Tag Archives: writing

1,000 Day Streak: Complete!

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1,000 Day Streak: Complete!

Hello everyone and welcome to my 1,000th day of writing in a row here on lifewithlilred!! I am so proud to have accomplished this monumental achievement and here’s to 1,000 more days of daily content on my blog. To celebrate, I will be hosting a giveaway for a twenty dollar amazon gift card and the whole world is included! The rules are simple and there will be one week to complete the following:

  • Follow my blog
  • Share this post
  • Like this post
  • Leave me a comment letting me know that you have done all three
  • Bonus point if your comment links to one of your favorite posts on your blog

It’s that easy, folks!

For 1,000 days straight, Lil Red has been dedicated and oh so motivated to deliver fun and fresh content to my dear friends and readers every day. I want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support, which makes all of this more worthwhile than words can say. It means the world to me and I love you all!

What motivates you? What are your writing goals? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Delivering A Sincere Message To Someone In Your Life   

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Delivering A Sincere Message To Someone In Your Life   

From time to time, we need to talk from the heart. This is because life can be tough, emotional, and the standard pleasantries won’t cut it. For whatever reason, sometimes we may not be so forthcoming with the people we really trust or we might feel that accepting and discussing a truth we have to be out of the question due to our own insecurity.

Perhaps we might have wronged another person without realizing it, only to mature and realize the issue with what took place. Every now and then, we should take stock and see how important certain people are in our lives, avoiding the tendency to take them for granted. Maybe you feel that taking the next step in a relationship is the best way forward, and you want to communicate that as carefully as possible.

Or, most likely, you have your own reasons that we need not guess at, because that’s your private inner purpose that you wish to express in a confidential sense. How do you deliver a message like this with care? In this post, we’ll discuss that and more:

Write A Letter By Hand:

There’s something intimate about writing every word yourself, which is an art that many of us have lost over the last twenty years. Digital communication is immediate and oh so convenient, but we also lose something in that exchange. When someone sees that you’ve written a letter in your handwriting, they know it was important to you and that you took your time to properly format and think of exactly what you were hoping to communicate. Automatically, you add gravitas and sincerity without even considering the context of your message.

Small, Direct, Careful Gifts:

A gift that has been thought about but isn’t too assumptive in its messaging can be very helpful, giving your message that added impact while also showcasing just how much thought you put into it. For instance, Today Flowers provides you access to amazing creations gathered by award-winning florists. A beautiful bouquet of selected flowers can show the amount of thought you’ve put in, while also allowing your recipient to enjoy the beauty and fairly digestible implication. It’s hard not to receive flowers and to feel anything other than goodwill.

Give A Little:

The way that people often connect with one another, especially if relationships might have been strained in the past, is to give a little. Admit fault if you feel you’ve been faulty. Be humble. Don’t try to win or seem like you’re trying to achieve victory over someone else. That’s no way to connect to them. If you give a little, someone else is likely to give a little. There are so many relationships out there right now that are fractured and could be soothed if only one person decided to approach the other with care. It might be that you could be this person.

With this advice, we know you’ll deliver that sincere message with care and clarity.

Featured Image By: Pexels

How To Avoid Blogging Burn Out

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How To Avoid Blogging Burn Out

Hi! In thirteen short days, I will complete my 1,000 day writing streak on lifewithlilred and I am SO beyond excited! One of the questions that I often get asked, especially as my blog has been going strong for almost seven years now, is how I avoid burn out when it comes to writing. So, today, I thought that I would go over my tips and tricks that help to keep myself fresh and inspired so I can sit down and write every day. Let’s get to it:

It’s All Good:

Are my blog posts always the most insightful? No. Are my pictures on my page the best? Thanks to my old school phone, still no. But do I let those factors stress me out? Definitely not! I write purely for the joy of writing, which is why all of the extra things are not even on my radar. Of course, it’s important for your blog to look nice and presentable but the bells and whistles can get you distracted from the main goal of content creating if you stress about them. Take a breath, relax, and let the words on your posts do the talking.

