Want to be a Happier Camper? Do Something Creative Every Day

Being a creative individual probably isn’t a choice. Studies show creativity is in our DNA to one degree or another. But we can choose how and when we express that particular quality. With that in mind, it seems that one of the qualities most people desire most in their lives, can be just around the corner for us all:

by Cari Romm

We all have different ways of unwinding after a long day at the office. Some people make a beeline for the couch to start a Netflix binge; some people work out; some people switch on the creative side of their brains, engaging in something crafty or logging time in the kitchen.

All have their benefits, but things in that last category may be an especially worthy way to spend your off-the-clock hours. For one thing, having a creative side hustle outside of work can lead to increased job satisfaction. And according to a new study in the Journal of Positive Psychology, small-time creative pursuits — like cooking, knitting, or even doodling — can influence your overall well-being for the better.

The study authors recruited 658 volunteers to keep a daily diary for two weeks, describing their mood and rating how creative they had been over the course of the day (creativity was defined as “coming up with novel or original ideas; expressing oneself in an original and useful way; or spending time doing artistic activities”). With each entry, participants also filled out something called the “flourishing scale,” ranking their agreement with statements like “Today I was interested and engaged in my daily activities” and “Today my social relationships were supportive and rewarding.”

When they analyzed the diaries, the authors found that “people who engaged in creative pursuits today felt significantly more energetic, enthusiastic, and excited the next day.”…

Read it all at NY Mag

Blame How Bad Being Rejected Makes You Feel on Your DNA

Rejection gotcha down, bunky? Looking for the secret of not giving a shit?

This very serious little article gives us the lowdown on the kind of person we need to be to live our lives without feeling the pain inflicted by being denied/unaccepted/kicked out/mocked/younameit by others.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell us how to transform ourselves into the necessary mental state.

Or would that last sentence me more correct if we took out the opening “un”?

I Asked a Psychopath How to Stop Caring About Rejection
by Julian Morgans

I recently went on a date with a beautiful and smart girl who laughed at all my jokes and then never replied to my texts. I walked away from the date thinking nailed it! while I guess she walked away thinking he didn’t nail that. I mean, who knows what she actually thought—but I spent the next few days wondering.

Wondering what other people think is a classic problem, and rejection sucks. When the phone doesn’t ring, the invitation doesn’t arrive, or you get cut from the team or the job, it’s only natural to feel hurt. But I should say that it’s natural for most people, not everyone. Because for psychopaths, caring what others think isn’t an issue—which is why I decided to ask one for advice.

Dr. James Fallon is a neuroscientist at the University of California. In 2006, he was studying the brain structures of serial killers when he realized his own brain fit the same profile. Amused, he started telling his friends and family, who all confirmed it was something they’d long suspected. As James described in the Guardian, “I started to ask people close to me what they really thought of me… and tell me they did.”

When I read this, I knew I’d found the guy. Fallon scores as a “pro-social” psychopathic, meaning he’s empathetic enough to be married and enjoy a social life, but lives without the worry or hurt most of us feel constantly. So I called him to ask how he does it. How does he go through life untouched by insult? And could I learn to do the same?

VICE: How does rejection feel for you?
Dr. James Fallon: It feels absolutely fine. As my two psychiatrists say, my biggest problem in life is that I don’t give a shit. They tell me, “You just don’t care.” And it’s true.

Why not?
I just know that I can do anything I want, and something better will come along. I guess that absurd swagger is most of it….

Read it all at Vice

From the “Mouths of Writers”

Found on the interwebs:

Words for Creatives to Live By

What is the purpose of art?

Found on the interwebs:

Something to remember while we write!

Peggy Bechko’s World of Time Management for Writers

by Peggy Bechko

Managing your time. Making time for your writing. Finding time.

Whatever you call it, it can be tricky while juggling kids, relationships, job, whatever else you’re involved in that you can’t really give up or set aside.

So, in the spirit of my back to basics mood at the moment, here are a few ideas ( 5 tips) to help things along.

  1.  I always suggest keeping a notebook or notecards with you. That way you can jot whenever something occurs to you or whenever you observe something that needs to be remembered, even if away from your writing place.

Or take notes on your phone or record messages to yourself on the phone if you can.

There are also great tiny recorders you can use to capture notes to yourself then plug into your computer and transfer like the Yoday voice recorder.  Inexpensive too!

  1. Set priorities and do your darndest to stick to them. Talk with your spouse, your kids, whoever is going to be around and work at getting them to understand how important this is to you.

You have to let others know that at times you’re going to have to say no to things that drain away your time minute by minute and that you must stick to your ‘to-do’ list to keep things moving. Remember to do the most important first. Plainly, there will be bumps in this road.

  1. Creating goals that are good for you is a great help. Decide perhaps you’re going to create a certain number of pages or words during a session. Maybe go with an amount of time. Or best yet, set a goal of how many words you want to get down on paper during the amount of time you have available. Stick to it!

If you do this you’ll minimize distractions and get a lot more done. Remember – the world of social media is out to get you and rob you of all your productive time!

  1. Dedicate a writing space, no matter how small. Even if it has to do double duty. If you have to write on the kitchen table, do it at a time when you can clear the table, set up your laptop and do nothing but write at the table. It helps train the mind that this is the time for writing. If you can convert a closet or set up a small desk somewhere, so much the better. If a sit/stand desk like what I use from Veridesk is good for you and in your budget, go for it. Work with what you have.
  1. Finally, don’t put enormous pressure on yourself. If you’re forcing yourself into doing something you don’t want to do you’re not going to get very far. If this is something you want to do you WILL begin to set your parameters and goals. If that doesn’t happen then perhaps writing isn’t for you and it’s time to move on to other things.


Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. blog. Learn more about her HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and her terrific blog, which is where this post first appeared.

Staying Fit, Productive & Sane as a Freelance Writer

Found on the interwebs, this clever and helpful article on “having the best freelance writing work day at a shopping mall.” Go on. You know you want to do it. Find out how:

by Pinar Tarhan

Sitcoms of the 80s and 90s depicted shopping malls as teenagers’ haven. No reason it can’t be one of your offices.

Look, I know a shopping mall isn’t the epitome of health. Yes, a walk in the woods or going to a coffee shop with a sea view is better. But sometimes you need the change, size and the warmth.

If you are already healthy and can stand the harsh winter weather, please, by all means, walk outside every day. As much as you can. Even if it is just to and back from your favorite coffee shop.


What if you sweat so much that by the time you get to the coffee house, even if it is just 15 minutes from your house, you look like you fell into a lake? Including and especially your hair? There is no possible way you can conveniently carry extra clothes, underwear, and hair-dryer along with your laptop and other freelancing essentials. Not unless you have the shoulder strength of a veteran backpacker. I don’t. And oh, one change of clothes doesn’t take my sweat away.

You might think the sweating is because I’m fat, but I’m not. While unfortunately I have extra weight I’m trying to lose, calling me fat would be scientifically incorrect….

Okay. So you, for one reason or another, you can’t walk to favorite coffee shop every day. You don’t live in a mansion, and you don’t have a treadmill desk (aff. link). You don’t have a gym membership. How are you going to get your exercise?

That’s where shopping malls come in.

I live in a city where malls are ubiquitous. They come with a selection of restaurants, coffee shops and all kinds of stores. And with so many malls to choose from, there are ones that aren’t too crowded and too expensive.

Here’s how to make the most of that mall:

Read it all at Pinartarhan.Com