Creative Inspiration

Creative Catch Up – May 2011

Wedding pic by our friends Colin and Sharon Kirby (not sure which one of them took it!)

Hi, I’m back – successfully married and honeymooned, and despite a two day delay returning due to Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud, feeling pretty refreshed and ready for the rest of the year.

Our wedding day was absolutely fantastic, and really surpassed all of our expectations in terms of how much fun it was and how well everything went. We haven’t got hold of the official photos just yet but when we do I’ll share one or two here and a few more details of the day itself (if you’ll forgive the self-indulgence).

Morning Routines and Other Goals

Thanks so much to everyone for their comments on the My Morning Routine FAIL post at the start of the month, I was blown away by the reaction. I’m determined to try setting a decent routine again and thanks to the really helpful comments have a number of new ideas to try and help me stick to it this time. I’ll give an update in a month or two as to how it’s going.

In terms of other personal goals, now that the wedding’s in the bag, My wife (!) and I will have some time in our schedule so we really want to get back into running again. We ran a couple of 10ks over a year ago but since then have done very little. So we’ve decided to sign up for the Great Edinburgh 10k Run on 2nd October. This just happens to be the day after my birthday which makes it an ideal goal for the second half of the year.

Reading about being self-disciplined

Although I tried to avoid social networking whilst on honeymoon I still took some time to read blogs using the free wi-fi in the hotel. Having so clearly failed at self-discipline I was heartened to read that Leo Babauta, whose achievements are many, considers the whole thing a myth. He says that motivation is what’s important.

However Trent Hamm of the Simple Dollar believes that what we call it doesn’t matter, the key is to shift the balance so that the preferred behaviour is now easier than the old, negative behaviour.

On the same topic, Lifehacker linked to an interesting piece over at The Energy Project on getting important things done without exhausting your mental energy.

Maybe the problem is that we will always end up frustrated because we want too much? My friend Nate at Fearless Endeavours suggests we try to focus on ‘wanting what we already have’. Gratitude is definitely a good way of improving your happiness, and it can be very easy to lose sight of. This was a welcome reminder.

New Streamlined Schedule

As you may already know, I’ve struggled a bit to maintain the twice weekly schedule on the blog and weekly email newsletter I started in January. I’ve decided that to make things more manageable and give you a better  idea of what to expect I will be cutting it down to one definite post a week, at least for the next few months. So here’s what you can now expect each month:

  • One in-depth article on Clear-Minded Creativity
  • One Clear-Minded Creative Types interview
  • One Clear-Minded Classics book review
  • One monthly Creative Catch Up with links to other great blog posts and other info

The newsletters will continue to be weekly to ensure you don’t miss anything – and will also include links to other content and additional info that I won’t be sharing on the blog. So if you’re not subscribed, you’re really only getting half the story!

And I’ll still be hanging out and posting regular links to great content on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook so hopefully I’ll see you there too.

Share Your Wares Sunday

Which reminds me to remind you that you’re always welcome to share your latest creative projects on the Facebook page each Sunday, and I might even include it in the monthly catch-up posts. If you’re a bit shy about putting your stuff forward this is a good way to get started, and if you’re not shy then why aren’t you already doing it 😉

This month I’m grateful to Paul Forrester and Emily Dodd for keeping things alive whilst I was in wedding mode. Paul has written a great poem about the secret life of shopping trolleys (and is clearly coming on leaps and bounds with his poetry) and Emily has put together a great local nature round up for the month. I know this is only the tip of the iceberg as to what both have going on at the moment – it’s great to see them both doing so well.

On a sadder note, I was very disappointed to find out that the Guardian Edinburgh blog was being closed down after only a year. Michael MacLeod, who ran the blog has been a great supporter of The Clear-Minded Creative and many other great creative initiatives throughout the city and was nice enough to include the launch of this blog as one of January’s highlights in his final ‘best of’ post. I wish him all the best in whatever he does next.

