Danae from This Wondrous Life
Today I’m super excited to introduce you to both my BRAND NEW interview series, Creative Command, and Danae from This Wondrous Life!
I teased this new series a little bit in my last monthly letter from the editor, and since it’s almost time for May’s letter (how did that happen already?!) it’s due time the Creative Command series makes it’s debut.
If you’re new to Violet Roots, then you might not know this but I really like interviews. Currently, I feature a monthly music interview, Music Muses, a bi-monthly blogger of the month interview, #VRxLove, and I’m happy to add Creative Command to the monthly roster.
It’s no secret that I live for creativity. With this series I wanted to really dive beneath the surface and not only get to know my peers but to pick their brains to find out what their struggles were and how they dealt with them.
For that reason, the Creative Command interviews will be longer than the others. They aren’t just long for the sake of it but so that you can walk away with a golden nugget or two.
My goal with Creative Command is that you’ll feel energized by the stories of others and, if you’re going through a creative dry spell, you’ll have the tools to push forward!
1. Tell us your name, about your blog, biz, or creative pursuits!
Hey! I’m Danae Carson founder of lifestyle-creative blog This Wondrous Life! This Wondrous Life (TWL) is a blog centered on helping dreamers and creative pursue their hearts while living present and intentionally.
Along with blogging, I have a deep love for creative writing and I’m working a rewrite of my short story collection as well as a novel idea I’ve been working on. You can check me out at @ThisWondrousLife (IG) and @WondrousLife_ (Twitter)
2. How would you define “Creativity”?
Ooooh…such a great question! Creativity to me is an expression of who you are. I believe everyone is creative and how it is expressed and experienced is unique to you and your process.
Creativity is more than just a thing you do or create. I believe it is a mindset and a perspective choice. Creativity awaits to be unlocked everyday and how we view our world plays a role in how much we get to connect with it.
3. What would you say to someone who thought you had to be an artist in order to be creative?
YOU DON’T! And I’m so sorry if anyone made you think that that was the case! I personally had to deal with this. For a long time I didn’t think I was creative because I wasn’t “artsy” per say. Then I realized creativity isn’t about being “artsy” or an artist per say. It’s about how you take in the world, and how you process your reality.
I realized creativity could look like being really awesome with numbers and being able to develop solutions to keep businesses from going under. Creativity could look like coming up with new ways to resolve conflicts within your family, creativity could look like painting and acting as well.
Too often creativity gets boxed in when that’s the polar opposite of creativity. it’s not about being boxed in or labeled, it’s about changing your perspective, your mindset and seeing beyond what’s just given. It’s asking the hard questions and pursuing the answers!
4. Would you consider yourself a creative person? Has it been something you’ve worked toward or is it natural to you?
Yes! and yes and no! I believe I’m naturally creative, and I believe everyone has creative potential, but it has been something I’ve worked towards. I mean this in the sense that I had to learn to accept that I am creative. I had to learn that my creative expression didn’t have to look like a certain thing or look a certain way. I’m still working to accept that I am creative because sometimes I don’t necessarily “feel” creative.
5. What do you do to keep yourself in the creative mindset?
I definitely feed my creative self! This can look like watching films that inspire me or that interest me to listening to podcasts (TedTalks are life-giving). I also try my best to note the moments I have a huge creative download. I record it so that when this download passes anytime I may feel “non-creative” I can look back at a past creative moment and get perspective!
6. What creative mantra or quote resonates with you the most?
This is something my writing mentor told me as I started my short story collection. This is a loose paraphrase, he essentially said that writer’s block didn’t exist and that if I was waiting for an epic plot or idea to drop in my lap, I’d be waiting a long time.
Instead, create a habit of writing and writing until the inspiration comes. This has carried me through a lot of nights when writing was the last the I wanted to do. So many scenes, character developments, and progress came from pushing until inspiration came.
7. How has creativity impacted your blog or business?
It’s played a HUGE role! The heart of my blog is to celebrate creativity, creatives, and the pursuit all while living everyday life! Creativity has shown up in so many different ways. From the literal sense of how my site is laid out and how my posts are written/displayed to developing ways to get my brand and message out there!
8. What inspires you to create and achieve your goals?
What inspires me to create and achieve my goals is knowing that this goes beyond me. Everything I create, everything I’m building whether it’s a story or a blog post is going to impact someone’s life. It’s so much more than just me. It’s about empowering and inspiring an entire generation!
9. What does it look and feel like when you’re in creation mode?
It really all depends! There are times when it’s really intense and I’m like in the zone and my fingers are typing a mile a minute trying to capture every word and my thoughts are racing. It’s exhilarating and there’s lots of excited sounds erupting from me ahahaha. Other times it’s really intentional, and it’s pushing past how I may feel and finding the inspiration in the process.
10. What is your initial reaction when you realize you’re in a creative rut?
Honestly? My initial reaction is to stop creating.
11. What do you do to get past feeling blocked? Do you have a strategy?
It really depends on the degree to which I am stuck. I try to avoid it by actually setting an entire day aside to feed my creative person. Every Thursday I take a break from creating specifically for my site and I will do something else to stir up my creativity.
I’ve also been working to create a daily routine. I started one morning routine which involved listening to podcasts to fuel creativity and inspiration. For instance, CreativeMornings has a really dope podcast I listen to as well as TedTalks.
Most of the times, I push pass it. I keep writing. Sometimes, with my fiction, I will reread older things I’ve written. That helps a lot. I also read books or articles from Poet and Writers Magazine.
12. Have you relied on an outside source to get you out of your rut? (eg. support group, coach etc.)
Yes! Community is so important! When I was doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I had a friend who would text me making sure I was sticking to the schedule. It was easy to get in a rut trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days! She was such a great support!
13. What thoughts go through your mind when your blocked mindset lingers longer than you’d like?
I have thoughts of “You aren’t creative enough”, “you aren’t a good writer’
14. If you take a self-esteem hit or if you become negative how do you combat that?
I honestly reach out to my close group of friends have them remind me of what’s true.
15. Think back on past moments when you felt stuck. Are there any common threads?
A lot of times when I got stuck, it would be right after having one of those massive creative downloads. The emotional high of the download would linger for a while then taper off.
16. What do you focus your energy on when you’re feeling stuck?
I try to focus my energy on getting inspired. I try to not give into the negative thoughts, but rather step away from the project and seek a new angle/perspective.
17. What tools or tips would you offer to other creatives (in general or specifically in your field) who find themselves uninspired?
For creative writers: KEEP WRITING. Change your surroundings, READ READ READ and mix up what you read. If you are usually reading poetry, try fiction. If you do fiction try short versus novel. Check out some nonfiction pieces! Revisit older things you’ve written. As painful as it may be to reread that scene or encounter that character again you can find something to help you now!
In general, as a creative it’s important to have positive self-talk. Your words have power and can impact your creative process. So when you are feeling stuck, speak positively to your creative self. Never lose sight of who you truly are. Never lose sight of your creative voice. We need it!
18. We all have people we look up to. Who’s creative work inspires you?
I absolutely love the way Toni Morrison writes. There is a way that she pulls you into the scene that is simple yet so layered. There are so many people! On the blog front, I absolutely love the creative couple behind The Fresh Exchange. I’m inspired by their authenticity and simplicity of life.
What do you think of Danae from This Wondrous Life? What are your thoughts on her perspective and the Creative Command series?