Keep Your Motivation Up:

I write every day strictly because I want to and that’s what keeps me waking up extra early to blog before work. I want to check in with my readers and friends and I want them all to have daily content to look forward to. This gives me tremendous drive and I wouldn’t be nearing a 1,000 day writing streak without it.

Setting goals for yourself or simply crossing “blogging” off of your to do list every day could be motivating enough. But, if it isn’t that’s okay too! Writing should be a fun activity and not something that you feel like you have to do. If you are feeling burnt out or that you are running out of content, it is always a good idea to take a few days off and then try again. Have a breather, find content inspo, and blog later with a clearer head. There is never any shame in that. ❤

Newsflash:

One of the main pressures that writers put on themselves is having absolutely groundbreaking content and I am here to tell you that you don’t need it! While ultra profound posts are great, that isn’t why your readers keep coming back to you. They visit your page again and again because they like you and feel a connection through your writing. This is extremely comforting to me and, therefore, it makes me feel comfortable with posts where I just have something silly or random to say. Remember, writing becomes more of a chore than a joy when you are too hard on yourself.

It’s The Little Things:

I struggle with writer’s block just as much as anyone and a surefire cure for it is to think outside of the box. You don’t need a major event or a bunch of vacation pics to have a good post. Rather, always keep your eyes open for the little things that happen throughout your day because the content is there if you pay attention. When your blog is a healthy mix of this, that, and the other, it keeps your readers excited to tune in every day because they can’t guess what will be posted on your page next.

For me, blogging on lifewithlilred is all about keeping it footloose and fancy free. This helps eliminate the pressure, keeps my motivation high, and makes me love writing even more every day! ❤

What are some of your tips and tricks when it comes to blogging? What motivates you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Get In The Writing Zone

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Get In The Writing Zone

Hi! I am quickly approaching a 1,000 post streak of writing on lifewithlilred and it is incredibly exciting! As promised, I will be sharing all of my favorite tips and tricks when it comes to writing as we continue on with the countdown to 1,000. The tips shared today and in the linked post have been essential in making such a long streak of daily writing possible and I am happy to fill all of you in on them. Let’s get started:

Stick To A Schedule:

I follow a very strict schedule when it comes to my writing and it is almost painful for me to stray from it! I wake up extra early before leaving for work to have time to write and get ready for my day. While I love being able to sleep in a little bit longer, I love being all done with my blogging so that I don’t have to do anything once I return home even more.

This is the schedule that works for me but it might not work for you and that’s okay. Figure out the best time to write for you whether it be before work, after, or even in the middle of the night and stick with it. Daily writing is so rewarding and despite almost 1,000 days straight of it, it still feels really good to check it off of my to do list!

Create A Writing Nook:

It’s important to have somewhere comfortable and distraction free to write so that you can keep your creative juices flowing. This is also why I like writing early in the morning because my husband has already left for work so it is just me and my laptop. Create a space in your home that is designated just for your writing. I, personally, thrive by having my own home office. However, if this is not possible for you, then a cozy spot on the couch, some space cleared on your kitchen table, or your favorite coffee shop will work just fine.

Play Some Tunes:

Although I don’t listen to music very often while writing anymore, I used to do it all of the time and it definitely served its purpose. Now, I tend to play some tunes if I am struggling with writer’s block. Some people work and focus better when they have a bit of background noise. If this sounds like you, then create a playlist to write to. Once the music is on and you’re in the zone, there is no stopping you!

Practice Makes Perfect:

Daily writing can seem like a daunting task but just like anything else, practice makes perfect. Writing every day will help you grow exponentially in your craft and you will be amazed at the difference in your posts compared to last years’ or even last months’. Like any new hobby, you might feel shaky in the beginning but continuing to try writing daily will help your confidence in your skill soar as you start to get the hang of it. 🙂

As a seasoned blogger, it is exciting to me to enter the Writing Zone every day and the tips above have all played their part in getting me to that level. I hope they do the same for you! ❤

What are some of your writing tips and tricks? Do you have any questions for me? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

1,000 Post Countdown!

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1,000 Post Countdown!

