The formula for designing a more creative life

Barb Toland Creative Sparks

Today's blog post may be aimed at makers, crafters, artists etc. but don't think for a minute that if you're purely an art lover, that you won't get something out of it.

These creative tips can easily be applied to growing your life in a more creative direction – simply by discovering & allowing that awesome imagination to be part of your everyday choices.

The decisions we all need to make in order to navigate each day, if done from a more creative perspective, changes so much about how we live our lives. So when you read the word "creativity" and you just don't feel like it applies because you don't actually make things  think again my friend ;-)

When you begin to apply these nuggets of wisdom by beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert from her book Big Magic, you will still find lots of opportunities to lead a more creatively designed life.

If you haven't yet read this book by Ms. Gilbert (also author of "Eat, Pray, Love")  — then I highly recommend it! It's all about getting past tough creative blocks, and into the land of a more joyful & sustainable life.

Here are a few of Ms. Gilbert's quotes from the book, along with some of my own reflections to get you started on your journey of creative living...


Curiosity is one of the most important components to living a creatively driven life. Want to know what's around the next corner? Stay present & open, then listen for an answer.

Then you must be brave enough to take the next step. And even if you're frightened by an unexpected goblin or troll, just give them your toothiest grin, and they'll know you mean business ;-)

Don't let fear of the unknown stifle your curiosity.


When following your curiosity, sometimes you'll find that you're also following your heart's calling. And that's where the magic really starts to happen. That sweet, sweet place where following your curious nose leads you to your heart's desire, is golden.

And again, that toothy grin will stop those silly fear gremlins in their tracks. So flash those pearly whites baby, and blind them with your magnificence! They won't stay for very long, promise.


There are many incredible & rewarding ideas just waiting for us to see them. But it takes more than just our eyes to see these nuggets  — it also takes our hearts.

Yes, it's really hard sometimes to discern the difference, but I've found that if a particular idea keeps coming back & quietly tapping me on the shoulder  those are the ones worth exploring. And the truest creative voice comes in a whisper, not a shout, gently nudging us along to the next step.


Being brave enough to follow your heart can sometimes be quite intimidating. That's when I suggest you rely on the tiniest of baby steps. Break it down. Take the next step. Then the next.

Even climbing Mt. Everest begins with that very first step.


Yes, fear will be our trusty companion when we're chasing our dreams & desires. It will never really leave our side. So embrace it, learn to live alongside it, and try not to let it get the best of you.

Fear is mostly in our minds, not our hearts  — which is exactly where our best dreams live just waiting for us to discover them.


Anything that doesn't quite go as expected is merely information for your next creative gig ;-)

Trust me, I know this all too well. I've screwed up many, many times – both in my life & in my creative endeavors. But then I try to forgive myself for the misstep, and hopefully learn something for the next attempt.

We're all beginners here, the operative phrase is 'to begin'.


Yes, sit down & cry or pout for a while if you must (I certainly have). Those goblins & monsters can seem so darn real while pursuing our dreams. So by all means, take a rest, ponder things a bit – but please don't run. If you stick with it enough, and show up again & again, I promise you will be rewarded for your persistence.

Know your mind for what it is  — a great companion, but a lousy driver! Be tenaciously driven to follow your heart.


Ooooooh  — a treasure hunt!

If your back starts to hurt from all the heavy lifting, then take a rest but promise me you'll pick that shovel back up & start digging again. Mine for that gold & treasures of your heart that only you were meant to find.


Hands down, you got this. You may not feel like it at times – especially when the going gets tough, and your proverbial shovel is getting heavier & heavier.

But there's one thing I do know for sure...

You've got this! And the gold to be found is in the the digging itself.

So keep on keepin' on my friend!

Here's the formula in a nutshell for having a life that overflows with creativity:

  1. Show up fully present, and with tons of curiosity. #becurious
  2. Keep checking in with your inner compass – i.e. the whispers of your creative heart. #followyourheart
  3. Take time to sit & listen to what it has to say. #reallylook
  4. Start with baby steps. #babysteps
  5. If any fearful ghosts or goblins show up, give them your flashiest smile :D #embraceyourfear
  6. We are all beginners, and the missteps are simply showing us the way. #forgiveyourself
  7. When the journey gets tough, don't abandon your inner knowing, the steps along the way are where the treasure is hidden #dontrun
  8. Keep digging with all of your imagination, muscle & heart, but remember to take lots of fun breaks along the way. #keepdigging
  9. Believe in your creative power. #yougotthis

Liz knows that this is the key to living a happy & creative life. Will it be perfect and without any obstacles  not a chance. Will it be fun? Well, that all depends on whether or not you're willing to dance & enjoy yourself along the way ;-)

Now it's your turn. Scroll down to the comments section below and tell me where you think you're getting hung up on pursuing your life in a creative way,  or where you're trying to make something & feel like you're getting stuck. Which of these nuggets is here to help boost you on your way?

I'm on this journey with you my friend, and I promise to support you & hold your creative hand when you need it. I'll also smile really big when that goblin of fear starts to meddle in your creative affairs  he seriously detests that pearly white toothy grin ;-D 

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