10 creativity blogs that will take you to the next level
I need my dose of inspiration. Daily.
Yes, I’m a junkie.
There were days where I thought I’d never make it as a writer. Days where I wanted to stay in bed, pitying myself.
Those days are over.
Because of all the amazing people who made it work, and who share it. Their example and encouragement took me to the next level.
Their creativity blogs are a constant resource of inspiration, ideas, information and fun that takes my life to higher grounds.
They are my dose of daily inspiration, and I know that all creatives need one (or more).
So if you struggle to discover those creativity blogs that are worth your while, let me share my addictions with you.
But beware: You’ll likely to become an addict faster then you think.
The upside: Your creative life will never be the same.
5 creativity blogs on writing
I have to start with writing because this is what my creative life is essentially about. I am captivated by storytelling & stories and encourage everyone to discover the “untold story” inside of them and write. Just write.
It’s really a fantastic time to be a writer! I do believe that.
This belief came from studying the following blogs and the life of these people.
The Creative Penn – Joanna Penn
You need a mentor.
It’s great to have a personal one, but online mentors are as important.
In her podcast, Joanna Penn once emphasized the importance of having an online mentor, and I thought to myself: Well, then it’s definitely you!
Joanna loves authors. Her first and foremost aim is to empower them, and that’s how I feel after following her for probably years now. Empowered.
Reading Joanna’s articles and listening to the podcast is a delight. Especially the introductions always fuel me with new ideas and motivation for how to proceed with my story writing. I never miss a podcast episode. Her voice radiates an always positive attitude, she is real and genuine about her writing life.
Joanna is a visionary. She started self-publishing before it was a trend. She podcasted before everyone else jumped on the train. She is geeky about futurist stuff and loves new development instead of condemning it. This is probably one of the reasons why she’ll never be behind – and you will also be always on top of things following her.
The blog is filled with resources for independent authors: books, podcast, online courses, tools. Here are some favorites to start with:
A great article and webinar on goals (for 2017, but still worth a look)
A list of articles on editing and recommended editors – a brilliant resource!
Podcast on the future of publishing – geeky stuff.
Joanna is an advocate for going wide instead of Amazon exclusive, here’s why.
Katie Weiland was my first mentor concerning writing craft.
Craft comes easy with her. It’s practical. It’s doable.
And it works.
While I struggled to start writing my first novel, I stumbled upon her blog and bought her books on outlining and structure – they literally changed my writing life!
I understood the process of outlining which helped me shape my novel. The understanding of structure revolutionized the way I wrote the middle section (Act II) of my novel, which I always struggled with.
Her resources are all about practical advice on writing fiction, things you can instantly and easily implement into your routines.
There is an easy structure to get you through her blog: on the lefthand side, you’ll find the most relevant articles to start with. Don’t miss:
Storytelling according to Marvel – those movies are hyped now, but why do they work?
The story structure database – in order to understand structure, you can study famous books and movies according to their plot points. The database is always updated!
The 5-step game plan to outlining your novel.
Using Scrivener in writing process – so practical because Katie gives a glimpse of her own writing with Scrivener.
Self Publishing Formula – Mark Dawson
Self-publishers have reached the right address here.
We’re leaving the safe waters of “writing craft”, and entering the uncertain ocean of business. But Mark navigates this ocean for you.
Let’s face it: we need a book marketing strategy and navigation around writing business, because as indies, we’re not just creators but also businessmen (and -women).
This blog is a treasure chest for the secret of success, including technicalities. Mark makes navigating the ocean of self-publishing doable. With the blog, it’s easy to achieve real-life, hands-on results.
But Mark does more. Just look at the way he presents his blog visually – he makes it fun and straightforward!
I love the visual look of the blog! It makes business look easy, and the content will confirm it. Navigating is simple as all podcasts are available in transcription as well. A great place to start:
The One Thing I Wish I’d Known When Starting My Indie Author Career
How to start an Indie Publishing Empire
Masterclass on Amazon Ads
Fiction Notes – Darcy Pattison
Darcy’s blog is all about the little details. Literally.
She emphasizes the importance and skill of colorful and extraordinary descriptions.
Her posts are short and easy to digest, but sum up the issue in a nutshell.
