Tried & Trusted : Belkin Qode Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2

Recommended Resources for Creatives

A short review of my new Belkin keyboard case – and why I love it so much. 

After many visits to my local apple store to play with seriously research the new iPad Pro, with its fancy soft-touch smart keyboard that was such a joy to type on – I decided it would be a worthwhile investment in my work and my writing and I should definitely get one. 

But I kept thinking how I had a perfectly fine iPad Air 2 that did pretty much everything I need and was light and portable enough for me to enjoy my beloved garden writing sessions...

Eventually, it dawned on me that all I was really craving was the keyboard case! 

So why not, I wondered, see if I could get myself a nice keyboard case for the iPad I’ve already got and save myself hundreds of pounds?! 

After lots of research online, I finally chose the Belkin Qode Ultimate. 

I opted for this one because I’ve had Belkin products before and I know they’re well-made. They also have excellent Customer Service, which I really value. 

I also liked the look of it. Aesthetics are also vitally important, especially in a device I’ll use daily. 

So, I ordered it and waited, hoping and hoping that it would be as lovely to type on as the one I’d been playing with in the apple store…

I was not disappointed. In fact, I think I prefer this one. 

I love it. It has transformed my writing life and how I use my iPad. 

Win #1: I write more often and more easily – no more lugging bulky laptops and cables into the garden. 

Win #2: I spend less time at my desk, which was one on my recent health goals. 

Win #3: It does an excellent job of protecting my ipad and screen. (I tend to take it everywhere.) 

It also has a really long battery life – you can find all the full techy-specs here, if that’s your thing. 

So, if you’re looking for an iPad keyboard cover, I would definitely recommend Belkin in general and this case in particular. 

Available from Amazon. (See sidebar for my affiliate policy.)

And I’d love to hear if it has the same magical effects on your creativity! 

Danielle Raine Creativity Coach

Hi! I'm Danielle.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coachcreative coach danielle raine l

Welcome to Tried & Trusted, the reviews and recommendation section of my blog – designed to help you save time and avoid the creativity-sapping effects of choice overwhelm. 

Please note: I only endorse and recommend products and services that I have experienced myself and that I heartily recommend. 

Affiliate Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate and all Amazon links are affiliate links. (All other affiliate links are marked with **.)

Purchases via these links help to support this blog and keep it ad-free – at no cost to you.

 

 

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How to write a book on an iPad

“I really want to start writing my book, but first I need to get a new laptop / create the perfect writing room / free up more writing time…”

Writers often tell me they need certain items or setups before they can start writing their books or stories.

Two of the most common ‘essentials’ I hear are the right office space or computer.

And while I’m a huge fan of crafting the creative conditions that most support us – we can start without them.

They may make life easier and the process more enjoyable – but they’re not essential to begin.

We can agree that it would be heavenly to have an idyllic writing room and all the technology and uninterrupted time that we all crave for our writing.

And – even as we create those things, or wait for them to appear – we can choose to begin where we are, with what we’ve got.

We can still hold that lovely, inspiring vision of our Ideal Writing Conditions.

And we can begin writing now, even before they arrive.

So, if the perfect conditions are on your Writer’s Wish List, pursue them by all means – but remember that you don’t need to wait for them. 

If you have a book in you that is calling to be written, you can start now.

And to help you, I’d like to share how you can begin – today –  using whatever mobile device you have to hand…

Hi! I'm Danielle.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coachcreative coach danielle raine l

How to begin writing that book. Today.

Obviously, you could begin writing your book using the barest of essentials; paper and pen.

However, with our busy and highly mobile lives, this isn’t always the most practical solution for the modern writer.

(Carting piles of notebooks with you wherever you go could soon take the shine off your writing dreams…) 

So, for convenience and ease, we can harness our ever-present tech devices as helpful writing allies.

They can help us plan and outline our books, or even write the whole manuscript.

But which device to use? 