Hello!!! In thirty-nine short days, I will have reached a 1,000 post streak for writing on lifewithlilred. That’s 1,000 days of writing in a row and, my goodness, has it gone by quickly! I had no idea where I was at in terms of a streak until WordPress started notifying me daily and I get more and more excited every morning when I sit down at my computer to write. 😀

Today, we are going to discuss some of my favorite writing tips and tricks that have made this over two year streak possible. And, of course, keep it locked on lifewithlilred for more Countdown posts and one (or more) giveaways! Let’s get to it:

Go With The Flow:

Let’s be honest, we have all had those days where we experience writer’s block in some form or another. It’s easy to think that you have nothing to say but we all know that’s not true at all! If you are feeling stuck, remember that you are writing for your blog and you can write about anything. Go with the flow of it and remember that short and simple posts are A-okay… Did you have a crazy dream last night? What kind of mood are you in and why? Have you tried cooking a new recipe recently? It’s okay to not have groundbreaking posts every day so take a breath, relax, and go with the flow.

Take Notes:

I am constantly taking down notes for potential posts because I know that if I didn’t, I would forget my ideas in five seconds! Use a physical notepad or use the one on your phone whenever you have inspiration for a new post. Having a backlog of things that I can write about really comes in handy when I am struggling to come up with content. In fact, the Old School Rulez post featured recently has been on my notepad for ages until I finally wrote about it!

Content Won’t Create Itself:

If you are hurting for more exciting content on your page, remember that it is not going to create itself. I know firsthand that it can sometimes be a chore to create bigger posts like OOTDs, MOTDs, or travel based pieces – but, man, do I feel so good once I have a more time consuming article that I am happy with. Schedule some time throughout the week to dedicate yourself to taking pictures or visiting local events. When writing prep is planned, it makes it so much easier for me to follow through with it.

It’s Your Party:

People are visiting your page because they are interested in what you have to say and want to know more about you. Recommendation posts are amazing for that reason! What have you been binge watching? Which products can you not live without? What is one of your fondest memories? How about some gift guides if you pride yourself on being an A+ gifter? Review style posts are great for when you have writer’s block because picking your favorite thing and writing about it is easy to complete and effective to read.

I keep the above tips and tricks in the back of my mind constantly and they have all helped me get to the point of an almost 1,000 post streak. I hope they help you too! 🙂

Do you have any questions for me? What are some of your writing tips? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Rest Of Summer Goals

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Rest Of Summer Goals

Hi! Can you believe we are already in August? I feel like July flew by! When the month of August arrives, I always feel like summer is about to be over when, in reality, we still have a good month and a half left. There is still much I want to do in that time, including the following:

Let’s Go To The Movies:

The first movie I saw in theaters since several months prior to the start of the pandemic was Demon Slayer The Movie and it was excellent. Sadly, I haven’t been to a movie since seeing it in May and that definitely needs to change. When Johnny and I first started dating, we were always going on dates to the movies and there is plenty to pick from this summer – especially if you’re a horror fan like us. I am dying to see A Quiet Place 2, The Conjuring 3, and Don’t Breathe 2. A few weeks ago, Johnny and I watched Don’t Breathe because he had never seen it and it is just in time for the sequel’s release later this month. 😀

Fun In The Sun:

I love being able to use the pool at my apartment community and, despite making an effort to go weekly, it still doesn’t feel like enough! There is nothing better than taking a dip on a hot summer day and I just know I will regret not using the pool more often once it closes for the year. To remedy this, I plan on visiting the pool at least two times a week so I can make up for lost time when it wasn’t open last year.

More Pictures, Please:

One of my favorite types of posts to create for lifewithlilred are Outfit Of The Days. It is so much fun to me to style outfits, come up with an idea for a photo shoot, and selecting the perfect pics for my blog. It’s basically just me pretending to be on America’s Next Top Model and I live for it lol. It would be a shame to not take advantage of the beautiful weather and shoot some more summer looks so I am hoping to do another handful of photo shoots before the weather turns. Then, keep it posted for my all time favorite: FALL FASHION!!!

Every Day I’m Hustlin’:

I am on the verge of a 1,000 day writing streak on WordPress and am quickly approaching a year in a row of practicing five languages on Duolingo. I am incredibly proud of this and won’t stop even after I have reached these landmark achievements. It is so exciting to get one step closer to my goals every day and who knows? We just might have to do a 1,000th post extravaganza on lifewithlilred with a giveaway! What do you think? 🙂

Here’s to sunny days and lots of fun for all this August!!

