Tag Archives: Creativity

Juices

Every so often (very often) I become a master procrastinator. I may have a list of 78 things that simply must be done RIGHT NOW but there I am gazing at my navel and wondering who would play me in the cinematic biopic of my life (Philip Seymour Hoffman is no longer with us so I guess… Bette Midler?).

I’m in a creative rut just now and it does not feel good. I am all for being engaged with something that gets those creative juices flowing – whatever it is. For me it’s writing, watching movies (and talking about them) – and reading.

I’m reading a very heavy book at the moment about the Charlie Manson murders and while it is fascinating, it’s also very courtroom-heavy. Who knew when it was written by chief-prosecutor for the trial, Vincent Bugliosi? It’s great and right up my street as a true crime obsessive – however it’s getting me down too. All that murder and mind-control will do that to you.

As a result I have recognised areas in which I can make small changes to pep myself up again and get that creativity back in my life. Which I’ll share now because I need to beef this post up somehow.

Here are a few of my favourite things to do to try and ditch the blues:

Walk This Way

I haven’t actually started this yet because I’ve had a lot of late nights this week and no way am I walking home alone at night in this cold – but now that it’s lighter in the evenings and relatively bright, there’s no excuse not to get stomping from A to B. Or is it Z? I guess it depends how much you have to do.

Exercise is always name-dropped in relation to well-being and the proof is in the pudding. Nothing feels better than getting those lungs pumping and that fresh air in through your nostrils. You don’t have to be bench pressing 120 kgs to be getting the benefits. To accomplish this (which admittedly after a hard days work I’m not always up for), I add another well-being favourite to the mix.

Podcasts

Yes I like a lot of dark stuff, namely horror movies and true crime – but there are other podcasts I listen to sometimes about relationships, books, body image, mental health… to be honest by now there must be a podcast for every topic imaginable (something I must research one of these days).

Slapping on a new episode and leaving the flat on a dry day has wonderful benefits, both physical and mental – plus you get to learn interesting and obscure information you never even knew you needed to know. It’s like college on the move.

Graffiti

This is something that really makes me appreciate life. When I walk around Brighton I’m naturally drawn into the secret corners of the city. If I’m going anywhere by foot you can bet I got there via a maze of unloved alleyways and side streets.

Brighton has amazing street art and graffiti, you just have to keep your eyes open for it. I wish I had even a quarter of the talent these artists have. There’s quite a famous saying that goes something like “Those who can’t, take pictures of it and share it on Instagram.”

Just Say No

This is probably the hardest item of the well-being list to keep to because even though I’m a hermit-at-heart, I also suffer from FOMO. But saying no is important sometimes.

Honestly, I’ve only learnt how to do this quite recently in the grand scheme of my life – and it’s empowering AF. “Do you want to come to a BBQ this week with all my work friends?” ~ No thank you very much! See? So satisfying.

I Think We’re Alone Now

This is so fricking important, I can’t emphasise it enough. If I don’t get sufficient time alone during the week, I turn into Godzilla, fiery breath and all. I just can’t be around people all day every day and yes this can be a challenge when you live with someone. Luckily, my husband understands (and doesn’t want to be around me just as much) so we make it work.

I also take myself on dates from time to time, mostly to the cinema but anywhere I feel like going. It’s the best – and I get to eat all the sweets without judgement.

Nailing It

Self-care in the form of pampering is probably the most recognised form of well-being – and there’s a reason for that. It’s good to take some time out and make yourself feel good – be it a posh bubble bath (with lashings of Mister Matey) or a full body tissue massage – and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

My Thing is getting my nails done so I feel extra fancy. Luckily my place honours the above point and completely ignores me beyond asking me what shape and colour I want. I LOVE IT. No chit chat – and I’m in and out with new claws within 45 minutes. I love looking at my horrible fingers with coffin shaped talons stuck to the ends- I feel like I’ve really earned them.

Kiss

Not actual snogging (which is fine) but the song Kiss by Prince. There’s a law about not wiggling your butt when this song comes on and it carries a heavy sentence, so it’s best just not to risk it.

See also: Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot, Hey Ya by Outkast.

What do you do to get yourself out of a slump?

(This is a post I wrote for my work blog but I thought I’d share it here too).

Amazing April

I’m in a bit of a slump at the moment with the blog. I mean, I have been blogging regularly but it’s been mainly film reviews (which obviously I LOVE) but this isn’t exclusively a film blog and I want more of *me* to shine through.

I’m just having a problem with content, like what do I want to talk about? I’m sure if I put my mind to it I won’t be able to shut up so I’ve decided to make April my bitch. I will post something of note on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week in the month and anytime around that if I fancy it.

Putting down my intentions here makes me feel like I’ll actually do it. In the meantime, I just finished a fascinating course for work which I’m definitely going to tell you about because it was life changing. Honestly.

How are you?

Fall Projects

Autumn is my own version of Spring and when the days are bright and crisp, I’m inspired. I thought I’d let you in on one of my favourite ongoing projects and how my partner and I have been working to streamline everything for our brand new season.

