Memory Keeping, Work/Professional

#the100DayProject | One. Inviting Creativity into Routine.

How I'm Inviting Creativity into Routine | Writing daily with Planners and Lists 02

Writing is therapy for me. It’s conversation. It’s a chance for me to speak and feel and experience and share. It quiets my mind. Focuses my thoughts. Inspires creativity in other places. Two weeks ago I shared that I was taking on #the100dayproject and that my creative focus would be writing.

And I am incredibly happy with that choice.

There is nothing like a yummy banana berry smoothie to start your morning off right! ((Especially when you're pregnant and sleep no longer comes naturally… Or at all. 😂 )) TWO things: (1) if you haven't seen it yet, I'm hosting a free 5-day smoothie + squats challenge to get myself (and others) inspired for warm weather fitness. Check the link on my home page! (link in profile). (2) Check out my latest post to learn how I use @gettoworkbook and why I love it so much. After using it for a year, I can thoroughly attest to how amazing it is. I'm a super picky planner, and I have nothing but love for #gettoworkbook. It's a fun post 😉. #planneraddict #planneraddicts #planning #getorganized 📝💕 #julies100dayproject

A post shared by Julie Love Gagen (@julieloveg) on


Because writing isn’t just about the act of putting words on paper or typing onto a screen. It’s a creative process. It’s inspired. And once you tap into that creativity, it’s like a well. And the more you dig, the more you find. And it is consuming, at times, in the best possible way.

Writing gets me up in the morning. It helps me pour that second cup of coffee and inspires me to start my day when all I want to do is sneak some extra moments of sleep. It gives more than it takes. It is a gift.

I have gained so much in my first 10 days of #the100dayproject that I had to update and share it here. And I’ve done that, somehow, while balancing more than I usually balance. Doing more than I normally do. And taking on a lot of new, exciting, exhausting things.



It’s counter-intuitive, isn’t it? To think that somehow taking on a new project, a project that focuses solely on what I want, but don’t need. What I crave but don’t have room for. What I desire, but lack means to invest in. Somehow, this project has given me something. It has given me more time. More energy. More interest in the pursuit of all things.

It is magic at its best.

Inviting Creativity into Daily Routine

So I wanted to dedicate this post to how I’m inviting words into my daily routine. Because that’s what creativity is. It’s the act of inviting. Allowing. Entertaining. Flirting. No matter what your creative project is, as Elizabeth Gilbert would say, you have to invite it into your life.

And so I have. And I did it by bringing writing into routine. By giving it opportunity.

I have always started my days, especially Mondays, by writing a list.

Mondays are hard. The beginning of the week can feel so overwhelming, especially when you’re balancing a lot of different obligations. That could be work. That could be family. That could be events and planning. But it’s generally about the responsibilities we place on ourselves. And those responsibilities can, at times, feel impossible. And unmanageable.

So writing a list at the beginning of the first day of each week gives me some peace of mind. By writing it down, I acknowledge the obligations I have made for myself. I list them and rank them. I add bullet points and stars and highlight the areas that need first attention.

And then I pause.

There is relief in acknowledging what we ask of ourselves. Do I really need to send that email? Do I really need to write that specific post? Maybe. Sometimes. But not always. And reflecting on my list allows me to give some space to the obligations that offer pressure without value. And that gives me the space to re-evaluate.

What my Daily Writing Looks Like

My daily writing looks like to-do lists, random notes in planners, check boxes, highlighted marks.

How I'm Inviting Creativity into Routine | Writing daily with Planners and Lists 20

It looks like scribbled notes on new projects in an excited mess of inspiration.

How I'm Inviting Creativity into Routine | Writing daily with Planners and Lists 21

It looks like ideas that may never be given time. And sketches that might never be made.

How I'm Inviting Creativity into Routine | Writing daily with Planners and Lists 22

But it also looks like posts that show up here, daily. It looks like photographs and finished projects. It looks like stories that are finally being told. And thoughts that are scrambled onto paper.

How I'm Inviting Creativity into Routine | Writing daily with Planners and Lists 23

It looks like organized spaces. Loved spaces. And ideas, and notes, and thoughts on how to make other spaces better.

How I'm Inviting Creativity into Routine | Writing daily with Planners and Lists 09

It looks like I have found, and have developed a relationship with inspiration. And I look forward to a long and lovely future of creating and working through and trying out everything that has come my way. This is not the hard work. It is the call. And I’m ready to answer.





Pictured in this post: Sugar Paper Planner, embellishments and confetti from Studio Calico, handmade 6×8 album, notepad from Target, Listers Gotta List prompt for April, Get to Work Book, labels made from Kellie Stamps May Release, and multi-colored sharpie pens.

If this sounds interesting to you, and if you want to learn more about inspiration, I highly recommend Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. She also has a podcast called Magic Lessons and you can hear interviews with her on the subject of creativity at The Lively Show and The Good Life Project.

For several years Ali Edwards has started her year with a word. No resolutions or promises to break, just one little word® to check back on for guidance or reflection. As she describes it, “You live with it. You invite it into your life. You let it speak to you. Follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities.” This year is all about the wholehearted pursuit of MAGIC. And I can’t wait to see where it leads. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. For more of my one little word, follow my tag one little word.

1 Comment

  1. Kari Mertz says

    Excited to see your 2017 #the100dayproject

Comments are closed.