Monthly Archives: January 2013

Creativity is not a talent!

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One of the advantages of working in a (more or less) creative job is that I can actually apply a lot of things I learn and experience at work for my personal creative life. A couple of weeks ago I took part in a creativity training where we watched part of an amazing lecture by John Cleese. The first thing that really struck me about his speech was this:

Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.

I believe that anyone has the ability to be creative. Some people just know better how to get themselves into a creative mood. How to let their mind wander around and to come up with the silliest of ideas which might later turn out to be genius. I’ve met quite a bunch of people at work or in my free time who claim that they’re “not creative”. And I believe they’re wrong. I’m sure they could come up with a lot of great ideas if they just allowed themselves to. I for one have always loved to daydream, to think about all different kinds of things. My mind has always been playful in a way. I haven’t always been confident about my ideas though which is another essential. Luckily, I got more confident with age and if an idea is compelling and I can’t get it out of my head I’ll just go with it. No matter what other people might think. Fear can really be the biggest obstacle in this whole process. So just let it go!

Another interesting thought from Cleese is the difference between the open and the closed mode. I love the open mode where your mind is just soaking up everything, mixing it up, trying different combinations of thoughts and ideas until something fits. Since I’ve started to write my blog and my songs, I’m basically constantly in an open mode. Always looking out for new inspiration and things I want to send a message about. Of course, there are periods where I’m more open than at others. And I just love the feeling that everything is flowing inside my head. The time before sleeping or waking is a particularly great time to come up with ideas. Some of my greatest inspirations have come from dreams I’ve had while being half-asleep.

And then – sooner or later – there’s this one idea that emerges from the boottom of your mind shining like a newborn baby. That’s the one to follow. The one to close your mind on . When it comes to songwriting this is the stage that takes the longest for me. It’s where the hard work begins. It can actually take several weeks if not months to finish a song to a stage where I’m confident to sing it to my boyfriend so he can start working on the guitar parts. I constantly carry it around with me in my head. I know it might sound weird, but I’m always thinking of putting unfinished works into a drawer in my brain where it needs to mature. Even when I’m doing other things, my unconscious is secretly working on it. Until one day there is a hint, something I can work on to push it to the next level and finish it eventually. Again, it’s like John Cleese says:

This is the extraordinary thing about creativity: If you just keep your mind resting against the subject in a friendly but persistent way, sooner or later you will get a reward from your unconscious.

What are your thoughts on this? I’d love to hear them!

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I need light!

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Anyone else missing the sun right now? I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to the first spring days. Bright and sunny with the fresh smell of flowers in the air. Days where I don’t have to leave the house when it’s still dark and return when it’s dark again. Or when it stays so dark all day that you need to leave the light turned on all the time. In a way it’s fascinating how the absence or presence of light influences us. I do feel like my body is hibernating at the moment. I’m constantly tired and kinda lacking motivation, even for things I usually love to do. I’m still pushing through, but it takes a lot more effort than it usually does.

How much of a difference a day of light makes became clear to me when we had an unusually sunny weekend a week ago. We had blue skies and sun all day from Friday to Sunday. It was amazing! I tried to soak up as much sunlight as I could. It felt like it was straightly turned into energy once it hit my skin. Seriously! For the next couple of days I was full of energy and got so many things done I had been putting off for ages. Sadly, we’re back to the dark and gray days now. I really hope this will change sooner rather than later. Because I got a lot of things on my list this spring. There are exciting times ahead! Which will hopefully lead to more exciting blog posts than this one. 😉

Forward

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Last week I received something pretty exciting: our first band shirt! It’s only a prototype so far. We still need to do some adjustments regarding the colour of the logo and such, but still you can get a pretty good glimpse at what it’s gonna look like one day. It’s a sign that things are moving forward, even though they’re not. We were actually hoping that the new year would bring some new musicians willing to join us, but so far our efforts haven’t brought any results. There is still a drummer pending who rehearsed with us once and said he’d like to meet again, but hasn’t gotten back to us in a while. I’m still hoping he’s gonna come around because I think things would work pretty well with him, both musically and personally. And then there’s the neverending challenge of finding a bass player. Sigh!

