Friday, May 4, 2018

Three Final Ways to Live Your Best Creative Life, Part 3

by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

Today, let’s close out this three-part series on specific ways to combat resistance and maximize our creative power. If you missed the previous installments of this series you can read the first Three Ways to Live Your Best Creative Life Part 1 and Three More Ways to Live Your Best Creative Life, Part 2

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and he unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” – Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Forget what your teacher said. 
During my elementary school years, I was called out more than once for daydreaming. If only my teacher could have fully appreciated what was truly happening. Erin Schumacher, an associate psychology professor at Georgia Tech, states, “People with efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering.” Okay, so that may not describe me, but there is a definite link between daydreaming and creativity. Amy Fries, author of Daydreams at Work: Wake Up Your Creative Powers, says that when our minds are able to wander, we are accessing memories, emotions and random bits of stored knowledge. 

It’s the word ablethat catches my attention in Amy’s statement. Adults sometimes see daydreaming as a waste of time or a distraction. I did so for many years, but now I’m learning to befriend the part of me that thrives when I drift off in thought. 

As writers, we can’t deny the power of accessing our memories, emotions and stored-up knowledge, so this once, let’s forget what our teachers said, and give ourselves permission to daydream. 

“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.” –Neil Gaiman 

Embrace the fear.
Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, reminds us, “The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” It’s because we feel the tension of resistance that we know how important it is to us. If it meant nothing, we would feel nothing. 

Do you feel the knot of self-doubt tightening in your stomach when you sit down to write? I allowed the very same knot to keep me idle for years. Who was I to write a book? Who would want to read a daydreamer’s words? It wasn’t until I embraced the fear and wrote throughit, that my books became a reality. I accepted the fact that while I may not be the most talented writer, I did have stories to share, truths to be told, and One who was cheering me on at every turn. And so do you. 

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”– Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Take a walk. 
Lacking inspiration? Stanford recently conducted a study that found creative thinking improves while a person is walking and during the short time after they return. Other researchers conducted a study that noted how regular exercise is directly associated with improving two major components of creative thinking. During this study, a person’s creative output increased a whopping 60% when walking instead of sitting. 

Grab your pocket-sized journal/pen or access the note-taking app on your phone to capture ideas as you head outdoors for a walk. 

“Solitary walks are great for getting new ideas. It’s like you’re in a video game and you pick up idea coins on the way.” –Joyce Rachelle

Is there one idea in particular you feel will help you live your best creative life? 

Three Final Ways to Live Your Best Creative Life - @CathySBaker on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Writers can foster an environment that encourages #creativity - @CathySBaker shares her tips on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Cathy Baker is an award-winning writer and author of Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach as well as Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains. As a twenty-five year veteran Bible instructor, she's led hundreds of studies and workshops. She's also contributed to numerous anthologies and publications, including Chicken Soup for the SoulThe Upper Room, and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. In addition, her poetry can be found in several popular anthologies.

She and her husband, Brian, live in the foothills of the Carolinas.
Subscribe to Cathy’s blog at and receive a free e-book, “Praying In Every Room of Your Home.”


  1. Cathy, Great article. I walk the beach and get the best ideas.I'm away from the dishes, laundry, and cats who want out. I look forward to seeing you at Blue Ridge.

    1. You are blessed to be so close to the beach, Cherrilynn. I love the sea glass that you find. Your pictures always leave me a tad envious. I always search for sea glass on our Carolina beaches but always come up empty. :( Thank you for the kinds words and I look forward to seeing you too!!

  2. I think "Too much brain" describes you quite well Ms. Cathy! Wonderful series of posts ma'am. Have saved them all. Thank you so much for sharing. God's blessings ma'am...

    1. Your gracious comment made me smile, Jim. I'm glad you've found the series helpful. :) Blessings!

  3. That was fabulous, thank you! I am blessed to live on a ranch and find being outside helps everything!!

    1. You are blessed indeed, Dalyn! Thanks so much for taking the time to share. :)

  4. You, my fine-feathered-friend, are wonderful! This is great! :)

    I'm reading a book called "Beginnings" by author Steve Wiens. I love this quote from his introduction, “There is something deep inside of you so good that you’re most likely suppressing it because you can’t believe that bringing it to life might help to heal the world.”

    We writers all need those words, don't you think? Trust God with the gifts he has given us means using them... and then leaving the results in his hands.

    Thank you, Cathy, for trusting God with the gifts he has given you!

    1. I love Steve's quote -- thank you. And I couldn't agree more, Sarah. Trusting God with the results is freeing and it testifies to the truth that it's not all about us. Thank you for taking the time to share. You just made my day! :)

    2. I loved this series, Cathy. This one hit home in so many ways. Yes, I finally love being called a daydreamer! Today, I wear the title well and hope I'll always take time to let my mind drift and see all the wonder and possibilities God has for us out there. While I remember how teachers and family thought this wasn't the best trait to have, and being different didn't always make me smile, I didn't understand why everyone else wasn't like me. :0 I've learned to write though the doubt, press send, and strive to be free in the process. I'm trusting and waiting. BTW, Neil Gaimen is one of my favs and I'll always cherish Steve's quote.

  5. Good article, Cathy. True, I have to at least face the fear. To sit down and just face it. I'm sure my third grade teacher should not have picked me up and shook me--if only she had known how good day dreaming was for me, and I was a master at it. LOL Now if I only knew why I procrastinate so. Donevy

  6. "Embrace the Fear". That is a new perspective for me, Cathy. I think this is the first time I can say my fear inspired me!