It is possible to write an entire book on your smartphone. 

I know one author who wrote her first book single-finger typing on her phone as she fed her baby, and another who wrote her book on her phone during her daily commute.  

I also know an author who never sits down to type a single word for his books – he dictates everything into his phone and has it transcribed.

So, if you have a smartphone, you have all you need to get started on that book.

But whilst it is possible to write your book on your phone, it’s not the ideal tool for extensive typing, crafting or editing.

However, if you have an iPad or tablet, I believe you have the perfect writing partner.

It’s much more ‘typing-friendly’ than a phone, especially if you invest in a keyboard case, yet it’s still portable enough to keep it to hand or carry it with you on your travels.  

Having a user-friendly and portable writing device means you’re more likely to catch those inspired ideas that appear during day-to-day activities, and more likely to collect them in your writing projects. 

It also means you can quickly and easily dip in and out of your book – this regular attention keeps it in your mind and keeps your creative senses tuned into the project. 

And this is how many books evolve – not from formal writing sessions, but from regular attention during the gaps of life.

Your book doesn’t need to be written in a series of official ‘sitting at writing desk’ sessions.

Books can be created from notes, snippets and inspired musings that grow into chapters, outlines and working drafts.

Books can be built from what starts as a jumble of collected thoughts, ideas that are worked and crafted and edited and polished into a finished, coherent work.

And you can do all of these writing stages on an iPad, anywhere and with any time you have available to devote to your writing.

I wrote my first books using a combination of note-taking on my iPod (a first generation iPod touch that I still use) and my desktop computer that I used for work.

These days though, I prefer not to write at a desk – I write in various spots around the house, as well as in cafes and outdoors.

And ever since I bought a keyboard case for my iPad, I write much more often, more quickly, easily and comfortably – wherever I am or choose to go. 

(After much research, I finally chose this one which I love.)

I now find that my iPad, keyboard-case and writing apps are the perfect partners to help me to collect my ideas and to easily keep working on them as I turn them into my next books.

 

wicker garden swing chair

{One of my favourite ipad-writing spots.} 

 

So, if you’re postponing that book project until you have the perfect conditions, laptop, office etc… I hope this post will inspire you to use your current devices as writing allies to get you started now.

Then you can start to enjoy some lovely soul-soothing progress with your writing, even as you wait for that idyllic writing office to appear…

And to help you see precisely how to create a book using an iPad, here are the apps and the processes I’m using to write my next book.

The iPad apps I’m using to write my next book

Notes

I love the Notes app that comes with all apple devices. It’s simple and all I need to jot down those ideas that like to arrive while I’m going about my daily life.

And now that it syncs across my phone and iPad, I use it to both collect and sort my ideas and writing snippets.

I’ve dabbled with other basic note-taking apps but this is the one I always come back to.

 • • • 

Wunderlist

List-making can be very soothing for the brain and a good antidote to creative chaos.

I enjoy more calm and creativity when I get all the ‘brain flies’ out of my head and into some coherent order.

So I use Wunderlist for the many different aspects of my life.

But I also find it helpful in organising my ideas and the many To Dos that crop up during any writing project.

I can collect relevant links and articles online and keep them all together in a project list.

I can make a list of all the actions I could take to help with my book ideas.

And I can make a list of chapters, sections and outlines, and then shuffle these around into Idea Buckets and Project Buckets.

This is how my books evolve – not just from dedicated composing, but also from lots of rearranging and developing of threads and ideas.

 • • • 

Evernote

Evernote is useful for longer writing sessions.

If I feel inspired to write an entire section or chapter, I’ll open a new Evernote page. (Wunderlist notes are limited in length)

I also like the ability to create notepad stacks in Evernote, so again I can shuffle and sort my collection of notes into coherent sections and chapters, and ultimately, my first completed draft.

