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Does creativity spark more creativity?

Author headshot of Carol Burnside, aka Annie Rayburnby Carol Burnside (aka Annie Rayburn)

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying, “Out with the old. In with the new.” For a lot of people, a new year means change, resolutions, a clean slate in which to begin anew. But the truth of the matter is, that’s all a matter of attitude, a frame of mind.


I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone saying they want to repeat last year or 1997 because that was a good year, or that they want to do everything the way they did last year. We like a certain amount of change. Without it, we stagnate and grow bored.


For me the new year means I need fresh spreadsheets to track my writing productivity and sales numbers. It means I need to get started on the summary I send my accountant. Somewhere in all that, I usually reflect on what I accomplished in the previous year and adjust my goals. Upward and onward.


Several months ago, when the new year was just a speck in the distance, I decided I wanted to indulge myself more, to do what I love and enjoy it. I want to indulge in reading more and rediscover the pleasure of losing myself in a book. I want to be creative in other ways than writing, to rediscover the pleasure of the needlework crafts I once loved. I’ll also indulge my talent for design and tackle re-decorating another room in my house because it really needs a facelift. Yeah, parts of that can be a chore, but I love the end result, so I’ll deal. I’ll enjoy the fresh, updated look.


But what about the writing? Interestingly enough, the more other creative things I do, the more I itch to write. Could it be that creativity sparks more creativity? All I know is I’m looking forward to 2013 with a new attitude and am excited to see what the year yields.


How do you look at a new year? Is it just another day or do you see it as a clean slate, a blank page full of possibilities?

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In celebration of our Blogoversary month, I’m giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky commenter. Good luck to all!

Mary Preston - January 15, 2013 - 3:13 am

I don’t write, but I am creative in other ways. I’m always working on a project while planning the next in my head. So, the calender turning over really has no great affect on me in this regard.

Sandra Elzie - January 15, 2013 - 3:59 am

First…Mary, what’s got you up at 3:13 in the morning? lol I woke up with some lines running in my head and had to get up and write them down (yes, writers will tell you this happens sometimes)

Anyway, Carol, loved your post. I think some change once in a while is good, but if something is working for me, I’ll stick to the plan & not bother trying anything new…even if it could possibly mean even GREATER results.

I used to crochet…but haven’t done any in ages. Maybe I should drag out the yarn and give it a try. Thanks much!

Marilyn Baron - January 15, 2013 - 5:49 am

Even though the New Year is just a calendar page turn away, I do look at it as a fresh start. I find that traveling and reading jump start my creativity.

Susan Carlisle - January 15, 2013 - 8:26 am

I do think creativity in one area does spark creativity in another. I love to x-stitch when I’m doing it my mind is settling and then new ideas about my writing pop in.

I don’t make a clean slate for the new year, I try to build on the old-positively.

Debbie Kaufman - January 15, 2013 - 8:44 am

I found that when I picked up crocheting again after many years away that it does spark creativity in other areas. Of course, I had to temper some of that spark because I have the tendency to run full tilt in multiple directions :) I didn’t want to sacrifice the writing, so I’ve put other creative projects to the evening when I might watch tv or hang out with hubby. I can easily crochet, etc. and still be present in thos moments!

Elaine Calloway - January 15, 2013 - 8:52 am

Great post and info :) I do believe creativity sparks more creativity, no matter what form it takes. There’s a local sandwich shop near my work that is adjacent to a beautiful building filled with paintings, pottery, and other things for sale. The colors in that one building always rejuvenate my soul. Just walking through there inspires me to go home and write, to capture how earthy some Southwest colors made me feel.

A new year for me means new resolve, a chance to keep writing commitments and counts.

Great post :)

Maxine Davis - January 15, 2013 - 10:42 am

Enjoyed the post Carol. I’m in a similar situation. I want to spend more time doing some things I enjoy – reading, crocheting and visiting family and friends. Writing was beginning to feel like a job and I did not like that, hense, I did less writing, but did not tackle the things I enjoy so much. Hope this year does bring changes – good ones and it will with my help and attitude.

Hildie McQueen - January 15, 2013 - 10:55 am

Coincedence? I think not, maybe it’s the year of creativity because just last week I invited a couple of friends over to make cards. We all enjoy paper crafts and its so much fun too. Wow your post made me smile, what a concept maybe writers brains do all work the same!:-/

Carol Burnside - January 15, 2013 - 3:07 pm

What kind of projects do you enjoy, Mary? I’d love to imagine you doing your favorite creative ‘thing’ over there in Aussie land while we’re sleeping. :-)

Carol Burnside - January 15, 2013 - 3:09 pm

Sandie, for me, I need a ‘quickly accomplished’ feeling. Crochet or a small sewing project does that for me when the writing seems to be taking forever. It’s rejuvinating.

Carol Burnside - January 15, 2013 - 3:10 pm

Excellent ways to jump start creativity, Marilyn. I’m sure part of it is that you’re relaxing, letting go of stress and letting your mind flow with ideas. Lovely feeling!

Carol Burnside - January 15, 2013 - 3:11 pm

I once x-stitched too, Susan. I find it more tedious than crochet and it also takes longer. Though now that I think of it, there was this one project I always wanted to tackle. Hmm…

Carol Burnside - January 15, 2013 - 3:13 pm

Debbie, I know the feeling. I started crocheting again because I wanted to make baby booties for Susan’s twin grandbabies. Now I have more yarn than I could possibly crochet up in several months of work, so I’m slowing down with it, but ramping up the writing again.

Carol Burnside - January 15, 2013 - 3:15 pm

Elaine, you make me wish to see that shop. It sounds like a place I could lose myself in for a half-hour or more. I once learned how to make pottery, fire and glaze it. That’s relaxing too, but takes way more time and equipment than I want to invest in. Dries out the hands too. LOL!

Carol Burnside - January 15, 2013 - 3:18 pm

Maxine, a problem I encountered was that I wanted to be totally organic in my writing creativity and it wasn’t working. I needed some planning so I wouldn’t get ‘stuck’ in the middle or after that great story beginning was on paper. I had to be reminded through needlework that most creative endeavors begin with planning (or someone else’s plan/pattern/chart) and the end result is still quite beautiful.

Carol Burnside - January 15, 2013 - 3:21 pm

Maybe so, Hildie. Whatever the creative endeavor, I think the action of letting our minds drift toward nothing but the project at hand frees up another portion of our brain to puzzle out the plot problems or come up with a new twist for our story that makes it richer.

Pam Asberry - January 15, 2013 - 7:34 pm

Great post, Carol. For me, creativity definitely sparks creativity. If I didn’t make time for beading and knitting and baking and sewing–as well as writing–I believe would shrivel up and die!

Anna Doll - January 15, 2013 - 7:38 pm

Definitely a new start! But, like you, I also use the new year to reflect on what happened in the last year, how I can improve, and what I need to shed. :-))

Carol Burnside - January 15, 2013 - 9:07 pm

Pam, I thought of you while I was writing this post because you’re always creating something. Don’t forget music – you create beauty there too, lady!

Carol Burnside - January 15, 2013 - 9:08 pm

Hey, Anna. It never hurts to reflect and revise a little, IMO. Thanks for the comment!

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