Let’s face it, we all feel creatively challenged at some point. We don’t feel inspired or we rely too much on that elusive inspiration. In 2020, I struggled with writing my blog. But I managed to pull myself through by trying different things, applying new concepts, and sometimes skipping a week. That’s why I decided to create this challenge to connect to your creativity.

And this challenge is for everyone, whether you’re a writer, a painter, a scientist, factory worker, or bored office worker. We all need creativity in our lives and we all have creativity in us. Not only can’t you create art without it but you can’t decorate a house, make a meal, or even solve a problem without it.

The pandemic, the quarantines, the stupidity of people all weighed heavily on me and I struggled to write in 2020, I was skipping weeks, sometimes just phoning it in. And it reflected in my readership, which started to go down.

But there was some part of me that was screaming out to be creative. Especially during this time of uncertainty. So I started doing something that connected me to my sister. I started crocheting. Amazingly, in doing so, I started writing again. Granted, not right away, but slowly. It was as if the crocheting pulled me through to my writing. (Obvious pun intended.)

But what worked for me might not necessarily work for you. That’s why we’ll try different things. I even have one of my famous calendars ready to go for February. It’s not as packed full as other calendars I’ve created in the past but it does require you to do two things each day at a minimum.

Think you’re ready?

February Creativity Challenge

Creativity is not a one-and-done kind of thing. It’s a lifetime. But when we’re struggling, we need to start small. Explore a little, try new things, and be open to whatever comes our way. This month, it’s about creating 2 new habits–if you aren’t already doing them. And then adding in a couple of short but fun exercises along the way.

Morning Pages

Morning pages are not something that I came up with. I first discovered them in a famous book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This year is its 30th anniversary and if you haven’t read the book yet, then I highly recommend it.

Simply put, morning pages are the 3 pages of whatever that you write each morning. What’s whatever? It’s just a stream of consciousness writing exercise of whatever comes into your mind and out your pen or pencil. And there needs to be a pen or pencil involved, this is long-hand writing in order for your mind/body to make the connection.

Write whatever comes to mind, even if it’s only, “I can’t think of what to write.” Just keep going until three pages come out of you. It can be an accounting of your day, your anger, or your negativity. What you love. What you hate. What you’re indifferent about. Just get it out by writing it on the page.

What if you’re an artist or a scientist or anything but a writer? Write 3-morning pages. This is not about art. It’s about turning off the censor and writing whatever is on your mind. You can even write down what you censor or internal critic is saying to you.

Since there’s no wrong way to write the crap out of your system, there is no editing, no crossing out, just keep going. You’re not even supposed to read it after. Just write it, close the notebook, and get on with your day. Then tomorrow morning, do it all over again.

Now I offer you a cheat. I know that staring at 3 blank pages in an 8 by 11 college-ruled notebook is daunting. Been there, done that. I got around it by starting with a 6 by 9 notebook. I didn’t really consider it cheating. At that point in my life, I had stopped writing anything and everything. I wasn’t prepared to write one page never mind writing three.

By the time I finished the smaller notebook, I was ready to go with the larger one. I kept that going from the late 90s until 2017 when we moved in with my mother. My routine had been so disrupted by the move that it fell by the wayside and I only recently found my way back. (My restart was in an 8×11 notebook, not the smaller size.)

I think Julia Cameron was pretty specific about it being an 8 by 11 notebook but I think whatever gets you started in the first place is the best place to begin.

And remember to do it first thing in the morning, even if that means getting up earlier to get it done. That’s why I’m a morning person now. I had to start getting up earlier in order to get the three pages done.


Pick a book and read 10 pages a day until you’re finished. Then pick another book and do it again. Switch up genres, do both fiction and non-fiction. Mix it up but keep reading.

If you already have a reading program, then great. If not, it’s time to start but since morning pages may take some time to get used to, start the reading mid-month.

Why reading? Reading is important to creativity. When you read fiction, you’re seeing other people, other worlds in your mind. When you’re reading non-fiction, you’re picturing concepts in your mind.

Did you know that 80% of US families did not buy or even read a book in 2020? All that extra time and none of it spent on books. Sure, blogs were read and even magazines. But no books. Blogs and magazines are designed for those with little attention. But a book forces you to concentrate on the story and block out distractions.

Reading not only opens your eyes to the world but also your desire for more knowledge. I love finding a new author and either wanting to read more of their books or have their book send me off on a quest to find new things. I read a historical fiction book about Galileo’s telescope and that led me to find other books about discoveries made with telescopes.

I love going down those rabbit holes!

The more you read, the more you increase your vocabulary. Having words to use helps you express yourself, which in turn leads to better problem-solving skills (creativity needed!)

Anything Else?

Throughout the month, I’ll sprinkle in a couple of creativity exercises but just a couple.

  • February 6 you’ll do a creativity prompt. You can include it in your morning pages if you wish, or do it separately. I’ve included a link here and in the calendar.
  • February 16th is called What’s in a Cup. Again, you can include it in your morning pages or do it separately. The idea behind this is to look at a coffee cup and using your imagination list all of the things that you could do with that cup. For instance if I gave you spoon, you might say dig a hole, make music, hammer something, pretend it’s a microphone, etc. Try to come up with as many ideas as you can.
  • February 26 is another creativity prompt. Again, use your morning pages if you wish.

Not a difficult challenge…just something to dip your feet into. In the following months, the creativity challenges will get a little more involved but for now, these three simple ones that can be done with your morning pages are all that’s needed this month. It’s more important that you start your morning pages and reading.