(I’m always amazed how books seem to come together all of a sudden! As though they reach a point when the pieces all start working together and everything falls into place. It’s always a good writing day when that happens. 🙂 )

 • • • 

Dropbox Paper

I’m new to Dropbox paper but I am enjoying how clean and simple it is.

Cloud syncing is essential when you’re an avid note-taker – otherwise, you can become overwhelmed with too many notes and so much chaos that you don’t know where to begin. (So you don’t…)

I speak from experience.

I’m currently using Dropbox paper to collate my polished drafts – so I can clearly see what I’ve got in a good stage of development. 

paper is becoming the place for my completed pieces of writing, and Evernote is where I keep research notes, relevant quotes, initial thoughts and musings etc… –  everything else that supports the writing process.

• • •

Workflowy

I use Workflowy for outlining. 

After years of searching for an outlining tool that worked for me, I was overjoyed when I discovered WorkFlowy – so much so that I wrote a blog post all about it.

What I love is that it is infinitely zoom-in-and-out-able – meaning I can begin with a general idea, then drill down into more specifics.

For example, I can begin with a book idea, which I can then breakdown into an outline, then I can break each of those points into a chapter and so on…

I can even use it to outline paragraphs so I can be clear on the goal of each section.

I’m finding this a fantastic tool for outlining but I am a nonfiction writer – I don’t know if it would work as well in writing fiction.

If you’re a fiction-writing Workflowy user – I’d love to hear from you. 🙂 

• • •

iMindmap

I have been a keen mind mapper for decades.

I used to create paper mindmaps at schools, and then at art college we would do ‘mood boards’ using collage.

These days I mindmap on my iPad using the app from the father of mind mapping – Tony Buzan.

I like to keep it simple – I don’t tend to colour code or use images.

All I use this for is to collect my ideas, brainstorm and get everything out of the spinning loops in my head and onto a virtual page where I can see everything and tease it into some kind of order.

Again, I love that these are infinite and can take off in any direction (like my brain tends to do) and there are no paper edges to limit the flow of ideas.

These mindmaps also serve as useful reference guides when I get lost in the process – I can check back in and see what I was trying to achieve.

Sometimes though, just the act of mind mapping helps to create clarity and spark ideas, even if I never go back to review it.

• • •

Scrivener

And finally, the last stage of my books is to compile all those ideas, all those worked up and edited notes into something that resembles a first draft.

It may seem like my writing goes through a number of processes before it reaches this stage – and sometimes it does, that’s just how I work and how I most enjoy the process.

Of course, it’s entirely possible to write a book using Scrivener alone – I know it includes places for research and supplementary information.

For me though, I like to keep my Scrivener documents clean and clear – the book proper, so to speak.

I like to shape and plot and plan elsewhere, and then when my work makes its way into Scrivener, I am clear on the outline and the premise of the book.

Of course, there’s still the editing to be done and the polishing of future drafts.

But at least by this point, it feels like a book, or a book-in-progress.

• • •

I hope you find the behind-the-scenes process of my book-writing helpful!

And if you’ve felt that to write your books you had to have more than you do now, I hope you’ll begin to rethink how you could begin to start making progress right now.

There are many, many ways a book can evolve from idea to first draft.

I’m sharing my process to show how books can be written without the conventional desk time or traditional linear process. 

And after many years of testing other methods of writing, composing, crafting etc… I’ve found that this method of capturing, exploring, shuffling and then crafting is the most aligned with the way my mind works.

This may not be the fastest way to write a book, but it ensures the journey is easy and enjoyable (which ensures I write!) – and it keeps the projects moving.

It also has some benefits in bypassing resistance, eg avoiding the paralysis that can occur when you ‘sit down to write your book’.

In other words – it works for me.

I invite you to experiment, cherry-pick, tweak and test until you find what works best for you. 

And I hope some of these apps and techniques will spark some new ideas for how you can adapt your writing process so that you can start writing now, and writing more freely and more often.