Honestly, when I started on this adventure I never actually thought it would be this hard to find people to join us. It’s been more than 6 months now and we’re still just the 2 of us. Which doesn’t work out pretty well if you want to make rock music. We’ve been done building the foundation for ages. All we want to do now is take it to the next level which we can’t on our own. I know that patience is key, but sometimes I feel we’ve been patient for too long now. We deserve to move on. Now. I know we will eventually. But I really hope it’s not gonna take too long. Until then we’ll keep moving forward, working on everything we can at the current stage. It’s all we can do. For now!

Urban hiking

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It’s the beginning of the year – time to make some awesome plans. One thing the boyfriend and me are planning to do this year is to spend more time outdoors. When I was a kid, I spent most of my free time outside. I grew up in a small town with a lot of green space around and back then I didn’t care if it was hot or freezing, sunny or rainy. I just loved being outside. Today, I’m spending most of my time in an office building and like now, in winter time, I prefer the warmth of my cozy home over the outdoors. I do spend quite a lot of time outside in my free time in summer, but mostly within the city. I haven’t been in the nature much since I moved to Frankfurt which I think is a shame. Because there’s actually a lot of green space here.  Who would’ve thunk! Last week I went to the bookshop and bought a guide about the so called “green belt” of Frankfurt which surrounds the city. I was really surprised at how much nature there’s actually to discover around here. Would you believe that we even have a dune here? Amazing!

To start off with our outdoor plans, me and the boyfriend went on a little stroll around the East Harbour area last weekend. Not exactly nature (we want to spare this for the sunnier days), but I have a thing for industrial, deserted looking areas, so we had a lot of fun exploring it. Here are some impressions from our little walk. Be prepared for a lot more awesome pics once spring arrives. 🙂

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The new European Central Bank building in the making

491Some art along the way

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Looking back at the city

494Following the tracks

My theme song for 2013

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A new year – time to pick a new theme song! Last year I went with 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Vox Populi” which couldn’t have been a better choice.

Did you ever believe?
Were you ever a dreamer?

Those first lines really drew my into that song. Because it made me scream YES with all my heart. It’s a powerful song about fighting for what you believe in. And it accompanied me through many, many situations where I felt like I couldn’t go on anymore or just wanted to give up.

Do you want to surrender?
Or fight for victory?

That’s all I needed to hear to get back into warrior mode. And hell did I fight! This song perfectly describes the journey I went through last year. And this is where it has brought me:

Here we are at the start
I can feel the beating of our hearts

I feel like I’m at the beginning of something beautiful and amazing right now. Something I’ve been putting a lot of effort and energy in over the past year and that I’m willing to take to the next level in 2013. Which brings us to this year’s theme song. I proudly present: Invincible by Muse. While this song might not come across as energetic as Vox Populi it is no less a song about fighting. Put in beautiful words that could be easily read as a poem, sung by a beautiful voice.

Again, this song couldn’t fit better to my current state of being. A while back, someone said to me: “You appear as if you’re invincible lately.” At first, I had to laugh. But then it occurred to me that there’s actually a lot of truth in it. Ever since I started making music, since I discovered that I’m actually capable of making progress in a way I never thought possible, I’ve been walking through this world differently. I do get that feeling that nothing can stop me on the path I’ve taken pretty often these days. And it’s an awesome feeling. It means to trust in myself. And that’s something that makes even the hard times bearable.

Here’s my theme song for 2013. Enjoy! And share your’s here if you picked a song, too.

Follow through
Make your dreams come true
Don’t give up the fight
You will be alright
Cause there’s noone like you in the universe

Don’t be afraid
What your mind consumes
You should make a stand
Stand up for what you believe
And tonight
We can truly say
Together we’re invincible

During the struggle
They will pull us down
But please, please
Let’s use this chance
To turn things around
And tonight
We can truly say
Together we’re invincible

Do it on your own
It makes no difference to me
What you leave behind
What you choose to be
And whatever they say
Your soul’s unbreakable

InspiraShot: Creative rebels

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I recently came across this quote while reading Paul Arden’s “It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be” and couldn’t agree more. There’s a lot of truth lying in these words and it has never been clearer to me.

