Sarah McCarten

Thirty things that feed your creative soul. A guest post from Esther Emery.


thirty_thingsEsther lives in a yurt. If you’re going to take creative advice from anyone it should be someone who lives in a yurt. Esther this is inspired, but practical – I love it. Thank you.

1. Stand under the shower in the morning. Lift your hands up to the sky and say, “I am willing. I am ready.”
2. Repeat the above, until you mean it.
3. Draw something. Grow something. Bake something.
4. Don’t skip those last three. I know, there are excuses. Do it anyway.
5. Remember your dreams.
6. If you don’t remember your dreams, make them up.
7. When you have an idea, WRITE IT DOWN. (I know, there are excuses. Do it anyway.)
8. Read scripture.
9. Read somebody else’s scripture.
10. Read it out loud. Read poetry out loud. Read it all out loud.
11. Turn off the radio.
12. Look out the window. (Look hard.)
stella painting13. Copy a masterpiece.
14. Teach your kids the structure of a limerick. Teach somebody else’s kids the structure of a limerick. Tell them you’ll make them any lunch they want if they can ask for it in limerick form.
15. Call a friend on Monday. Tell her you’ve written/made/recorded something awesome and you’ll give it to her on Friday. Start it Thursday night.
16. Write an inappropriate haiku.
17. Read something that you couldn’t write yourself. (Get off the Internet.)
18. Listen to Peter and the Wolf.
19. Make a list of things that make you laugh.
20. Make a list of things that make you angry.
21. Write/paint/sculpt/compose/collage/sing/choreograph the thing that shows up on both lists.
22. Do a kind of art or creativity that you’re not good at. (Do it anyway.)
23. Perform it. Be embarrassed. (Do it anyway.)
24. Take the role or job that scares you. (Do it anyway.)
25. Sing a song you liked when you were a child.
26. Write a letter to someone who is dead. (Do it anyway.)
27. Make time for whimsy, preferably your own, but if you think you have none, borrow some from a child.
28. Make time to witness suffering. If you can’t think of a way to do this, try meditation; that probably will work.
29. See the world. Every square inch and mile is rich with beauty, suffering, betrayal, restoration. If you have a hunger to create, these are all the pieces and parts you need.
30. Pay attention. Pay attention. PAY ATTENTION.

sadie and me

Esther Emery was once a theatre director and playwright in San Diego. Now she’s pretty much a runaway, currently living off grid in a yurt on three acres of Idaho mountainside. She does ridiculous and courageous things in pursuit of creativity and authenticity, and blogs about it at

Author: sarahmccarten

14 thoughts on “Thirty things that feed your creative soul. A guest post from Esther Emery.

  1. This is full of inspiration!

  2. I will have to put this list up on my shower wall and start checking them off. Good list

  3. Pingback: How to Feed Your Creative Soul

  4. #14! YES! I totally want to try that. 😀 #16? hahahaha! I love your whole list, thanks! Paying attention to today; it’s a beautiful one.

    • My brother does a party with pie and inappropriate haiku every Thanksgiving. Ha! Wanna think of somebody who lives the creative life? That brother is a world champion juggler, used to be formation skydiver, musician and learning the cyr wheel. He’s an amazing person.

  5. I absolutely love this. Especially #29. Thank you!

  6. I absolutely love this. And feel inspired and challenged. Thank you. Esp #29.

  7. Thank you Esther, I am feeling my whimsey coming on!
    Blessing to you on your amazing journey. You are lighting the path.

  8. I started writing down the numbers that were my favourite on this list, but there were far too many. This is wonderful, Esther! Thank you!

  9. I love this, Esther. I keep trying to pick a favorite, but can’t because they’re all too good. 15 and 16 come close to the top. You make me smile, and think.

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