If you like the idea of writing your next book on your iPad, I hope you’ll play around with these ideas – most of the apps are free, so you can easily try them out to see which ones work best for you and your creative process.

Good luck! And happy writing.

Let me know when you’ve written that book. 🙂

Danielle Raine Creativity Coach

PS If you’d like to follow my book-writing adventures, I’ll be sharing more behind-the-scenes over on Instagram, or you can join my newsletter list by signing up for any of my free gifts & tools for creatives. 

• • • 

PINNABLES…

CREATIVITY  •  INSPIRATION  •  WELLBEING

... because happy creatives are good for the planet. 

Domestic Goddess In Training – Apron

domestic goddess in training apron

 

Cotton twill apron with pockets

Available to buy on cafepress.com

Hi! I'm Danielle.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coachcreative coach danielle raine l

I’ve noticed a trend with many of my creative clients and readers – we don’t want to do housework!

In fact, my writing career began with my undomestic tendencies…

After learning how to conquer my housework blues, I set up a blog and wrote then published a book all about my bumpy journey to domestic bliss. 

And to celebrate, I designed an apron to uplift and adorn other Undomestic Goddesses. 

(If you’re curious about my journey, you can read the full story in my first book, Housework Blues.)

Danielle Raine Creativity Coach

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Pop Art Bananas – Thanks A Bunch thank you card

12.7 cm x 17.8 cm Thank You Card 

Available to buy on zazzle.com

Hi! I'm Danielle.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coachcreative coach danielle raine l

Kitsch colours and graphics make for a cool bunch of thank you cards.

Inspired by Andy Warhol and the Pop Art movement in the 60s.

(I was slightly obsessed with the music of The Velvet Underground in my youth…) 

And if you feel inspired to create some pop art of your own, there are now adult colouring books where you can channel your Inner Warhol…

Danielle Raine Creativity Coach

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CREATIVITY  •  INSPIRATION  •  WELLBEING

… because happy creatives are good for the planet. 

A little / great BIG Thank You card

12.7 cm x 17.8 cm Thank You Card 

Available to buy on zazzle.com

Hi! I'm Danielle.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coachcreative coach danielle raine l

Sometimes a little thank you just isn’t enough…

Design inspired by old school exercise books and vintage typewriters. 

I love having a stack of these in the house because I’m learning that gratitude is actually a very powerful creative force.

And if you’d like a book recommendation to convince you, Thank & Grow Rich by Pam Grout is a fun read exploring the power and magic of gratitude. 

 

 

Danielle Raine Creativity Coach

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How? Somehow. Possibility reminder for visionaries.

407mm x 407mm Framed Print

Available to buy on Redbubble.com

Hi! I'm Danielle.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coachcreative coach danielle raine l

Magic happens when you swap How? for Somehow

Try it!

It kick-starts your inner steeliness and sends your mind off in creative new directions.

There’s still a time and a place for pondering the Hows, but when there seems to be no clear way to go, try simply declaring;

Somehow.

And see what happens…

Danielle Raine Creativity Coach

PS If you’d like more on the power of believing in possibility, I highly recommend The Magic of Believing by Claude M Bristol. 

This was one of the first books that helped me truly understand the creative power of our marvellous human minds. 

There really is a powerful magic at play when we believe…

 

PPS I wrote a blog post all about the power of creative faith – you can read it here. 

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Be Kind & Prosper teal throw cushion (inspired by The Diamond Cutter)

40cm x 40cm Throw Cushion

Available to buy on Redbubble.com

Hi! I'm Danielle.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coachcreative coach danielle raine l

This design was inspired by the book, The Diamond Cutter; The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life by Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally. 

The book explores the principles of an ancient Tibetan text (also called The Diamond Cutter), as well as Geshe Michael Roach’s sparkling career in the diamond industry. 

It’s a rare and fascinating insight into both. 

The core principle of the book is the prosperity law of giving and reciprocity, ie in order to receive anything, we must first give it. 

