Time Starved Creativity Crunch

This blog has been MIA so long I wouldn’t blame you if you’d lumped it in with the many attempted and failed on-line journals. The countless blogs started and stopped, left abandoned and forgotten.


Image via Craig Garner at Unsplash.com

So many gone, defunct, and perished.

Well…this little bit of cyber real estate is far from buying the proverbial farm. She may be hard to hear in the horde of internet noise, but she has many years of life left in her. She only needs to be persistent and shout louder.

Cold as marble is something this place will only experience on a vampire feature Immortal Monday. Yeah, you heard that right…Immortal Monday (Soon to return on the first Monday of the month).

Dead, deceased, passed on. We don’t do that here. We push through!

I learned that lesson long ago.

A large part of life is learning. Making adjustments based on what we learn is how we eventually get to that better place. The place we strive for. The place where reality and desires coexist. Sometimes getting there, part of the process, requires you to slow down, step back, take a long, solid look at where you are and where you want to go.

That’s where I’ve been. Where I went missing. When you’re moving down the blogging tracks at the rate of a runaway steam engine it can be impossible to see what you need to, everything turns into a blur around you. With a pause, a breather, clarity can be obtained.

Four months of silence. Four months of process. Four months and I think I’ve got it figured out. This is what I saw:

1.     Silence in the eye of the social storm.

A.    First, focus on the home front. Get all your little monsters in order. Go ahead, take whatever time you need. We’ll wait. You can’t be successful in other areas for any true length of time if home command is falling to pieces and bringing mounds of stress down upon you.

B.     Got those monsters trained? Spouse, kiddos, family, friends, and neighbors? Now you can analyze the areas where you need work. Determine your priorities. For each of us it will be different. As a writer, I needed to find time for family, writing, social media, research, editing, and so on. I suggest moving forward in small doses. Get familiar and comfortable in one area before moving on and adding the next area to your agenda. Set aside your largest block of free time for the most important task, smaller blocks for areas that are necessary, but not as critical.

Social media – get in and get out. Time yourself or you’ll lose your day.

Twitter: I suggest scheduling your tweets the night before, then jumping in twice during the day to chat live.

Facebook: Pop in a few times during the day (approx. three or four). Know your circle of friends, don’t overtake their feed with your posts. Practice control.

Pinterest: I pin when prompted by others who pin from me, or when needing to generate a story idea. It’s nice to pin or like from someone who pins or likes one of your pins. Regular visits is recommended to build your relationships. Commenting on pins is the best way to accomplish this.

Google/G+: I’m still working my way back to G+, but I’ll be looking to post a few times a week. Make friends. Don’t just throw up your post and run. Learn from Rebecca Enzor, she’s working it beautifully.

Instagram: I’m new to the world of instant photo share, as my page will tell, but like any other platform…little steps. A share a day and build away!

(Notice the common link running from site to site? Stay consistent with the presence you promote. Face, bio, tag lines – they all matter. You’re fans want someone they can depend on. Be that someone.)

If you need help in the realm of social media, if you’re feeling lost and flustered when you step out into the twitter zone, the G+ forum, Elena Dillion is holding a Social Media Class for the terrified and confused. It runs from April 14th to May 11th and covers Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram. Check it out here!

2.    The two-step with Father Time.

It’s no secret that time management is essential in this time starved millennium. There is no magic answer or fix. There are, however, things you can do to increase your productivity with what limited time you do have. Check out the following informative posts:

10 Essential Hacks For Time Management

 7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web (Part 1)

7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web Plus Apps & Plugins (Part 2)

3.   Jump down the vole hole of creativity!

Yes, vole hole. My yard is full of them. I like to imagine one of them leads to Alice’s Wonderland.

Once you’ve established your surrounding cone of silence, beaten your mini monsters into order, and established your priorities and goals, you want your creativity to EXPLODE!

