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Blog

Danielle Donaldson blogs here. What I'm reading now. What I'm writing now. My various thoughts about romance novels, publishing and writing at large and the sexy stuff that comes to mind! 

Filtering by Tag: Creativity

iOS Screen Time and Productivity

Danielle Donaldson

Recently, there was an iOS update for my iPhone and iPad that included a new feature of managing and tracking screen time. At first, I was completely annoyed. I already know how much time I waste on my phone every day. I already feel a lot of guilt about it, I didn’t need the very thing that I was addicted to constantly reminding me to stop being addicted to it. 

Yet, this is also NaNoWriMo month and distractions from writing my novel are abound. I need to reign in my phone use and had to do it quickly.  

From the Screen Time feature, I could tell that I wasting hours and I mean hours scrolling through social media needlessly. But, I could also set myself limits on that usage. So, I buckled down and set week day limits of 2 hours on all social media apps including Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. All of the apps where I could lose myself in doing nothing productive.  

And since then, I have written every single day and met my word count goals. *insert self high five here*  

If you are like me and lack most self-control around device usage. It might be helpful for you take a look at this feature on your device. Even if it makes you feel like you’re grounding yourself from fun, you might surprise yourself and not even miss it. 

Image from my iPad which I don’t actually use that often. Trust me. You don’t want to see how often I use my phone ;)  

Image from my iPad which I don’t actually use that often. Trust me. You don’t want to see how often I use my phone ;)  

The Beginner's Guide to Self-Care

Danielle Donaldson

The Importance of Self-Care  

Self-care is the act of taking care of one's self. It's refilling the creative well. It's recharging your spiritual, emotional, creative, physical batteries. For some, it means staying home and not talking to people. For others, they need social interaction with others to feel recharged. It's about the balance in life from taking care of other people, fulfilling our responsibilities as constructive members of society and doing the day-to-day activities that keep our lives going smoothly. 

As a writer, I find incredibly important to take care of myself or I have nothing to put onto the page. As a mother and a wife, I find that if I get burnt out, I'm less patient, less compassionate, less able to give myself to another human being.  

Part of the safety briefing on an airplane says that if you are traveling with a child, that you must put on your air-mask first, because if you don't, you will pass out from oxygen deprivation and not be able to help anyone. Self-care is exactly that. It is making sure that you don't pass out from oxygen deprivation or emotional exhaustion or spiritual burnout.  

For the month of September, I will be exploring the importance of self-care and giving some examples of it.  

Examples of Self-Care

If you are an introvert, you might enjoy activities that are quiet and done on your own. 

  • Sipping some tea on the front porch  
  • Listening to a podcast in the bathtub
  • An afternoon run with your favorite playlist
  • Putting together a puzzle 

If you are an extrovert, you may enjoy activities out with other people.  

  • Spending time with family
  • Happy Hour with co-workers
  • Camping with friends
  • Trivia Night at the pub

Goals of Self-Care

    The main goal of self-care is to make you feel better. It's basically the human version of unplugging a router and plugging it back in.  

What are you favorite forms of self-care? What refills your creative well?

Being Busy and Creativity

Danielle Donaldson

I've been busy. My older son's 4th birthday was this past week and so I've been running around trying to make sure he had a memorable birthday on top of all the normal madness including my son having a huge reaction to a bug bite on his forehead, him having a fever and describing a headache as his brain feeling "wobbly," and the normal everyday home stuff that needs to be completed. Because my energies and attention was drawn in a million other directions, I wasn't able to focus on my writing as much as I wanted to. That doesn't mean that I wasn't thinking about my stories, but it means that I was tapped out and I couldn't be creative. 

 

I am a big believer in the idea that you only have so much space in your life. I don't mean it in the way that you have a overflowing closet and should probably stop stalking the clearance section in Target's Women's clothing kind of way. Okay, imagine that you have a series of buckets. Each bucket can only hold so much stuff. Each bucket has a label: Emotional energy, brain space, physical energy, creativity, family, self, etc. They are fuel markers. You can take brain space fuel and pour it into your creativity bucket, but then you have less brain space fuel for emotional care or family time or physical energy. Life is about finding the balance everyday of where you "spend" your fuel. 

 

Last week, most of my fuel went into the family and life buckets. That's fine. My creativity bucket is still hanging around, ready for its turn. I hope this week can be a creativity week. Most importantly, I'm not going to hypothetically beat myself up about my lack of creative output last week. I'm going to accept my limitations and move forward. Maybe this is a sign of growing up.