This is a valuable practice for life and happily it’s also a good basis for a sustainable, soulful business. 

Kindness creates good karma. 

Being compassionate, generous and kind with your customers is always good for business. 

I designed this work as a reminder that Love and Business can go together beautifully. 

And the ever-popular teal / Tiffany Blue brings an uplifting colour pop to any neutral scheme.  

Be kind & prosper! 

Danielle Raine Creativity Coach

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Reduce worry and overwhelm; have a Scarlett O Hara Moment…

Flashback to 2010…

Today’s post is inspired by an idea from my early blogging days – when my focus was how to stay serene (or at last sane) if you were an undomestic goddess with a home to keep.

It’s a tip from my first blog, Make Peace With Housework:

The idea of having a ‘Scarlett O’Hara Moment’.

When I originally wrote about this, it was a suggestion to help reduce feelings of frustration and overwhelm for sufferers of housework blues.

I offered it as a psychological trick to help my readers keep calm and carry on. (Even though that’s now an overused cliché, I still believe it’s a powerful strategy for resilience, inner strength and success.)

If you’d like to read the original post, you can find that in the Make Peace With Housework blog archive.

But over the years, I’ve found it such a useful tool, that I’m updating it for general use and sharing it here too…

• • • 

What is a Scarlett O’Hara Moment?

Inspired by one of my favourite fictional heroines, a Scarlett O’Hara Moment is the simple decision to postpone worry.

In the classic film, Gone With The Wind, Scarlett has a habit of scheduling difficult decisions…

“I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy.

I’ll think about it tomorrow.”

~ Scarlett O’Hara

Now, this may seem childish or irresponsible at first, or it might even sound like denial – and it’s true that there are times when it’s not possible or appropriate.

But there are other times, lots of times during everyday dramas, when it could actually be a genius coping mechanism.

Because for all its childish simplicity – it works!

Psychologists now know that when we’re stressed or overwhelmed – we don’t think clearly, we don’t make the best decisions.

So whenever possible, Scarlett’s strategy is a perfect solution.

Those times in the midst of drama – when our emotions are high and our head is spinning – sometimes the best decision is to not make any decisions. Yet.

We can take a deep breath – and choose a Scarlett O’Hara moment:

the simple choice to think about it tomorrow.

And there’s so much relief in this.

(I speak from experience – it’s a strategy I’ve used often since I first wrote about it in 2010.)

This tactic gives you some mental breathing space which can really help you recover your balance and calm.

It takes the pressure off, even if only temporarily.

Intending to worry about it another day is far easier than trying to write it off completely.

Because you’re not trying to deny or suppress your frustration, you’re just filing it for future attention.

You’re scheduling it for a Less-Frazzled Later – a time when you’re better able to manage it with clarity and reason.

• • • 

There’s also a hidden benefit to this tactic…

When we stop pushing so frantically for a solution, many problems have a habit of ‘mysteriously’ sorting themselves out.

So, sometimes, when you’ve regained your calm, you realise that there was no need to worry after all.

By having a Scarlett O’Hara Moment, you saved yourself all that needless anxiety and stress.

But even if the issue does need addressing the next day, you can approach it with more balanced emotions, you can make a clearer assessment and ultimately better decisions.

I’ll admit, there will be times when this isn’t as easy as it sounds – but it does get easier with practice, I promise.

And even if you only manage this trick on every other attempt – you will reduce your angst by half.

As an incentive, remind yourself that it’s a practice that not only helps to soothe you in the moment – it will also bring more peace, calm and serenity to your life and relationships.

Because by postponing decisions and reactions for a Less-frazzled Later, you’ll enjoy the happy ripple effects of better choices, responses and solutions.

So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck in a worry-loop, take a tip from Scarlett:

If you can, make the decision to simply not worry about it, for now.