What are your goals for the rest of the summer? Do you have any exciting plans? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

On Fire!

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On Fire!

Hi! Once I give myself a goal, I try my darnedest to stick to it – especially when it comes to my blog and practicing five different languages on Duolingo. I am proud to say that I have accomplished a two hundred and twenty day streak on Duolingo since my last update and I cannot wait until I hit one full year of daily practicing. I also reached a major milestone on WordPress, when a notification let me know that I am on an eight hundred and ninety day streak for posting on lifewithlilred. Woah!!!

When I am on the Duolingo app, the streak counter updates every day once I complete one lesson, so I always know where I stand. However, I have never received a notification for days of writing on WordPress and was blown away when my writing streak was announced. I never really thought about how many days straight I had been blogging on lifewithlilred and felt so proud of myself when I was able to put an actual number to it – which amounts to two years and a hundred and sixty days.

For eight hundred and ninety days, I have wrote before work and on the weekend and have been true to my goal of daily blogging. And, since the pandemic, I have made good on practicing with Duo every day too! These habits have become so ingrained in me and, now, I can’t imagine a day without my morning writing sessions and language learning. Writing and trying my hand at different languages have always been my favorite hobbies and it feels so good to accomplish such big milestones on the things that I am most passionate about.

I am very much looking forward to hitting a one year streak on Duo and a one thousand day streak on WordPress and I don’t plan on stopping there! Here’s to countless more days for all of us to reach our goals – I know we can do it. ❤

Do you have any goals for yourself? How do you stay motivated to achieve your goals? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Authenticity Project By Clare Pooley Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Authenticity Project By Clare Pooley Edition

Hello and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, without giving any spoilers away, we will be discussing a charming feel good book by Clare Pooley called The Authenticity Project. Typically, I tend to shy away from “feel good” books because I like the sense of adventure that comes with a thriller and I enjoy being shocked as well as trying to guess the grand reveal. However, after reading my last book club choice of The Wrong Family, I definitely needed a palette cleanser!

I really did love the last feel good book that I read called Miss Benson’s Beetle and wanted another story about ordinary people. From the pile of books that my mom got me from the library (Angel!), The Authenticity Project caught my eye. Just the title alone intrigued me and I wanted to know more. In its brief synopsis on the jacket, I learned that The Authenticity Project is a notebook that encourages people to share their truth honestly in its pages if they happen to find it.

This nice, light story line based around a simple but exciting concept sounded like just what I needed and I decided to give it a try. I am glad I did! The Authenticity Project was a delightful read so let’s get to it:

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Julian is a former famed artist who was very prominent in the social scene. Now, as a seventy-nine year old widower, he lives the life of a recluse and is incredibly lonely. Starved for connection, he decides to start The Authenticity Project in which he shares his story and shortcomings and encourages everyone who comes across it to do the same, pass it on, and live a more honest life. Julian thinks that the stories that each page holds has the potential to help someone but, little does he know, his project is about to turn his own world upside down.

The Authenticity Project ends up being found by Monica, an uptight cafe owner who yearns for the picture perfect life of marriage and a baby. After reading Julian’s story, she feels inclined to help him break free from his lonely life and begins advertising for someone to teach a weekly art class at her cafe with Julian in mind. To her own surprise, Monica wrote frankly about herself in the book too and passed it on to be found by the next person.

The next person? Hazard. The person after? Riley. Then Alice. And so on and so forth until The Authenticity Project’s “magic” creates a group of complete strangers who come together thanks to the stories on the pages with Julian right in the middle. The book worked in favor for Julian but how are the lives of the other characters in this interweaving tale benefiting from it? Read The Authenticity Project and find out!

As you all know, I love a book with multiple narrators and The Authenticity Project has six so, obviously, I was in heaven. I was excited to see how each character developed once they found the notebook and how they would show up among the existing characters. Despite having six narrators, The Authenticity Project balanced all of them beautifully and I felt a connection in some way to each of them. I also never felt like I was lacking in information about any of them because their highly personal notebook entry is shared when the character is introduced.