Mine has been busy and we’ll talk about that in another post. I’ve found that stepping away from a project is usually the best way to get the idea wheel unstuck when you feel burdened and your writer’s genius is sunk in the mud. If that doesn’t work for you, here are a few great idea stimulators:

100+ Ways To Maximize Your Creativity in 2014by Kristin Nador

Creativity and Brainstorming Videos With Isochronic TonesThanks to Melinda VanLone for this find

10 Surprising Ways to Transform Your Creative Thinking

Never let the world of creativity become a stress factor in your life. Remember to always put yourself first and tackle one thing at a time until you find your comfort zone.  You’ve heard the term ‘Baby steps.’ Apply it. Soon enough you’ll be grooving and shaking a brilliant beat.

What are some of the practices you’ve employed that have worked well? Where could you stand to change and what could you do to improve on your current practices?


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your support.

Until next time, immortally yours.

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47 thoughts on “Time Starved Creativity Crunch”

  1. Susie LindauSusie Lindau

    I’m so glad to see you’re back! I’ll have to check out those links. they look fabulous. I’m looking forward to your immortal Monday!

  2. Marcy KennedyMarcy Kennedy

    I’m so glad you’re back among the blogging! I’ve been struggling to find balance myself the last couple of months. It’s no secret that I want more from my life than just sitting in front of my computer (no matter how much I love writing). I still don’t think I’m where I want to be yet, but I’m going to keep fighting. My biggest struggle is finding that middle ground where neither my work nor my life suffers in favor of the other.

  3. Kristy K. JamesKristy K. James

    Great advice! Glad to see you’ve taken the time to figure out what works for you. I know I need to do the same. Social media is a vast jungle and it’s easy to lose ourselves in it, so I use caution when visiting. Mostly I stay on the road to FB because it’s where I’m most comfortable. 🙂

  4. Rachel Funk HellerRachel Funk Heller

    Hi Debra,
    Don’t worry, you are not the only one who has started a blog and then “abandoned” it. I did it twice. I was so relieved when I finally found a focus topic — the creative process — that turned out to be a great umbrella for all of my interests. Keep up the great work and thanks for all the great research information here.

  5. PatriciaPatricia

    Welcome back and I love the whole new look! I hope you’re well and back on track my friend. Good advice and good suggestions.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt
    Patricia recently posted…Girl Sports and Book GiveawaysMy Profile

  6. Emma MeadeEmma Meade

    Welcome back!
    Love the background wallpaper.

  7. Karen McFarlandKaren McFarland

    I do believe you’ve been through a remodel Debra. It looks fantastic! Laird to the rescue again!
    Yep, I hear ya. I haven’t blogged in six months and I’m re-launching this week. I hope you’ll join me. This blogging thing is hard to maneuver. It’s difficult to find your niche and strike a balance. Especially when you have young children, which you do. And family has to take priority. I don’t know how you do it. I have a hard time and I don’t have kids at home. And then, to find time to write your book/books and social media besides. It sounds like you have a plan that will work for you. And that I think is the key. What works for you, instead of trying to fit into what someone says you should do. It’s not a one shoe fits all kind of thing. Anyway, I hope you and your family are well and it’s great to see you in the blogosphere again! ((Hugs!))

  8. Diana BeebeDiana Beebe

    Amazing, Debra! I love it! The background turned out absolutely gorgeous, and so did your new profile picture. I’m so glad to see you back here! 😀

    I’m always trying to find a balance with my time blogging and reading blogs with writing. Training “the monsters” is on-going. I’m so grateful that they are supportive!

    Thanks for all the tips and links–lots of great stuff here!

  9. Julie GloverJulie Glover

    Great tips here! For time management, I’ve finally realized — after months and months of trying every kind of tool — that I must work from a written to-do list. Which I now make the night before. I purposefully use medium sized post-its to keep my list short and manageable.

    As to blogging, I love the flexibility of it. I’ve tweaked my blog from time to time, and I’m doing it again. You find what works, do that for a while, and then you might change it up later. Like the look! Best wishes with blogging.