Take a deep breath, and decide to think about it tomorrow.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coach

Hi! I'm Danielle.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coachcreative coach danielle raine l

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5 days to clarity, focus & purpose…

Join me for a mini ecourse that walks you, step-by-step, to creating your Rudder Board.

5 days of simple tasks that create a blueprint of what matters to you and how to stay clear, on track and on purpose.

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The Rudder Board – my remedy for choice overwhelm and decision fatigue

The day we moved house last year, my husband asked me a simple question:

“Which cupboard shall we keep plates in?”

Seems like an easy enough question.

But I couldn’t answer him.

I just couldn’t get my brain to click into decision-making mode.

After the hundreds of choices and decisions I’d made in recent months, packing up our home of 15 years, handling the complex legal issues with the house sale – my brain had had enough of decisions and was refusing to make any more, at least for the time being.

Standing in our new kitchen, surrounded by boxes of pans and piles of plates, my whole family looking to me for answers, all I could do was admit:

“I’ve run out of decision-making juice.

I need to not make any more decisions for a while.”

Luckily my family understand my struggles with decision-making.

Or at least they’ve got used to it – ever since I told them about an article I read a few years ago, revealing that scientists had discovered humans only have so much decision-making capacity each day.

This is why!” I’d shared excitedly.

“This is why I sometimes can’t decide what to do!”

I’m always delighted when science backs me up in something I’d known but couldn’t quite explain.

So when I also read about the idea of the ‘mental load of mothers’, I heaved another happy sigh of relief.

(It seems, some lifestyles – CEOs, presidents, mothers of small/multiple children – are particularly taxing on our limited decision-making resources.)

These insights helped me so much.

Because in recent years, I’d noticed that my decision-making powers (or lack of) were getting in the way of the life I wanted to live.

I’d started to think I was just a dithering Libran who was weak-willed, unfocused, indecisive.

But discovering the effects of decision-overload on our human brains helped me to understand and forgive my so-called failings.

It helped me learn to recognise when my brain was simply tired of making decisions.

And it helped to share with my family that Decision Fatigue was a legitimate phenomenon – so they’d understand why some days a question like, Where do you want the plates? was more than I could cope with.

 

 

But even with an understanding family, life calls for many, many decisions, some large, but mostly small and seemingly inconsequential.

Yet all decisions have their effects.

All our daily choices build up over time to create the life we live.

And modern life is only getting more complex – in my Positive Psychology studies, I learned about ‘the anxiety of choice’ and its detrimental effects on our health and happiness.

For me, as a lifelong creative (who has learned to tap into inspiration on a daily basis) – one of the areas where I felt the most angst around choice and indecision was in my creative life.

I noticed that I wasted increasing amounts of precious creative time wondering which project to focus on.

I’d be full of ideas, yet when it came to time to take action on them, I’d flit from one project to another, making little progress with anything.

If I was working on one thing, I’d feel like I should be working on something else.

If I was working on that, I’d wonder if the first thing was right after all.

An acute case of Should I be doing something else? Syndrome – a common problem for many multi-passionate creatives.

I’ve known all my life that Librans have a tendency to struggle with indecision, but it was becoming more than a character trait, it was becoming a major obstacle to my career success.

It was also affecting my self-esteem – nobody wants to see themselves as flaky and indecisive, unable to finish anything.

It reached a point where I feared that my Libran indecisiveness, the mental load of motherhood and natural decision-making limits would block me from achieving anything worthwhile.

How was I going to write the books that were calling me to be written?

How could I create the dream career that my soul was craving?

How could I choose which actions were the ‘right ones’ to create the life I wanted to live, a life that felt meaningful, creative, productive and happy?

Choice overwhelm and decision fatigue left me feeling confused, dejected and lost.

Rudderless.

 

Luckily, I also have a more positive tendency to puzzle over problems until I find or create a solution.

Eventually, an idea began to form in my mind….

“What if I had a clear guide that I could refer to when my decision-making fuel was running low…?”

