It’s funny that I often forget about reading, considering it’s such an essential part of being a writer. I’ll go through spells where I’ll collect a bunch of books and read them one after the other, then I’ll go weeks if not months without reading. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of blogs and magazines and online articles. I read daily doing research for clients or simply staying up to date in my industry, but I mean reading (a book).
Reading a book seems pretty self-explanatory, right? But there are a few ways you can make a habit of reading books in a more creative way. I’ll give you a pass if you absolutely adore your Kindle or the like – they do make things quite convenient, particularly for those who travel often or commute on public transportation and need a one-handed approach. However, I encourage you to read a physical book whenever possible. We look at screens all day, and many of us are conditioned to certain habits when reading on a screen. You may associate reading on screens with work as opposed to pleasure, and you may tend to skim to get through the material more quickly. When you read a book, it should be a ritual – you should slowly slip away from the world around you and into the pages. I believe physical books help facilitate this practice – they help to ensure reading is a leisure activity, and they help you to slow down and really take in each and every word.
What you read also impacts the creative habit of reading. I had such an “ah ha!” moment when I heard Cyndie Spiegel, a business strategy coach for creative entrepreneurs, talk about the benefit of reading fiction versus non-fiction. In one of Cyndie’s newsletters she discussed “turning down the noise” and reminded us that constantly reading non-fiction books on your industry or interests or stage of life can influence your connection to yourself. When you’re disconnected from yourself and more vulnerable to outside influences, your creativity is impacted. You may be more judgmental or less inspired. So, I love Cyndie’s suggestion to read more fiction. Escape into another universe, dive into the life of a character, and allow yourself to fantasize.
The holiday season and end of the year is an incredibly hectic and stressful time for almost everyone. Now more than ever, we need a creative outlet, particularly one that can easily be carried in a pocket or purse. Pick up a book this holiday season. When you need a break from the bustle or family, drift away into a story without even leaving the room.
If you’re just joining the creative habit series, be sure to look back at the challenges for the past four months for more creative inspiration and learn about the book that sparked the series, Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit. Finally, don’t forget to share your experience making a habit of reading (a book) using the hashtag #AOCBlogCreativeHabit.
Each holiday, nearly every blogger and business crafts a curated guide of their top gifts for the season. In the past, I too have composed my fair share of gift guides. I’ve even written a post addressing whether these lists, infographics, and collages are actually helpful or hindering. Last year, I felt truly passionate about my shop small gift guide, which focused on supporting local businesses during the season of giving, but this year, I couldn’t bring myself to create another. Yes, most of us have to give a gift or two (or three or a dozen) during the holidays, but I think we could all use a reminder that the most valuable gift we can give is our time.
I’m sure your grandparents will make good use of the newfangled Keurig coffee maker you got them, but wouldn’t they love if you sat with them for an hour and worked on a puzzle? Every mom adores a new piece of jewelry for the holidays, but wouldn’t she love for you to join her in the kitchen and bake a batch of cookies from scratch? Your brother may desperately need a new wallet after he accidently washed his in the laundry, but wouldn’t he love to go out back and build a snowman like you used to as kids?
So, this holiday season, I don’t have another gift guide filled with fabulous suggestions for all the friends and family on your list. This year, I’m challenging you to think about how you can give your time to the ones you love. Take a post-Christmas dinner walk with your boyfriend, gather your cousins for a card game, or get together with your girlfriends and have a gift wrapping party. This holiday season, make a memory that will live on for holiday seasons to come.
October is the Month of Movement on ARTicles of Clothing Blog, and today I’m sharing my second YouTube video featuring my activewear essentials and tips to keep moving this fall.
Although bikini weather is over and the temperatures are getting colder, it’s important to stay active.
This fall, swap a happy hour for a Yoga class with your girlfriends
try a romantic jog in the park for your next date night.
FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD this holiday season by staying active now!
Are you a last minute gifter? Scrambling for an idea? I’ve got the perfect one!
Stella & Dot made a name for themselves with their jewelry line, but I am in love with their other accessories. At $24 each, poufs are the perfect holiday gift for any gal on your list. Got a few girls to buy for? Get 3 for $60 and save! These companions would be perfect wrapped in pretty paper under the tree or as a stocking stuffer. With all the great patterns and colors, you can’t go wrong! I’m also obsessed with their handbags, clutches, and wallets. No matter what your budget, these would make awesome gifts!
BONUS! Expedited Shipping SPECIAL: Stella & Dot is offering expedited shipping at the standard shipping costs now through Saturday, December 21 at 12PM EST with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve!
As if you needed another reason to get your last minute gifts from Stella & Dot, here are 3 other great incentives going on the month of December:
A precursor as to why you and I and the rest of the world need to take a moment to enjoy these 6 awesome holiday themed social media posts: Thanksgiving happens to fall at one of the most crucial times of year. The holiday season means crunch time, and just when you’ve got your rhythm and your energy is soaring sky high, Thanksgiving smacks you onto your ass (literally), and you spend a long weekend sitting on the couch in a food-induced coma. The week after Thanksgiving is pure torture. You’re expected to return to work with the same vigor you spent all of November working up to that has since been lost somewhere between festive cocktails and the Macy’s parade. This year is no different – I’m not even sure what day it is, but it sure feels like some mutant workday that falls after Friday – this week feels like it’s never going to end. I still haven’t fully recovered from my Thanksgiving slump and I need a pick me up! I know you do too, so without further ado, here are 6 awesome holiday social media posts to get you through. It’s almost Friday (I think) – you can do it!
Yummy Recipe Courtesy of Alton Brown
Photo Contests by Anthropologie and Hobo
12 Days of MyChacos
Joie’s Swoon-Worthy Holiday Board + the Perfect Stocking Stuffers