I’m talking about the podcast I co-host with my friend James – it’s called All Out of Bubblegum and we’ve been doing it for two years now. I love doing it as much as I love my blog because I get to watch movies for a purpose: to talk about them with my friend to my hearts content.

We recently took an extended Summer break and have just recorded two new episodes for Season 2. The break illustrated just how much work the podcast had become in addition to our other commitments (full-time jobs, social life, other creative undertakings). Since we both love doing it so much, we never want it to feel like a chore – so we’re making some important changes.

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Seasons

We’re going to start splitting the podcast into seasons. Each Summer we’ll take a long break and when we return we’ll start in on a new Season. We’ve never done this before but I think it will break things up a bit. Season 2, Episode 1 will drop very soon – and even though it’s still the same as before, it feels like a fresh start, which is always a plus for any creative project.

Recording

Instead of recording two episodes every two weeks and posting weekly, we’re moving to monthly and posting fortnightly. This gives us more time to do our homework and actually have a life. Nobody wants their hobbies to feel like an obligation, God knows we have enough of those.

Content

I’ve been really bad about managing our marketing ‘strategy’. I share the episodes on Facebook and Twitter but that’s the bare minimum required – and I’ve forgotten about everything else.

The plan was always to pad out the episodes with opinions on films and blog posts so I’ve just set up the All Out of Bubblegum Hub. It’s still a work in progress but I’ll get there – and we’re not putting too much pressure on ourselves. We want to beef up our content but there are no rigid rules or expectations – we do what we can, when we can – and we do it ‘cos we love it.

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We Only Review Worthwhile Things

We don’t have to love all the things we talk about – you win some, you lose some when it comes to art – but if we’re both on the same page about something that isn’t working for us, instead of enduring it, we’ll let each other know. Life is too short to sit through boring TV and films – especially when there’s so much good stuff to discover.

Zine

We’re been asked to contribute a film column to a friend of James’ zine which is exciting. It may only be quarterly and we’re not sure when but still, could be interesting…

Audience

We’ve always said we’re doing this for ourselves and that it the truth. It’s lovely when someone listens and comments on something we’ve done – but we’ll never be concerned about viewing figures (which is just as well). In fact, we’re both on the same page about what it would be like if we did have the added pressure of a decent following – it would probably freak us right out.

So for now we do this for ourselves and if anyone enjoys it – then I’m grateful.

If you’re interested, you can listen to All Out of Bubblegum here or find us on most podcast listening platforms.

Weekly Digest

This week I’m digging:

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Marcella

IMDB Synopsis

Marcella Backland left the Metropolitan Police for the sake of her family, only to have her husband leave her. She returns to her job on the murder squad, investigating a case that seems disturbingly familiar to her.

Fucking hell. This show is great, Anna Friel is brilliant and men are the worst, obviously.

There are a lot of characters to keep track of and therefore a lot of suspects but it’s a compelling British crime thriller that keeps you on the edge. Particularly Marcella herself who could be good, could be bad but regardless is still someone you’re totally on-board with at all times.

Recommend.

Moleskine® Film Journal

I was recently given this amazingly thoughtful gift by my friend, Damon for my birthday. (Picture above, not mine).

The film journal is part of the Passion Journal range that allows you to log information about your hobbies (there’s wine, gardening, books). I’d already decided that keeping a log of the films we watch for the podcast was what I wanted to do – you know, actually writing down the name of actors and directors could do wonders for content. So this came at the best time. Here you can record comments on the films, give them a rating out of 5 stars, etc. It’s very cool.

Thanks again, Damon!

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Podcasting Again

Speaking of the podcast, after a December hiatus James and I are back in the studio. If by studio, I mean James’ front room, on the sofa (which is what I definitely mean).

I’ve really missed having the structure of watching films to talk about and having the podcast as my main (with this blog) creative outlet. You sometimes don’t realise how much you love and need these things until you stop doing them, even temporarily.

So we’re back in the game, determined to tighten things up and be more organised. I’m going to be better about taking notes (see above) – and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

Move to (10)

The Women of the Golden Globes

Goddesses, the lot of them. And yes, I could say a lot more than that but what have I got worth adding? Let them speak for themselves.

What are you digging this week?

Worry Woman

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I worry I don’t have this hair

My main act of #radicalselflove this week is to stop worrying so much.

I don’t know when I started being such a fretter but it seems overnight I caught the worry worts and now I lie awake at night remembering things I had aimed to do that day, but didn’t get around to or emails I wanted to send.

Go to sleep woman!

I worry about where I am in life at the age of 37, that I’m not earning very much. I worry that I’m not creatively fulfilled. I worry that everyone hates me and that I’ll be sacked tomorrow.

I won’t be able to get another job either, natch and my husband will leave me. I worry because I can’t seem to muster the energy to be healthier. I worry that I’m old before my time.

It goes on and on. It’s not good, is it?

So, I’m taking time out from tying myself up in knots. I know how lucky I am, to have a home, a loving relationship and the most awesome family.