9 replies on “Creative Catch Up – May 2011”

Congratulations for the wedding, Milo and thanks for sharing that lovely picture. You both look lovely. Look forward to seeing more. The subject of self-discipline is an interesting one, particularly as so many more people are doing their own thing. Nine-to-fivers don’t have to worry about it – they just follow the rules and office hours. These are new skills we need to learn (along with saying no, or that’s enough thank you.) There’s been a lot of talk about procrastination too. Instinctively, I am suspicious of the term self-disciplined. If I’m having to force myself to do something, I suspect it’s not the right thing for me. In my own experience, I find I can get too engrossed in the “doing” and not take care of the “being” enough. I agree with Leo Babauta’s definition of motivation. Life is like nature – it’s organic, not linear. There are times for “doing” and times for “being” or reflection. I for one am doing less right now and I’m concentrating on being, because I think if I know how to be, who I am, then I will have a better idea of what to do, and will be motivated to do it. Guilt creeps in when I’m just sitting there thinking instead of doing something – it’s our terrible education.

And if there are things you think you really have to do, but that you are not motivated, then put in place a system or deadline that you can’t avoid. I’ve been known to invite people to dinner just to make me get off my a*** and tidy the house!!


Thanks very much Elizabeth! That’s very true – self development/improvement seems to be part and parcel of working for yourself, at least from what I’ve seen on other blogs.

Exactly, and very well put – my point with this whole blog is that we need to think through what we’re doing and why we’re doing it – what is the desired end result and do we actually need to break our backs working hard when it might not be getting us any closer to our *real* goals.

Also I’m glad to see I’m not the only one motivated by deadlines!


Milo –

Congrats on the wedding!! Very exciting to hear and it sounds like you are doing well.

My wife and I have also been starting to run. I’m signed up for my second 5K of the year and plan to do a few more. My wife has more ambitious plans – she wants to start training for a half marathon! I might join her in that training as well.



Thanks Nate, yes it was a great day. Good work on the 5Ks! – It was weird because just before I read your comment we were talking about a possible 5k at the end of June, which might be a good way of getting us back into the running before the 10K in October.

A half marathon sounds quite challenging to me – have you thought about a 10K first? It’s mid-way between 5k and half marathon so might be a good next step…


Hi Milo,

I imagine it will be quite a struggle getting back into the routine – whatever routine that may be! – after two or three hectic (and enjoyable) weeks, so I hope kicking back into action with the blog helps that. Looking forward to the new content!

The two situations probably aren’t really comparable, but since settling into my new domestic arrangements I feel like my general routine has altered for the better to ensure regular creativity is easily accommodated with co-habiting (and generally being a little less reclusive), and a blogging schedule of two or three posts a week should be a lot easier to maintain than the unrealistic idea that I might put something up every day or two. I hope returning from honeymoon and settling into the post-wedding goals you both want to achieve will help you in a (vaguely!) similar way.

Thanks for the mention on Share-Your-Wares Sunday. I would recommend it to anyone reading the blog – not least because the comments I’ve had from both yourself and Emily, particularly on my poem ‘Reading Light’, have been a real boost to the confidence. So much so that it convinced me to send ‘Reading Light’ to a magazine, and it’s being published later this year. Definitely worth signing up to Facebook again so I could contribute!


Hi Paul,

Congratulations on the imminent publication of your poem, I’m absolutely delighted that SYWS has had such a positive impact – I will be sharing your success story far and wide!

Yes it has been a bit tough to go from ‘completely relaxed mode to full on action mode, but I’m back in the swing of things now.

Glad you’re enjoying co-habiting – two to three posts still seems like a lot to me, given I am now only planning on doing one a week.

Yes, it’s going to be good to have the extra time not needed for wedding arrangements to focus on getting back into blogging, running and getting my freelance work organised again 🙂


Well, if I manage one poem and one blog post a week then I’d be quite happy. Saying that, if I had freelance work to schedule alongside my day job then I’d be even happier and would gladly aim for one post a week!


Really enjoyable read Milo. I’ve only recently discovered this blog but already I’m hooked. Looking forward to reading more of your work in the coming months.


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