For everybody who needs a little something to inspire and fix your story writing quickly, this is the creativity blog to go to.
The blog is divided into several categories, but the best way is to just dive into it. Open up any post that grabs you by the title, and give it several minutes to refresh your motivation.
A short article on the most important rule: Show, don’t tell.
Spice up scenes that you think are good (but boring).
A great and inspiring note on a novel by Janet Fox.
5. Writing Life
Nicole Bianchi – a lifestyle blog for writers
A lifestyle blog for writers.
A niche deeply needed for our doubts and downs.
Nicole borrows from those who have gone this way long ago: Hemingsway, C.S. Lewis, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Arthur Conan Doyle – the list goes on.
Films about writers, famous authors’ unusual hobbies and lots of articles on being a prolific author. This is a blog full of practical tips and tricks for the everyday writing life that will sometimes “wow” you, and motivate you to actually WRITE (which we too often get distracted from).
Her blog is easy to navigate. There is a “Start Here!” section, a writing resources tab and a Facebook group of fellow writers to join. Those are my absolute favorite articles on classical writers:
5 Writing Tips from Ernest Hemingway – number 1 was an eye-opener.
C. S. Lewis’s Letter to a Young Writer – five inspiring rules which are more about the semantics, sentences, and words.
How to Use Benjamin Franklin’s Daily Schedule to Reach Your Writing Goals — not about a writer per se, but lots to learn about schedule and success.
2 creativity blogs for inspiration & story ideas
As a filmmaker, I am a very visual person.
I derive most of my inspiration from films, scenes, lights, camera work, and moods. James Patterson stresses the importance of having a movie projector in your head when writing. So cinema and TV is my number one resource to become a better storyteller.
This is where I go for visual storytelling.
1. Bad Writing?
Sage Hyden’s video essays are dead on.
The insight he brings doesn’t spring from opinions but from deep research he cites in his videos. He allows us to take part in this research and become better viewers, writers, and creatives.
But it doesn’t mean the videos are boring – ou contraire.
My favorite essay is his takes on why Game of Thrones failed so miserably in the last season: What Game of Thrones kinda forgot. It precisely spots the issue and helps us do better with our writing.
Engaged in the Joker discussion and wondering whether art has a social responsibility? Here’s a great essay on that: Joker: Should Movies Teach Morality?
2. Cut to:
Lessons from the Screenplay
Michael’s channel is worth a follow.
Whether it’s looking at the anatomy of story structure, or how to create the ultimate antagonist, he tries to make every video provide a useful lesson while also highlighting the reasons we love our favorite movies.
There is a seemingly endless number of great films to examine, and he finds the lesson in all of them.
If you want to understand antagonists and their power, don’t miss out on this video (my favorite!): The Dark Knight — Creating the Ultimate Antagonist
Why the USS Callister episode of Black Mirror is an act of genius: Black Mirror — Now Entering the Twilight Zone
3 creativity blogs on lifestyle
Lifestyle is the sum of the days we live – day in, day out. It is our routine.
The optimization of our daily routine is what makes our creative lives successful. We need to know how to use our time wisely.
Those were the blogs that changed my routines, helped me live more productively and altered my outlook on everyday life.
This one is probably the best blog on productivity and habits! It contains endless articles and resources on lifestyle topics, and it really helped me understand how the human mind and habit forming works.
At its core lies the question: How can we live better? James answers it in two ways.
On one hand, by trying to understand the forces that shape failure and success, on the other hand, by applying the principles to everyday life.
Start by just clicking on the Articles category where James will lead you through all the aspects his blog contains.
My favorites are:
How to Build a New Habit: This is Your Strategy Guide – this is a mind changer when it comes to habit building.
For a More Creative Brain Follow These 5 Steps. Many say: I’m just not creative. This is a lie. Everybody can be creative, I honestly believe that. This is a misconception, and those five steps will help everybody kickstart their creativity.
The Paradox of Behavior Change – find out about the myth of Radical Change that we all believe in.
6 Truths About Exercise That Nobody Wants to Believe – and this leads me to the next (b)log.
Sorry, this one is for the girls.