The idea of six lives melding together because of something as simple as writing in a notebook is such a lovely one and it was hard to read The Authenticity Project without smiling. I am also sure that many of you will be just as obsessed with the sassy high fashion senior citizen, Julian, as I was. He was fabulous and I aspire to be just as fierce as him when I’m almost eighty. 🙂

ANYWHO, my only qualm with this book is that it was a bit too obvious for my taste. It, honestly, felt like a more modern and grown up Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants. Sorry lol, I’ve been waiting this entire post to say that!! But there is some truth to that. Not only could you see each new development happen from a mile away but some of the character choices were a bit tired. See: Influencer whose life isn’t as perfect as she posts online as your starring example!

This seems like harsh criticism for a book that I just said was a delight but it really was and I enjoyed reading it a lot. It just had some of the classic feel good flaws and I wish that there was a little more depth to it. Overall, I am going to rate The Authenticity Project with a 6.25 out of ten stars. It was the perfect palette cleanser after just finishing a really intense book and if you are in that situation too, then I highly recommend it. However, if you’re looking for a more groundbreaking feel good read, then you could definitely take or leave this one.

What was the last book you read? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

So You Want To Be A Blogger?

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So You Want To Be A Blogger?

Hi!! If you would have told my twenty year old self that the blog I had just started would still be going strong for over six years, I would have been in stitches laughing. But, here I am now, over six years later with a following in over one hundred and ninety countries, islands, and provinces. Sometimes I still feel like I need to be pinched and woken up from this dream!

Whether you want to be an influencer or just have a page where you can share your thoughts, there is a lot of hard work that comes with the territory of blogging and that was just pre-coronavirus pandemic! I have the utmost respect for those who want to start a blog right now because COVID-19 has done my content creating no favors and I consider myself a seasoned blogger at this point.

If you want to be a blogger, it’s important to bear the following in mind. And, believe you me, I am constantly reminding myself of these tips:

Posting Often Is Important:

I have a lot of pride for my page because, within the first few months of my humble beginnings, I made the choice to dedicate myself to creating content to be posted daily. Fear not if writing a post every day seems like a daunting task, as every other day to every three days will suffice as you begin! Daily content gives your readers the chance to really get to know you and this is a beautiful thing because all of my followers feel like my dearest friends. Posting often gives your readers the opportunity to keep coming back and this will really help you build a strong base.

You Get As Much As You Give:

Writing gives me such great joy and it always has. This is why creating daily content has been a natural thing for me because I feel so happy every time I sit down at my laptop! Blogging is an amazing opportunity to share your truth, make new friends, and grow as a person and I was determined to have all of that when I started my page. I put my all into lifewithlilred every day and in return I feel appreciated, I have made best friends, and have grown exponentially. If you put your best effort into your page, good things will start coming your way even if it takes a while.

Don’t Be Afraid To Try Something New:

This may sound weird, but my blog keeps me motivated to try new things. Why? Because even if I don’t like it, I can still write about it! I would never say that I am a person who is opposed to change or new experiences but I am not the most spontaneous gal on the planet. My blog has helped spark a “Why not?” attitude that I used to have but got lost somewhere along the way. From cutting a rug with an elderly stranger on the dance floor during a family vacation to enrolling in community college despite not going right out of high school, my blog encourages me to take chances. Like I said, new experiences mean new content even if you end up hating it so it’s a total win/win. But, I have a feeling you’re going to love a lot of what you do dare to try! 🙂

One final thought when it comes to blogging is that it’s important to be kind to yourself. My page is dedicated to making people smile as they lose themselves in my own little world for a spell. Bad vibes are definitely not conducive to my goal of having a “feel good” page and this helps me get myself in check when I start to feel down. Writing is a labor of love and when you feel your best, it will come across in each post. ❤

Please don’t forget that if you ever want to guest blog on lifewithlilred, you can always email me at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com . You can also friend me on Facebook at: Sarah Mushenheim to keep up with more of the latest and greatest from Lil Red!

