Blogtacular 2015 Official Photos by Piers MacDonald. Thanks Mollie Makes (6)
Blogtacular was held at the Royal Institution. photo credit molliemakes.com

We need to stay inspired creatively to avoid burnout and blocks and I hope that one of the reasons my readers return to this space is to get ideas and inspiration for their creative endeavours. Recently I got out from behind my screen to attend a conference for creative bloggers; Blogtacular. The draw for me was to connect with other bloggers, learn and be inspired and I came away feeling I had met all expectations. I have summed up what I learnt as six ways to stay creatively inspired and this applies across whatever creative activities you may be pursuing. I hope that you can apply some of these points to help you stay creative.

1. Facing your fears and doing it anyway

Blogtacular 2015 Official Photos by Piers MacDonald. Thanks Mollie Makes (185)
Grace Bonney. photo credit: molliemakes.com

Grace Bonney was the opening keynote speaker, she runs the blog designsponge which has over a million readers a day. She spoke on embracing change and facing fears, something that for me, just by attending Blogtacular, I was doing. It was inspiring and she talked on a process to tackle your fears specifically related to business and creativity. I feel more comfortable behind the screen, so to step out and meet strangers stretched me and I definitely benefitted, it also became more easy as the day went on.

2. Socially connected

Me on the left chatting to Kim Dellow and Tania Ahmed. photo credit molliemakes.com
Me on the left chatting to Kim Dellow and Tania Ahmed. photo credit molliemakes.com

Kim Dellow and Tania Ahmed

The way I knew about this conference was seeing some people mentioning it over social media last year. As an introverted blogger, going somewhere like this on my own was a little daunting. But by reaching out and meeting other bloggers in person and talking to them online I have faced my fears and gained encouragement. Getting encouragement and feedback from others on social media or in person can keep you going creatively.

3. Right tools for the job

Instagram panel. L-R, Grace Bonney: designsponge, Alison Sadler: Alison_Sadler #makeitsewcial, Leona Thrift-ola: luckydipclub, Benjamin Hole: benjaminhole. photo credit molliemakes.com
Instagram panel. L-R, Grace Bonney: designsponge, Alison Sadler: Alison_Sadler #makeitsewcial, Leona Thrift-ola: luckydipclub, Benjamin Hole: benjaminhole. photo credit molliemakes.com

I also attended some talks and panels that gave me specific technical advice on social media and blogging. There were also workshops on styling and photography and a genius bar to ask questions on styling, blogging, business, coding and tech. Getting the right tools for the job and knowing how to use them well can keep you creative, similarly learning new skills or using new tools can be a boost to your creativity. It can be frustrating when you are using tools incorrectly or the wrong ones for what you are trying to accomplish.

4. Input

photo credit molliemakes.com
Lara and Jessica from Mollie Makes Magazine. photo credit molliemakes.com

I listened to a talk from Lara and Jessica from Mollie Makes Magazine on finding your voice and cultivating creativity, they had some pointers specifically on writing but they apply across all creative endeavours too. One of their points was about staying fresh and getting inspiration from taking walks, doodling, films, nature, etc. It was great to be reminded that in order to give out we need to take in.

5. Practise

Blogtacular 2015 Official Photos by Piers MacDonald. Thanks Mollie Makes (363)
Making mantras with seeds and stitches. photo credit molliemakes.com

One of Laura and Jessica’s other points was on practising, encouraging us to write everyday. This is so true of anything creative, we get better but also inspire ourselves by practising. One of the things I loved about Blogtacular were the opportunities to be creative throughout the day. We could make inspirational banner mantras and necklaces with Hannah and Davina from Seeds and Stitches, we could paint-in pictures of furniture with Annie Sloan paint. At the Pintacular event at West Elm in the evening, we could paint with watercolours, lino cut and print, papercut, sew a fabric pot, embroider with Mr Xstitch. This was a good pressure reliever too, when it all got a bit overwhelming, to escape to being creative was therapeutic.

West Elm x Pinterest UK Pintacular at Blogtacular 2015 Official Photos by Piers MacDonald. Thanks Mollie Makes (136)
Mr X stitch and embroiderers. photo credit molliemakes.com

6. Collaborate

Blogtacular 2015 Official Photos by Piers MacDonald. Thanks Mollie Makes (683)
Kat and Kat. photo credit molliemakes.com

A way of staying inspired is by working with others. Blogtacular was born from a collaboration of two Kat’s, Kat Goldin and Kat Molesworth. Mollie Makes magazine held a collaboration raffle, where we could put in our business cards and they are going to pair us up for a collaboration. I’m excited to see how it’s going to pan out. Working with someone else can help with ideas but there is also a kind of synergy when you work with someone and your ideas together can create stronger ones. Everyone at Blogtacular seemed to share so much knowledge and help. The atmosphere was so positive and supportive and not at all competitive as I feared it may be. I think it was Grace Bonney who said that there is room for everyone at the table, we all have a unique voice and something to say.

Blogtacular 2015 Official Photos by Piers MacDonald. Thanks Mollie Makes (82)
Kath and Liz who blog together at hellowalls. photo credit molliemakes.com

Kath and Liz from hellowalls.

I struggled to write this post because I didn’t want it to be an advertorial for Blogtacular or a clumsy attempt to link myself to other bloggers. I learnt a lot at the conference and would recommend it to creative bloggers, but more than that, some of what I learnt I’ve distilled down here, and I hope it can be useful to keep you inspired creatively.

Thanks to Piers MacDonald and Mollie Makes for the photos.

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8 thoughts on “Six ways to stay creatively inspired

  • 17th June 2015 at 10:10 pm
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    Ah I so agree with you that I was confronting a fear just by going to Blogtacular and trying to socialise with other bloggers. I also benefitted from doing so. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to the Pintacular event at West Elm but it looks like a complete success.

    Reply
    • 17th June 2015 at 10:19 pm
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      Hi Abzi, so glad you made it to Blogtacular too. The Pintacular event was good fun but I was definitely flagging by that stage!

      Reply
  • 18th June 2015 at 4:52 am
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    For someone who has lost their way a bit, I wish I had known about this, looks like just the sort of thing I need at the moment.

    Reply
    • 18th June 2015 at 6:24 am
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      Hi Sue, the virtual conference will be available online soon. So you can catch up with the talks. Thanks for commenting, if you have any questions happy to help. Abi

      Reply
  • 18th June 2015 at 8:27 am
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    I too loved that quote by Grace Bonney, what an inspiring and encouraging thing to say when you start feeling like you maybe don’t measure up!

    You definitely don’t sound like a Blogtacular ad! I love hearing what everyone got out of it, It’s so interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts.

    Reply
    • 18th June 2015 at 8:31 am
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      Hi Elisa yes I agree. I will be checking out your post now too! Abi

      Reply
  • 30th June 2015 at 10:30 am
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    I love this list! One of the things I really loved about Blogtacular was the way it mixed specific advice / actionable tips with more broadly-applicable “creative life” advice and inspiration. I keep bumping into things in my work that relate to things people said in their talks 🙂

    Reply
    • 30th June 2015 at 11:44 am
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      Thanks Lupin, You are so right. There was a great mix and I still left thinking there was stuff I missed from clashing talks. Lots of useful content.

      Reply

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