I have a job and I know I’m good at it, even if I’m not doing exactly what I want to be within it. If I do decide to move on, then this is the only area that really needs to change, it can’t be that difficult. I’m a moderately intelligent human. I have a nice smile.

And I live in a world where Patricia Arquette has an Oscar and topped off her win with a kick ass feminist speech that made Meryl Streep fist pump (it’s more of an impassioned finger point). It’s a good time to be alive.

I think they call this period the Blues, usually it stays in January but with climate control and the polar ice caps, it drags on even longer these days.

Relax, I might sound incredibly negative in this post but there are lots of exciting blog things coming up and I love lots of things about my life. I know this is just a week of illness and PMS talking. I feel better sharing it with all of you already, you lucky, lucky people!

How’s your Monday been?

Image via Google.

Ready, Set, Done

Our ten-minute free-write is back! Have no mercy on your keyboard as you give us your most unfiltered self. Via The Daily Post

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An accurate photographical depiction of where my head’s at

I’ve recently been doing so much proofing and other stuff for work, and stressing while I do it, that my own creative endeavors, even reading my choice of literature at the end of an evening, has gone out of the window.

This is turn, I really believe, makes me a very dull human being indeed. I need to be stimulated, creating, thinking to make this thing called life work. Without it, I am nothing but a drone.

What is the point without passion? This week has been an angry week without creative joy and I know it is my responsibility, and well within my own power, to change this.

So Pretty Woman is on Netflix (hey, the soundtrack is exquisite) and I’m going to free flow this bad boy and clear my head for a fresh and exciting new week. You in?

Where to start? First off, it’s so damned cold out. Have you ever noticed that the conversation is already over the minute the person you’re speaking to starts talking about the weather? It’s such a British thing to talk about how hot/chilly/wet it is out there.

My best friend and I used to consider small talk of this nature the nail in the coffin of conversation. Working as Baristas, it’s all we’d talk about.

“How are you?”
“Cold.”
“… What can I get you?”

The Art of Conversation was not designed to be mastered over the condiment counter, of course so I probably shouldn’t be so hard on the people who have just walked in, probably to avoid talking to anybody. It’s why I go for coffee, after all – for the peace and quiet.

So it’s cold and I’m actually happy about that. Coats and boots and scarves and hot chocolate and blankets; they make me happy. PJs to walk up the road to my BFF’s house make me happy. New hats make me smile.

I like cosy. I am staunchly pro-hibernation.

I don’t like my job at the moment, despite the amazing people I work with (mostly). I like the actual work for the most part and have been given the opportunity to do a little bit of writing, which of course is what I would like to be doing professionally. But I despair of the office politics.

I feel sometimes as though I am losing myself. I hate having to bite my tongue, be patient with stupid people. I hate having to shrug and accept things that anyone can see aren’t working. Sadly, as an assistant there’s not much I can do about that right now.

Perhaps the answer is to look elsewhere for professional fulfillment but I’ve put in the time, done the work, worked my way up; why should I? I feel like I should see it through and stay committed. Like a pitbull with a bone between her teeth.

I guess all I can do is wait and see, quietly work out what’s best for me.

Elsewhere, life is good. Life is hard but good and joyful. Life would be boring if it were perfect, I guess that’s one way to look at it.

Sing When You’re Winning

Florence and The Machine

A few years ago I decided it would be beneficial to my creative soul to start doing at least one thing a year that took me outside my comfort zone. Like a course, or join a club, that sort of thing.

The first was the Stand Up Comedy course which was terrifying but easily one of the best things I have ever done. That the last thing I will ever be is a Stand Up isn’t the point, it was fun and frightening and mortifying and rewarding. And I’d probably do it all again just for the way it made me feel when I had graduated.

I’ve done a few courses, met a lot of people, felt pretty proud with myself. It’s good to be able to say you are a do-er even though there is next to no evidence of this in your everyday life. I am proud to say if I want to do most things badly enough, I will.

So my next step is singing lessons. If you know me in the real world then I will allow you a small moment to giggle to yourself. If you have ever heard me belting out a power ballad in time to the radio you will be fully aware that I can’t hold a tune to save my life. When I say I am bad, know that I am actually horrid (or so I thought).

Step in Maya.

Maya is so lovely. She put me at ease right away and I knew she would as her messages had all been very encouraging and warm. Thankfully that warmth totally translates in person, which I can imagine makes her very popular with her students.

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First off, now I have had my first taster, I can say with confidence that I’m not quite a shit as I thought I was. Apparently, I have good range for somebody who has never really sung before and I hit all the right notes. This is a lovely thing to hear.

I actually sang in front of a stranger! Real words and everything. With confidence, and more lessons, I hope I will be able to belt out my chosen song with a little more gusto. What did I chose? Oh only You Got The Love, because I’m delusional!

One day, eh?

To Maya. if you read this, thank you so much. You really helped me step outside my comfort zone and I did march home from our session feeling like Wonder Woman. (More scoop on Miss Maya Wolff here).

I can’t wait until my next lesson!