed back into our work but will give us our creative flare!

We will start to see that ideas are everywhere, and the problem isn’t having ideas, it is having enough time to execute those ideas.

Of course, let’s be real.

Ideas are never guaranteed, but we can increase the likelihood of feeling inspired by creating that mental space to think creatively.

The creative urge to express ourselves can come in strong.

And when it does, we need to be available to capture and take advantage of it.

I started writing this newsletter as I stepped out of the shower. I slipped on a dressing gown and rushed to sit at my laptop. Ideas were coming and I knew I just needed to write.

We don’t need to have it all figured out.

We often just need to start writing or scribbling.

Once we have the first sentence, the rest can follow, line by line until the idea becomes fleshed out.

So please don’t write yourself off as ‘not creative’ or not a bearer of ‘good ideas’ and have faith in your ability to generate ideas!

Those people we look up to who seem to be uber-skilled and creative, it is not that every idea they have is a good one, just that they are generating more ideas and have developed a strong filter to select the best ones.

Keep a foot in both the doors of life and work and your creativity will be fueled ️‍🔥

💡 Inspiration

Rich Webster has been dripping absolute gold in his podcast recently. It feels raw and honest, both qualities I strive to be for you in this newsletter.

Rich shares how he allocates his time in the year between creative sprints, other businesses, and cohorts of his course!

His approach is to identify what brings in the most revenue in his businesses, and focus on those activities, cutting out those that only bring in a small percentage. Sounds obvious right?

But in practice, it can be uncomfortable to ‘leave money on the table’.

For Rich, it means letting go of seemingly good activities like 1:1 coaching, affiliates and newsletter sponsorships to create the headspace to double down on what matters. What do you need to let go of?

🗞️ Update

The Quoted Visually calendars arrived in my hands on Thursday and I am so happy with them! I received 41 pre-orders in the end, which blows my mind 🥹 

👉🏻 So in full transparency, what are the numbers?

  • 33 Landscape calendars sold

  • 14 Portrait calendars sold

  • 4 orders of prints sold

  • and then 28 PDF calendars sold.

This is just mental, but it hasn’t happened on it’s own. I have had to get comfortable with self-promotion. Thank you for your support ❤️

A quick snap before heading to the post office

In the excitement and exhaustion, I ended up ploughing right through my weekend to get them all posted out on Monday (hence no newsletter then)

I also had to halt all my social media posts.

…but it felt necessary and I am glad I did it!

My mum and boyfriend helped out when they could 🤣

A walk up the hill with my pooch

It was a laugh taking all the parcels to the post office. I went to a small shop and the owner was very happy.

“This is the longest receipt I have ever printed”

“Come back next time please”

The experience gave me a boost. Small businesses helping small businesses!

Filling up the boot of my car!

It wasn’t plain sailing though. The portrait calendars arrived with a production error. They had a hole-punched top rather than a wire hook. It happens…

I won’t bore you with the details - but I ended up contacting all those customers individually and asking them if they wanted to wait for a reorder or get theirs now. And the spilt was about 50-50 so I can’t complain.

Aside from this, freelance projects have felt draining recently *sighh*

I am realising that there needs to be a complete change to the way I do things and I think a retainer model is the answer. Bring it on!

This will anchor the project in a time frame to help both parties 😃

Because I am struggling to pass through projects fast enough, with long pauses from hearing back, halting any project momentum and creative flow.

But with me being self-employed, I can feel empowered to work to design my life in a different way. It is all one big experiment. Everything is a lesson.

And there we have it, a full, honest update from me!

👉🏻 What’s news with you?

The calendar stocks are now running low, so if you want one, get it now!

That’s a wrap. Thanks for being here! Sending hugs to you ❤️

Feel free to reply to this email if you have any questions, requests or feedback. I will respond at my earliest opportunity.

Big love,

Hannah aka Quoted Visually x

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