Collecting Creativity 5 – Just a Note

Papyrus: Handmade Terrarium Notes

In July, I shared a post about Creative Kindness which included some thoughts about snail mail, specifically what a lovely, personal way it can be to share kindness with people in your life.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been blessed with a couple of lovely cards and letters from friends and pen pals, which got me thinking about how amazing the world of stationery design can be.

In this week’s installment of “Collecting Creativity” I’ve gathered some images of eye-catching note cards just for fun. I’d happily write a friendly note on any of these!

Do you have a favorite type of stationery? A favorite stationery shop? I’d love to hear any thoughts in a comment below!

Hey, how’s it going? My regular schedule is a weekly post every Monday. I’m also sharing bonus content related to creativity in this series called “Collecting Creativity.” If you haven’t already subscribed to my blog, you may want to do so by clicking the link in the sidebar!

Creativity Resources: Time & Energy?



Time & Energy are Two Top-Important Creativity Resources:

I began exploring the idea of creativity resources earlier in the month with a post about Money, and now I want to take some time to talk about time & energy. If you want to live a creative life, whether in “the arts” or any other pursuit that requires the use of problem-solving skills or imagination, it’s important to take stock of how you use your resources.

Time is a non-renewable resource. We can’t manufacture it, but we can be intentional about how we spend it. Energy is a renewable resource. Our choices can significantly impact its generation and supply. The way we balance these two has a critical impact on whether we live with creative vitality or with creativity that withers.

Out of Balance? 

If you have hours of extra time on your hands every week but are burned out and depleted by the other activities in your life, you won’t have the clarity you need or the ability to accomplish the things you want to accomplish. Time without energy often ends up being spent on basic veg-out exercises or in a spinning stupor of unfulfilled intentions.

On the other hand, you might be brimming with energy but have your schedule so jammed with activities and commitments that there’s no time to breathe, let alone to excel at your tasks or extend yourself into areas of imagination or innovation. Don’t get me wrong–I don’t think it’s bad to have a life that’s full of activities and commitments if they are things that fit with our highest values and life priorities, but so many of us struggle with going on a type of auto-pilot in which we allow our time to be filled without our consent or awareness, and this is a surefire way to invite creative frustration.

Do You Relate? 

I have struggled in both of these areas at various points, and I still have a lot of room for improvement.

Working long hours at a demanding job can sometimes zap me in the time management arena. It can be difficult to find a balance between office life, family, social relationships, and basic daily responsibilities like laundry, dishes, or lawn care. There are only so many hours in the day! If I want to have time to work on my creative pursuits, I have to be selective about where I invest my time and look for efficient ways to accomplish my other tasks.

The energy management topic is also difficult for me at times. Having a chronic illness sometimes fights against me when I try to take steps to improve my energy levels and can blindside me with a sudden dip in energy at times, seemingly just when I need it most. But I also know that there are times when my own choices (in terms of nutrition, sleep, activity, etc.) can deplete (or at least not positively feed) my energy reserves. If I want to have time for creativity, I have to do whatever I can to make healthy, positive choices about my energy; I can’t control everything, but there are some things I can do to have a higher probability of success.

So Then What?

I don’t want to ramble too much about my personal thoughts on this topic because I don’t see myself as an expert. I just want to nudge discussion about this as I continue pursuing improvement.

Tonight, after I started writing this post, I decided to look on YouTube to see if there were any interesting videos related to this topic. I found quite a few, but one from 99U especially caught my attention.  I’ll share it below and then leave the floor open for your thoughts . . . 

Tony Schwartz: The Myths of the Overworked Creative – This video from 99U explores the importance of time and energy in the equation of creative capacity.

What’s Your Story?

If you’ve had any specific successes, challenges, or interesting experiences related to managing your time and energy, I’d love to hear about them in a comment.

I’m wishing YOU abundant time and energy today!

❤ Nicole

Click “Follow” if you’d like to be notified each time I post. My regular schedule is a weekly post every Monday & then sometimes I add a mid-week “Collecting Creativity” post about other creative topics.

Find Your Own Adventure


Anyone who’s known me for any length of time will probably tell you that “adventurous” isn’t one of the top adjectives they’d use to describe me (and I can understand why) . . . but I want to let you in on a little secret:

I DO see myself as an adventurer (a curious observer, a try-er, a dare-er), and I’m working on acquainting with that part of me more and more.

I always want to live the kind of life that doesn’t shy away.

The daring part of me has done some wild things (I believe this is spurred on by Divine inspiration) . . . things like moving halfway across the country at seventeen because I felt surprisingly “called” to attend college in the Midwest (just one random example) . . . but my bravery has also often taken a backseat at times when I’ve allowed fear to suppress inspiration . . .

When I was younger, certain experiences resulted in my adopting some labels for myself like “not-athletic” or “uncoordinated” or “limited” . . .  I felt different and other when I compared myself to peers for whom physical activity and adventures (particularly “naturey” ones) seemed to come more naturally.

It’s true: I get sun-burned easily, bugs love to bite me, and I’ve never been in great shape. When I was younger, I was very shy and sensitive in ways I didn’t really understand (ways that I now see as awareness and empathy but at the time felt like weakness). I’ve had chronic illness and stubborn injuries trip me up . . . but I refuse to be defeated by any of these factors because I believe my life isn’t limited by them.

Along with undertaking some new creative projects in 2016, I’ve been continuing the process of pushing past some of my labels in a variety of ways, so tonight I just want to share one of those “pushing past” steps with you . . .

While walking with some friends during our beach trip at the end of July, I decided I wanted to form a small walking group for women who don’t necessarily see themselves as “hikers” but still want to go out into nature, visit places they might not usually think to go, and walk around to see what they can see. So far, we’ve only had 2 outings for our little group. Both have been successful in different ways, and I’m excited for more.

Tonight, we visited Columcille Megalith Park and had the opportunity to view some of the beautiful stones and structures at the park. The things we observed there were rather unique, and I had a mix of a feeling amazed at the structures as well as amused by the question of why people choose to put such collections together.

And beyond any thoughts about the site itself, I felt glad to be . . . just doing it. There was no voice nagging me with nonsense like: “But girls like you can’t do things like this . . . ” or “Well, what if you can’t keep up?” The nagging voice is silenced because I’ve chosen (in faith) to claim all the adventures that are possible for me.

What adventure is waiting for you if you will choose it?

Maybe yours isn’t an adventure in nature.

Maybe it’s a project you’ve been putting off undertaking (or completing) or a relationship you’ve been neglecting to nourish. It could be one of a million things.

Whatever it is, would you tell me about it?



Click “Follow” if you’d like to be notified each time I post. My regular schedule is a weekly post every Monday – usually in the morning, although this one is coming in late in the day:) & sometimes I do a mid-week “Collecting Creativity” post where I share other creative topics.