There are probably lots of great resources for men, and I apologize that I have to put my focus on the next two blogs on women, but as a woman, I find it important to stress that our lifestyles and habits might differ from the men in our lives. Which is good, because the differences spice up our lives.
Whitney was a game-changer for me, and what I like about her the most is the creativity she proves when making workouts. There is always something new on her channel. She was the one who ushered me into a fitness journey as a creative and is still with me all the way.
I’m an absolute fan of her workouts, and they DO work, if you work hard.
Start with: Fit Tips with Whit – here, you’ll find videos like fitness philosophy, what to do after a workout, workout schedule and a “beginner’s guide to getting FIT”.
The Highlight: Workout with Whit. Everything you need is here. Everything. High Intensity, leg training, chest, back, arms. And again, I cannot stress it enough, those workouts are creative and never get boring if alternated.
There’s also an excellent section on At Home Workouts. I use them for vacation.
This is another blog for women, and I’ll talk some “girly” issues here, so men, feel free to skip to the next one.
I just love this blog because it gives me courage as a woman.
It never takes more than five minutes of my day to skip through the beautiful photos, read a little of the post. But every time I find myself lost in those five minutes, I realize that I’m filled with hope.
There are beauty and bravery to it, a hope that family life can be amazing, adventurous, filled with happiness, ease, and love.
Just open the blog, the very first post. Have a look at the photos. You’ll catch yourself smiling involuntarily. You’ll fall in love with it.
What this blog does for me, is, it makes me want a family. It makes me want to throw away the fears and prejudices of being pregnant or being a mom. When I look at Amber, I am thrilled to have kids.
Sure, I’m aware that life’s not always how we see it in those pictures. There are problems. But this is not what it’s about. It’s about the fact that those happy moments outweigh the hardships because they are so precious and worth every bit of my time and investment.
The blog’s highlights are definitely the amazing pictures! There is a certain focus on lifestyle, hair, and beauty, but as told above, this is not what the blog gives me in the first place.
60 Tips for traveling with kids and toddlers – great, even for a “not-yet-mom”.
Father’s Day gifts – emotional.
Bonus: Personal inspiration & mentorship
Having mentors and role models on the internet is important. That’s the beauty of the world we have nowadays: the endless connections we can make with people around the world. But this can and should never replace personal face-to-face encounters and relationships with people whose lives we can actually witness.
Because as we see them living their everyday lives we can witness firsthand how they live what they teach. Personal conversations and exchange of ideas make us grow. Even more do projects we can passionately work on together.
Walter is one of the people in my personal environment who inspires and mentors me.
Walter is a German blogger who has two different blogs.
He started with schreibsuchti.de, which is primarily a blog about blogging. Over the course of several years, this blog grew to be one of the most popular ones in Germany.
Walter recently published a book on Amazon on the subject of time and how to make time for the important things in life, which became a German bestseller in the category of management.
His life continues to inspire me. Walter studied law and finished his first State examination, but he refused to be stuck in a job that he hates. Having a family and kids, he still made the bold step of terminating his clerkship and become a freelance blogger.
I witnessed it all firsthand as our families are close friends. The doubts and criticism he had to face from family and friends, the first hard years they had to go through financially. And this is the power of personal relationships. I have never seen Walter giving up. Ever.
He made a decision not to waste time doing the things he hates but instead focusing on passion and family, and he went through with it no matter what came along. He put in the hard work, the sweat and maybe even tears, and it finally paid off.
If you’re lucky enough to speak German, check out his blogs which are full of inspiring resources and articles, and read his book.
More important though: Look for people in your surroundings for inspiration. Friends. Family. Neighbors. Form relationships and cherish them, and maybe one day, you will be the one to inspire others.
One last word of care: All these resources are made to move you to action.
There are many people who read those blogs, admire and maybe even envy the people but do nothing. The temptation is there because actually doing something means moving out of a convenient and comfortable place of pure consumption.
Creatives need a healthy dose of both. If you work non-stop without loading up your creative well and educating, you will eventually burn out and get stuck.
But if you never move to create, your heart will become dull. Those resources will lose their meaning because they are meant to evoke practical change in your own life.
So now, go ahead. Fill up your creative well and start becoming an inspiration for others.