How has your blog helped you? What motivates you to keep writing? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Stress-Busting Means Of Engaging Your Creativity

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4 Stress-Busting Means Of Engaging Your Creativity

To open this post, we need not speak about the difficulties of the last year, and just how life has changed. It’s a well-worn topic. However, it’s very true that the importance of self-care and the willingness to keep ourselves in check (and to check up on others) has never been so important. As such, figuring out a few methods for achieving exactly that is certainly worth our time. One method that is rarely spoken of when it comes to self care is that of practicing creativity.

Why is this? Well, sometimes, creativity can feel like work or practice. It’s not as if playing a piano is something we can all sit down and just learn by ear, it takes hard work and practice to get good before you can begin really flexing your creativity. The last thing you want to assign to someone having a stressful time is more work.

Or is that the case? Does creativity have to feel like work or could it feel like play? Perhaps it could be both. After all, most runners are all too familiar with the feeling we get when starting a run (feeling groggy, tired, irritable) and then how fun it gets once the endorphins are flowing and we feel like we could keep going for hours. Creativity can function in that way. It can also help us feel confident, relaxed, energized, inspired, productive, useful, and able to express ourselves. That has to be worth something quite important, to the point where we would totally recommend keeping on top of those considerations from now into the long term.

Let’s see what creative ambitions can fit within this worthwhile category:

Journaling:

People rarely feel that journaling is a creative hobby, but it truly is. Putting your thoughts, ideas, impressions, beliefs, or experiences down into written form can be very cathartic. Journaling can not only help you expel your ideas more readily, but it helps you understand exactly what you were thinking and why. This is doubled when you return to that which you’ve written and see just where you were at the time, and how you’ve grown. Giving yourself this kind of insight is not only a great practice for your mental health, but it can help you learn a new skill. Writing isn’t easy and it takes plenty of practice to get good at. A journal is a fantastic place to become more literate. It can also serve our next task:

Creative Writing:

People often think that creative writing needs to be strictly within a category. Either you’re writing poetry, a short story, a novel, or a travel log. That’s not true, of course. Writing is whatever you’d like it to be. Some of the best writing we have is when authors have the courage to break the rules, like the novel Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce, filled with difficult-to-decipher language that is both strange and very curated, almost poetic.

Creative writing helps us focus on our thoughts and what impressions we may wish to grant an audience, but it also helps us present a story line, write our thoughts for people to read, or perhaps veil our artistic insights in poetry or songwriting. Creative writing, like journaling, can be quite cathartic except the rules are much more open and freeing, giving you a sense of potential in every word you jot down. Why not try and write a page long stream of consciousness this week? It might inspire you to further expand your creativity.

Arts & Crafts:

Of course, many people prefer feeling like they have something tangible to offer, and arts and crafts can help us focus on actually making something rather than endlessly reflecting. That can be great to keep us focused and somewhat distracted, rather than ruminating on the tough times we’re going through.

For instance, you might find that putting together a wonderful mandala kit helps you create a beautiful decoration that you take pride in every time you see it. Arts and crafts can also serve a real purpose. You might use your seamstress skills to fix up some of your old clothes or reupholster your furniture by giving it a lick of paint and a varnish. Maybe you’ll just reclaim some wood and use a chisel and hammer to try your hand at amateur sculpture in your garage. Having a project like this on the go can feel very rewarding, as over time it takes form and you see your plans come to actual life.

Painting:

If you’re looking for some inspiration, there’s a special Twitch channel playing Bob Ross episodes 24/7, showcasing how even amateurs can enjoy painting and get something from it if they try. Why not gather some paints and give it a shot? You could mess around with watercolors and have fun with your teenage child. You might decide to do a self-portrait, something fun and whimsical or perhaps as realistic as you can try to make it. You can also experiment with the surfaces you paint on if you like, such as painting a beautiful family mural in your kitchen or corridor wall with images of your loved ones.

Don’t discount painting just because you may not have had time to enjoy it before. The process can be highly rewarding if you give it time, piece by piece, with a little verve and care.

With this advice, we hope you can more easily see the benefit in trying a new creative passion, even if you’ve never touched that process before. These suggested activities are cheap, fun, and can sustain you during difficult times. Best of luck!

Featured Image By: Pexels