Nurturing My Creativity. . . Not


Lilies Worked with a Dark Mood Preset in Adobe Lightroom
Lilies Worked with a Dark Mood Preset in Adobe Lightroom

So I’ve been rather missing around here and it’s weird to sit and try to write the first blog post in a long while.

It’s not like my life was wildly interesting during my break.  Mostly I decluttered the house (in a big, big way), cooked, and read.

I lost 40 pounds.  Woohoo!!!  Which is a big reason why I spend so much time cooking.  I’d gotten away from it the last few years.  My favorite boy toy went onto his own diet last fall and lost weight, and I did so as well.

As for the reading, I have been missing that the last few years.  My writing and photography, while fun, took time away from a lot of other things.  As I looked over my goal ideas for 2014, I wanted to read a great more again.  Everything is a trade-off and I knew that when I started to blog.  But I enjoyed the blogging, the new friends that I made, and having a show case for my writing and photography.  But this year, I wanted time for other things as well.

I started a class with Kim Klassen called “Be Still – Fifty Two“.  It’s a year long creativity / photography class.  Kim does some lovely and creative work (you can see it at  I was intrigued by what she would share over the course of a year.  From what I’d seen of a similar course she did in 2012, it appeared to be moderately paced so that I could keep up with it.

Week 6 was working with a preset called “Dark Mood” that she provided.  I was pleased with how the lilies above turned out.  Below is how they originally looked, which is also very nice.  They just aren’t as moody.  I don’t know that I’d alter too many of my photographs with this preset, but it was fun to play with.

The question for Week 6 was what do we do to nurture our creativity?  My initial reaction was, not much.  But as I wrote this, I realized that I am:

  • Writing daily in my journal.  It’s short paragraph using a Moleskine 12 month-weekly notebook, but it is usually daily.
  • At least once and sometimes more in a week, I write a much lengthier entry in my regular notebook journal.  It might be about something I read and want to explore more or an event I want to record in more detail.  But at least once a week, I write more than just a daily paragraph.
  • I’ve started taking courses again (click here for a review on  This is because I recently upgraded both Lightroom and Photoshop to the latest versions and have no idea what the changes are.  I also don’t remember how to do much in Photoshop anymore as I’m not using it enough.

Does my reading nurture my creativity?  I would say it does.  It inspires me, relaxes me, and often gives me things to think about and write about.  It’s a welcome break in my day and far better than watching television, even if I do read trashy romances or too many murder mysteries.  Of course, after doing corporate taxes all day, my brain is too fried to read anything much more complicated than that!  But I read more than fiction.  I recently finished Creativity: The Perfect Crime by Phillippe Petit (he walked the high wire between the Twin Towers of World Trade Center in 1974) and very much enjoyed it.

Is that enough nurturing of my creativity?  I have to think about that more.  On a daily basis, I’m not doing much.  Often, I’m too tired after work to get much done, so my creativity happens in starts and fits on the weekend, after chores and errands are done, assuming I still have anything left over for extra endeavors.  If it sounds like I’m whining, I am.  Which is not right.  My life is good.  But as always, I have more I’d like to do than I have time to do it.

Gratitude, gratitude.  I need to keep practicing that.


Lilies As Originally Shot
Lilies As Originally Shot


Creativity Gratitude Photography

dogear6 View All →

I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

23 Comments Leave a comment

  1. YEA! So many accomplishments (reading is so much better than TV these days.) Once can live creatively without ending up with a finished product to display – but the smiles linger for years. Enjoy it all.
    The top lilly reminds me of a ballet’s dancer expressing sadness/sorrow without words – using only lines and shapes. The original is pretty, but the top one has the story to reveal/inspire.

    • I have to confess, I’m still watching way too much TV. It’s so hard not to, especially the nights I’m tired. But you give me a good reminder about living creatively even without a finished product to display. I lose sight of that and get myself frustrated when I shouldn’t.

      I love your interpretation on the lilies – thanks!

  2. Welcome back. It’s good to hear from you again. I like both shots of the lilies, and it sounds to me as if you’re doing quite a bit to nurture your creativity. :)

  3. I’ve missed you, and been thinking about you. Having your card, I was thinking to call you next time I get up that way with time on my hands. So many times I feel rushed to be somewhere else. Congrats on weight loss and decluttering. We’ve started getting rid of things, too. I recently rejoined the city rec center since they built a new one within a mile of our home. The moody lily is artistic, but I like the happier one. There are so many creative things to do, but not enough time to do them all.

    • Thanks Patti. I’ve missed being around too. I kept up with everyone’s blogs for quite a while and eventually had to give that up too. As much as I’d love to get together, I fully understand how busy life is. While I did good losing weight, it really torpedoed my energy and I’m getting even less done. I’d thought I’d feel better with the weight loss, but that hasn’t happened.

      Thanks for the feedback on the lilies. I prefer the full color one also, which has generally been my reaction whenever I’ve tried artistic effects on my photography. The artistic effects are fun, but just not as pretty.

  4. I like the Lilies as originally shot, better than the darker version. I bet they are more you. Beautiful without the dark side. Be you as “originally shot” minus the 40 pounds and all that other clutter! That’s what I envy about this post and would like to emulate: lose weight and un clutter my house and my mind. Bravo on you!

    I also took a break from blogging, but have raised and sold two litters of Lab puppies. A completely new experience, especially in my mid – sixties. I kept one pup from each litter + had 2 adult Labs = 4. Keeps me busy. As you say everything involves trade offs.

    Is your favorite “boy toy” still the same as when you were previously blogging. Or have you traded him off . Not being snide – just curious.
    Mary Rita

    • Thanks for the compliments! I appreciate it.

      My daughter breeds mastiffs. That’s a lot of work to breed dogs. And lab puppies are so cuddly. That had to be hard to see them go.

      My favorite boy toy is doing well. He lost weight also, although differently than I did. He’s been doing some travel lately and got a lot of really great photographs. Thanks for checking up on him – I need to post an update on what he’s been up to.

    • Thanks Kitty, but you probably wouldn’t much like it. Although I admit it got easier after a while to look at the weekend and say should I cook or go out and decide to stay home and cook, knowing that I was actually losing weight.

  5. Give yourself a pat on the back, you really have been nurturing your creativity in your own way, knowing and honoring when to step back, and take good care of you! So happy to see your post today! And always, your beautiful photographs. Best wishes!

  6. So great to hear from you again. You have been missed, but it sounds like you have been very productive. Congratulations on the de-cluttering and weight loss. Both major accomplishments. I’m in the middle of de-cluttering myself as we are planning a move. It does feel good to get rid of all that “stuff” I thought was important. Time to read is always a gift.

    • You’re such a good friend! Yes, I’ve been productive. It really does feel good to get rid of stuff and I felt the same way about how much I used to think was important really wasn’t. It’s been nice having extra room in the closets, on the bookshelves, and just having less clutter everywhere.

      Are you moving far? I thought I was keeping up with your blog, but I must have missed something (or may I didn’t!).

  7. It’s great to hear what you’ve been doing–all of it sounds great. I could certainly stand to lose some weight. What an amazing accomplishment! Best wishes to you in all your endeavors!

%d bloggers like this: