Creating Just For The Hell Of It: Shame, Fear and Self-Care

It may be pretty obvious, as I have this little blog and did I creative degree, but writing is something that I really love. When I was a child, I would spent hours scribbling in notebooks and typing up stories, journal entries and poems. I was never afraid to share my work and on several occasions would hand out copies of my ‘books’ (ie. ten or so pages bound together in a folder) to friends, family and teachers.

And now I’m in a funny period of my life where I’m free from any major commitments, like school, and have a lot time on my hands. I keep thinking about all of these creative projects and things that I’ve wanted to get stuck into for the longest time and sometimes I’m successful (see any recent posts). But at other times I feel like I’m holding myself back.

THE PASSION AND THE PRESSURE 

As I explained in a recent post I have finally gotten myself back into reading and I am now reading a lot of fiction once again. This is something that makes me so happy as I finally feel like I’m pulling bits of myself together again. A bit of a dramatic way to describe reigniting a hobby, I know, but that’s how I feel.

And with reading a lot comes this burning desire to write a lot too. Like I said, this is something I used to do all of the time when I was a kid without any structure or plan. I would just pick up a pen (or open a word document) and get writing.

I didn’t think much then about whether what I was making was good or something people would want to read. I simply just made stuff because I wanted to and I had the time.

I feel like so many people have similar stories from when they were a kid, but then it always seems to fizzle out by the time we hit our teens. It’s so sad.

We suddenly become so aware of everyone else and become fixated on their opinions that it gets in the way and we stop being as creative as we once were. Of course there are other factors, like having less free time and so on, but I think this is the main reason.

THE INSPIRATION AND THE GOAL 

I’ve been re listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast, Magic Lessons, that I’ve mentioned a couple of times on here and I think it’s been a combination of all these aforementioned life things  (the free time, the reading and the podcast) that have got me thinking a lot about this subject.

You already know, if you’ve read any of my past posts, that comparison is a major issue for me and it is a major barrier when I try creating things. And when I think about it now, I get so mad at myself.

For me, writing has always been a passion. It’s been the one thing that I have loved and actually felt like I am quite good at. Yet I still find myself restricting what I do because I’m not good enough or I’m not qualified enough or other people are just way better at it than me.

How frigging daft is that?

I know that we all get like this. I don’t know what your passion is, but I bet you could do it more.

Anyway, I’ve now had a realisation, or I guess I’ve just reconfirmed for myself, that I can just make stuff if and when I feel like it.

Writing non-fiction is something that I have been doing for so long now, what with my journalism degree and this somewhat lifestyle based outlet. It’s something I love and will continue to do, of course, but I now want to give myself permission to start writing other stuff too.

I stopped writing stories and poems when I was back in school, because I knew there were others around me who were better at it and who cared about it more than I did. But now at twenty one, with my degree still fresh from the printers, I want to start getting back into writing whatever I fancy- even if it doesn’t go anywhere.

THE SELF-CARE EFFECTS

Making stuff just for the hell of it is a wonderful and freeing experience. I know I talk about self care a lot on this blog, but this really is relevant to that conversation as well.

Allowing yourself to get involved with hobbies or activities that excite you is definitely an act of self-care in my book.

You’re being kind to yourself, you’re taking time out for yourself and you’re no doubt learning a little bit as well, whether that’s about who you are or about the craft.

So if you’re considering doing something creative, even if it’s something that you feel like you have no knowledge on or you think it won’t work out or whatever, I urge you to try it. Allow yourself to have a bit of fun and don’t put so much pressure on yourself!

It’s only art after all.

Please come and join me in this journey of making stuff just because we can and because we love it. I can’t wait to see what I get up to now I’m allowing myself and I’m so excited for you too!

Elizabeth Gilbert


I’d love it if you’d like to share some of your creative bits or even those that inspire you!

Best of luck and happy making.

Speak soon,

Rachael.


Materials:

Big Magic: Elizabeth Gilbert*

Brene Brown on ‘Big Strong Magic’

Your elusive creative genius: Elizabeth Gilbert (TED)

Am I Qualified To Be Creative? itswaypastmybedtime

Am I A People Pleaser? Ninkcompoop

 

Finally giving a fuck: justkissmyfrog

*(affiliate link used)

Four Small Things I’m Loving Right Now

Things have been a bit odd for me these past few weeks. I moved back into university accommodation and have just started the final year of my degree (*que hysterical shrieking*). Most of my time is now spent trying to settle back into a normal routine and getting stuck into work.

So when there’s lots of things going on in my life, I try to focus some attention on the little things that I enjoy on a day to day basis to keep me sane.

Here are four things that I am really enjoying at the moment:

  • Revolution Flawless Palette

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I showed this palette in a haul a couple of months back (see here) and I have been using it constantly ever since. I’ve been using even more recently as it is one of the only palettes I allowed myself to bring to university and I don’t regret that decision one bit. I’m not very adventurous when it comes to makeup and neutrals will always be my favourite. With it’s warm coppery theme, this palette is perfect for the new season and can be used to create so many different looks.

  • Jersey Bedding

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As I’ve just explained, I moved back into student accommodation a couple of weeks ago now which meant I had to go out and buy a few new homeware bits (any excuse really). One thing I got was this new bedding set from ASDA and I freaking love it. It doesn’t seem like much just to look at it, but  it’s made from this wonderful jersey material making it so soft, cosy and warm. This is a big deal when you’re living in student accommodation which seems to always be freezing no matter the season!

  • Big Magic Podcast

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Listen here. I was obsessed with this podcast around about this time last year. I had recently just finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s book of the same name and was so interested in the whole creative conversation. So imagine my joy when I recently discovered it had a second season! I listen to these podcasts on my little commute to my campus and with every episode I feel myself becoming more and more inspired. It never fails to lift my spirits and make me feel hopeful, something I’ve need these past few weeks!

  • Primark ‘Stay All Day’ Primer

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I love Primark. As someone with a small budget and an ever-growing appetite for clothing, it’s one of my favourite stores. Last time I was there, I picked up this product on a whim. I was running out of my current primer and just wanted something to use for the time being. Now, I never seem to get on with primers but I have really enjoyed this one. I’m not saying its the best product in the entire world, nor will it keep your makeup on all night but for £3 it’s pretty good and I like it.

I hope you found this post interesting. What are you currently loving?

Speak soon,

Rachael.