Reclaiming Your Creative Self Offline


Laura Paisley Beck

Laura Paisley Beck

Freelance Content Creator

How often do you unplug? As a freelance writer I stare at the computer screen for hours on end, daily. I broke up the monotony by walking to a coffee shop 30 minutes away or finally taking a shower. It wasn’t enough. You might be working from home, reading this and nodding your head (Oh that neck stretch feels good). Thanks to some art therapy, I illuminated three ideas: 

  1. I need a daily work routine to sync body and mind, yet boost productivity.
  2. My brain craves creativity and inspiration that I’m not finding on the internet.
  3. I want unplugged tactile brain projects that allow my eyes and hands to stretch.

Unplug & Tap Into All Sensation

Anyone else having a midlife crisis with your creative self? I hear podcasters politely freaking out over Ai taking over their jobs and reporting on scary anti-gay legislation. Hugs! I can’t help but want to send everyone custard filled pastries and a bag of Just Coffee with instructions to brew strong coffee to-go and wander to a beautiful picnic area to savor everything. Savor the sun shimmering on water, the scent of trees breathing and flowers blooming. Hear the few bees  left buzzing or that seagull calling. Feel your breath against your ribcage and tune in to your heartbeat. Pull on your toes while trying to scrape the sky with your nose. Draw kindness in the clouds with your mind. Maybe hum. Melt into a human again after roboting online.

Recycle & Reorder

Way way back in the retail days of my early twenties, an English professor and regular customer of mine suggested I read Bird by Bird, and Writing Down the Bones. After consuming those books like loaded nachos I found myself obsessing over words and messing with the writing process. I cut up my favorite magazine articles into single words and stored them in mint tins. 

A glue stick next to an Altoids tin filled with words cut out of magazines.

Then I’d take off for a nice long bike ride with a backpack full of notebooks, stationery, fountain pens, glue sticks, and my tins of words to write long letters and play with poetry on a beach or under a majestic tree. And if it wasn’t too windy, I’d grab a pinch of words from the tin and challenge myself to glue them together into silly poems I would never write. I glued words together for internal rhymes, alliteration, or irony. I’d turn nouns and adjectives into verbs and giggle to myself. It was so much fun, I leaned on this process to fight writer’s block for decades afterwards. Journals upon journals carried stiffened crunchy pages of “pinch poems.”

Losing Your Love

Some phrases were so interesting and unique, someone I lived with snooped into my journals and stole several lines from these “pinch poems” to create an entire art show of prints. I acted flattered but I felt violated. Has anyone ever stolen your diaries and exposed what you wrote? Did you handle it well? I want to. I want to reclaim this process but how do I recreate it in an entirely new and refreshing way? 

An Altoids tin full of cut out words, a little bottle of Mod Lodge, a cup with a paintbrush, and a pair mace rhinoceros covered in word collage.

Introducing, Inspo Rhino!

The local art store had papier mache rhinoceros on clearance. Immediately the idea of decoupaging words on a 3D object tickled my brain. Giving myself permission for “art unplugged” presents new physical and creative challenges for me every morning before I write. It feels good for my brain. The more I strategically plastered words over this one little rhinoceros’s bumps, crevices and curves, the more rhinoceros I wanted. This Saturday I rode my bike downtown and bought the rest of the rhinos in the clearance bin, all nine of them. 

Why Should You Care?

  • Chances are, you also want to reclaim something that was stolen from you.
  • You forgot that you are better at messing with words or telling stories than Ai.
  • You need inspiration to try something new, unplugged, and tactile. Playful and joyous.

Waking Up With Art

Ironically, I also started a Wa’am Writes Twitch stream most mornings at 6:30 AM, in which I start with a cappuccino and work on my Inspo Rhino to wake up my brain before writing. I dance a little every 30-40 minutes. It works (more on trying new things in another blog post). For now, I’m excited to resurrect my word collage work and watch crazy collections form around a horned paper desk pet. Eventually I’ll create a herd of word rhinos. I’m also finishing my book, writing blog posts, and finding incredible balance. What are you creating offline?

If you find this inspirational and create collage poems, I’d love to see them on Instagram! Tag me on your post. You’re awesome!

About Laura Paisley Beck of Wa’am Writes, LLC

Laura Paisley Beck sharpened her copywriting skills as a serial entrepreneur and corporate trained salesperson for decades. She started Wa’am Writes, LLC to finally live out a happy, healthy, comfortable life as a writer. Her sales and business experience + writing skills = copywriting super powers to help uplift businesses and organizations she believes in. When she is not writing and networking, Laura enjoys long walks with Janis Pup, dancing, cooking, silent sports outdoors, seeking Wow (Woods or Water) and dreaming of digital nomad life in Portugal. Want a colorful, experienced, successful writer for your content? Schedule time with Laura Paisley Beck today!