  10. Elena DillonElena Dillon

    Love the new blog!! It looks fabulous. Thanks for the mention about the class. I’m getting really excited about it. We’re going to have a lot of fun!

  11. tedstrutztedstrutz

    Wow… what a great place to visit… All Chicks! And they all like Thor!

  12. August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

    Great tips, Debra! And WOW — what a gorgeous blog makeover! *pauses to gaze for awhile* 😉

    I rely on social media for warmups and breaks, and always prioritize my main passions and goals on work days, reserving my best thinking/creative time and energy for what matters most. I’ve been learning the art of stepping away to play more often lately — and I have to say, I’m digging it!

  13. Tameri EthertonTameri Etherton

    Super cool new digs! I love the new look. That Laird, she’s just brilliant.

  14. Serena DracisSerena Dracis

    Beautiful new site! I love the purple! My blog is still MIA; too busy with the dog training stuff right now. Someday though, I’ll get back to it.

    Kudos for taking the time you need for you!

  15. Lynn KelleyLynn Kelley

    Love the look of your new site! Glad you’re back, Debra! Thanks for all the cool links. I’m taking an online class (go at your own pace and I’m going mighty slow) called Video Idiot Boot Camp. I love working videos into my platform and just want to learn more and more and more about making videos. This class has provided me with lots and lots of cool stuff. I’ve discovered Powtoons and want to make lots and lots of animated videos. Just need more time, mo’ energy, mo’ money! Like you said, small steps.That’s the only speed I’m able to go with any of the social media for now.

    Kudos to you for starting a newsletter, too! Smart move, Debra. I want to do that, too, but it will have to wait!

  16. Jennette Marie PowellJennette Marie Powell

    Well, I’m about a week late to the party, so that should tell you something. As writers, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, and in my case it was starting to affect my health. I have pretty much stepped away from Facebook and Twitter, and that has helped my stress level immensely. I don’t enjoy either one, and I just don’t have the time or energy to deal with all of that on top of my job, family, and writing. I also took a vacation, and that helped, too. Glad to see you back, and the new site design is great!

    • Lynn KelleyLynn Kelley

      Jennette, I hear ya! Glad you’re taking some time off. We all need to do that probably more often than we do. I don’t care to get on Twitter much. And FaceBook can be a lot of fun when we’re not exhausted. So my time on there is limited, too. Seems like so many of us are in the same boat. Take care of yourself!

  17. Sheila SeabrookSheila Seabrook

    Welcome back, Debra. I’m so glad the four months away helped alleviate the stress of your many commitments. I’ve been checking out the links you shared and they’re totally awesome. Right now, I’m playing the Coffitivity sounds. 🙂

  18. Nikki WestonNikki Weston

    And I am extremely fashionable in my lateness 😉 Love your blog Debra, and that natural and vibrant voice of yours!
    To add my tuppence: I’m finding that not multi-tasking (you read right) is the key to my success. I do much better if I focus on one thing at a time – be that a nappy change, a phone call, 100 new words in my manuscript. It took practise, because I think that often women are praised for being able to multi-task. True, women are amazing, but for this woman, multi-tasking as my all-the-time default behaviour leaves me frazzled and floundering. Instead, I try to focus on one thing at a time. It has created changes I can see and feel every day. Changes in myself, my mood, my writing, my family, my home.

    If I can get something started and finished in 15 minutes or less, I quickly ask, is it a priority? Is it a priority for ME? or for someone else whose goals are not in line with mine?
    So in an instant, I categorise everything I do (writing and non-writing) a la SuperNanny Jo Frost’s motto: Do, Dump, Defer, and Delegate. I have become good at dumping and deferring. Delegating takes a bit more practise, and also, you need to have earned a few brownie points already, haha!

    Best for now – Nikki.

  19. Naomi BaltuckNaomi Baltuck

    Hi Debra,
    Welcome back! And thank you for a WONDERFUL post!

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