by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
Creating is an act of courage. In order to create something, we must be present with our own vulnerability and push through our anxieties. We must let go of the need for perfection and allow ourselves to play with our mistakes. Mistakes are sometimes our greatest teacher.

And we must be willing to allow ourselves to create something entirely different from what we originally planned.

The act of creativity is an act of letting go as well as embracing. It's both therapeutic and giving. 

And it's a process that may take a long time, but often takes many small steps.

How, then, do we muster our courage to create?

  • Take inventory. Appreciate what you have in life, skills and opportunities. 
  • Make a plan. Strategize how you might carve out more time for your creative goals even if they are small steps over a long period of time.
  • Keep a gratitude calendar. Remind yourself of what you're grateful for every day. Having it on a calendar will be useful on days when you need a reminder.
  • Find support. Join a group that supports your creative endeavors. Seek kindred spirits to cheer you on even when you feel you don't have the courage.
  • Create your own motto or inspiration board. Sometimes having a visual reminder that we've created ourselves helps us to keep the courage to create.

by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
1. You gain empathy. Empathy happens when you can imagine what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. It requires leaving judgment behind and embracing compassion, both are key elements for empathy. 

2. You realize you don't know everything. When you start to write a story from someone else's perspective, you begin to ask questions about their daily lives and their relationships with others. You begin to see that there are things you haven't thought about that they might have to deal with in their lives, something outside of your own experience. 

3. You open up your mind to alternative ways of thinking. As a result of journey through a character's life so different from your own, you may find yourself open to new ways of thinking. If you're an introvert writing about an extrovert, you might find yourself exploring aspects of that personality style. It may change the way you view extroverts or they way you interact with people in general afterwards.

4. You understand better how to communicate with people who are different from you. After awhile of exploring different characters, you get better at reading people better. You pick up on their nonverbal body language, what cues they give away in their language. And you may begin to do so with an air of compression and less judgment.

5. You learn to discern more than judge people. In fact, you become more appreciative of different perspectives. The value of conflict and what others bring to the table will become clearer to you as you explore various character arcs and situations. You learn that everyone goes about life on their own path, at their own pace. There's no easy answers. 

6. You realize you're own misconceptions and beliefs that need to be reconsidered. Like how you might actually be racist or sexist to a certain degree. This is by far one of the biggest benefits. Writing while trying to be in someone else's shoes makes you aware of how you see the world and adjust accordingly.

7. You learn how to have compassion for yourself. It's impossible to not gain self-compassion while writing stories from someone else's perspective. The whole process makes you aware that we're all just human and make mistakes. 

8. You begin to understand that life is a learning curve. This goes along with having compassion for yourself and seeing your own misconceptions and beliefs come to the surface and be challenged. Life isn't easy and that becomes more evident the more you write stories from a different perspective.

9. Your characters will become more real and rich. You'll find the stories you write will be more worthy of being read. They'll be universal because by taking the journey to write what you've written you've become more worldly and wise.

10. You gain a huge amount of courage. It's not easy to sit down and truly write from someone else's point of view. You risk getting it all wrong. You risk criticism and failure. But, failure is a stepping stone that helps you succeed. And criticism? That's just opinion, not fact. Remember that.

by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
Shades of blue can be welcoming, inviting and give us a sense of direction and purpose. They can also be calming and confident even when facing the unknown. 

Today review the following pictures and prompts and see how the color blue affects your inspiration. 
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
Color often plays a role in our creative landscape. How does it play a role in what you're creating? Consider the color green in these visual exercises and see if any of them stir up some inspiration for you.
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
Choose Your Own Adventure

Below are five groups of photographs. In every group there will be several photographs to choose from. Each photograph will have a prompt. Select one photograph with its' prompt as a part in your plot. Go down until you've select one photograph from all five. Piece the five together in a structure that works best for you. 

Feel free to come back and try the exercise again with different selections.




by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
Let's cut right to the chase and go to that pivotal point in the story to where everything changes. Paintings are very good at capturing these moments. They seem to capture the history and action and give hints to where the ending leads. 

Consider the pictures and the questions below. See if they inspire any new ideas or get you thinking about old ones again.
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
Pace is a key to any great story. It's also the key to how we manage our lives. In the following prompts, take time to read and think critically about how pace affects your creations and how it shapes your own life. 
by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
There is a mood in every picture, every artwork, every piece of fiction. It carries with it a message that resonates with us, taking us away from our reality and into another reality, if only temporary.

Using mood to create can be very powerful. Look and see if the visuals and prompts inspire you to create.