I think I’ve had a little rebel living inside of me from an early age. It’s just been showing in different ways over the years. I’ve always despised things you bought or did to be cool. That’s why I didn’t drink, smoke or do drugs in my teens, like other kids did. I just felt I didn’t need this for my life to be any better. It was like some kind of reversed rebellion I guess. In my mid-20s, I felt like I was about to be crushed by the career wheel, so I quit my job and left for Japan. Now that I’m 30, I still feel like there’s a lot to rebel against. And music is the perfect language to let it all out. You can be sad and desperate, aggressive and brave, triumphant and insane – all in one song if you please. What I’m fighting for today is the right to be myself and to live life by my own terms. I fight against the expectations others put on me, but that I’m not willing to fulfill.

I’ve also found that being creative sometimes means to rebel against your surroundings that are not supportive of what you’re doing. It actually fuels my inspiration when people doubt me, when they laugh at my dreams and think that I’ll never get anywhere. I like to prove people wrong and my weapon to do so is my creativity. So yeah, I love being a rebel!

Endings and beginnings

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Happy New Year to all of you! I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and an awesome first day of 2013.

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I can’t believe that the chapter of 2012 is finished now. This year passed by so quickly and yet so much has happened. For me, 2012 was definitely a defining year. I’d even go as far as to say that it has been one of the greatest years of my life. A year full of change and self-realization. A year ago, my life had reached a dead end. It was time to turn it to a different direction, to face the unknown and exciting. And once I had accepted this new mindset, everything started to unfold from there. I scored a new job, I moved to a different city and in music I finally found the perfect outlet for my creativity.

I exactly remember the day when the wish to make music occured to me for the very first time. It was in February and I was at home sick. I was so thrilled by the thought of it that I felt like walking on clouds for a whole week. Followed by the realization that it was absolutely stupid to start making music at the age of 29. But the idea turned into something much bigger. I wasn’t able to ignore it, the music in my head didn’t die down. It all turned into a big dream. A dream that grew bigger and bigger everyday.

I never expected to actually find someone who was willing to share this dream with me. I never expected that my ideas would actually turn into songs. I never expected for any of the things that happened to happen. I was prepared for failure, for rejection and stagnation. All of these things happened. But still, progress was made. Because I took one step after the other. I kept my dream alive inside of me, all the time. And when I felt like giving up, I thought of that dream. That I had a right to dream big, no matter how ridiculous it might seem to others, no matter if I’ll ever get even close to it. Just imagine and keep moving forward.

It was me who created all these wonderful moments and experiences of 2012. There might have been a little luck and fate in play here and there, but in the end it was me who made it happen. This is probably the most important thing I learned in 2012. Nothing is impossible if you just want to make it happen. Of course, not everything went smoothly for me this year. There were challenges, moments of weakness and despair. But they are a part of life. They make us stronger and contribute to what we are, so I am able to accept these moments and be at peace with them.

I’m very proud of the foundation I built for my life over the past year. Now it’s time grow on it. And I will. I know that 2013 is gonna be a big year. Full of big goals. The biggest one will be to finally find the missing members to our band and to finally hit the stage. That’s what I will work for. I also want to travel and be adventurous and try new things that I haven’t done before. And this time there’ll be someone at my side. Oh yes, 2012 held a big surprise for me at the end of the year. I finally fell in love again and I can’t help but feel like it must be fate. Because I never would have met him if I hadn’t initially decided on making music. It is all happening for a reason, it is all falling into place.

So, let’s promise each other that we will make 2013 the biggest, greatest and best year of our lives. We will follow our bliss, we won’t give up and we will live dreams! Because in the end, that’s what life’s all about.