“What if I had a kind of map, to steer my life by – that I could check in with, whenever I got overwhelmed with decisions or forgot what really mattered…?”

“What if there was a tool I could use daily to remind me of my Bigger Picture goals, values and ambitions, so I don’t get lost and distracted by the minutiae of life…?”

And these What Ifs gradually grew into the kind of touchstone I was craving.

I created a process and one-page check-in tool I call The Rudder Board.

 

Introducing… The Rudder Board

It’s a kind of life map, that helps me tune back into my course and direction – helping me see clearly where I want to go.

A reference tool that helps me reconnect to my goals, making it easier to choose what to focus on and how to spend my time.

A device that preserves my precious decision-making fuel by helping me feel clear, focused and decisive in my life and work on a daily basis.

And I LOVE having this rudder!

It feels like a pocket North Star.

And I found my Rudder Board so helpful that I began sharing the process with my clients, who also loved the new clarity, focus and peace of mind it helped them find.

Our Rudder Boards helped us;

• feel clear on what matters, which makes decision-making easier 

• include our purpose in our agenda, so we feel on track in our daily lives

• prioritise the creative work we love and feel called to offer the world

• be crystal clear on the ‘right actions’, ie what we want to be spending our precious life units on

I used to share The Rudder Board process as part of my larger coaching packages, but I feel this is such a useful tool that I wanted to make it available as a quick-&-easy mini ecourse.

Because I know that I’m not alone in my choice overwhelm or Should I Be Doing Something Else…? Syndrome.

And I know that more and more heart-centred creatives are feeling called to a life of purpose and contribution – if only they could get clear and stay clear on what that is.

So I’ve wrapped up my process into a 5-day ecourse that walks you step-by-simple-step to creating your Rudder Board.

In less than a week, you could have your own clarity-&-focus touchstone that will help you avoid getting lost in dilemmas or wasting your precious decision-making fuel.

Because if, like me, you’re also prone to confusion, indecision, too many ideas or choice overwhelm…

… it feels so good to know that you’re doing what you should be doing. 

 

Your Rudder Board will help you tap back into that clarity and focus more quickly, more easily and more often.

So you can spend more time creating the work you’re here to create – and enjoying the process.

There are more details below if you’d like me to guide you in creating your own Rudder Board clarity tool.

And if you’ve also felt lost and overwhelmed with choices, I hope these insights will help you find clearer, calmer waters in both your creativity and life.

Because happy creatives are good for the planet. 🙂

 

To being clear, focused and productive – and all the lovely life-enhancing ripple effects that follow,

Danielle Raine Creativity Coach

Hi! I'm Danielle.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coachcreative coach danielle raine l

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My unusual remedy for creative overwhelm

If you’ve been with me for a while, hopefully I’ve helped you access the source of your inspiration and unleash your innate creativity.

So if you’re now on great terms with your muse, you may be familiar with a new level of creative challenge…

Creative overwhelm.

Also known as:

• Too many ideas

• A struggle to focus or choose projects

• Shiny Object Syndrome

These are real, and often unacknowledged obstacles on the creative path.

And they can sap the joy and fulfilment from the creative life. (The reasons we signed up in the first place.)

I know that for many a blocked creative, Too Many Ideas seems like a nice problem to have.

But still, it can be a problem.

Especially if you get so overwhelmed with ideas and projects that you never finish anything.

Or you don’t know what to focus on and end up wasting your precious creative time spinning in confusion.

Or you flit from project to project and making little progress with anything.

And since I’ve spent the last 5 years learning how to access and tap into inspiration – virtually on demand – it’s a challenge I am very familiar with.

But happily, I have recently found a surprising solution in an ancient philosophy…

 

Introducing… The Magic of Numbers

There’s an ancient art and science that explores the rhythms and cycles at play in our lives linked to the ‘energies’ of numbers.

This school of thought believes that we’re influenced by these energies and cycles depending on our own unique numbers, based on our date of birth.

It’s a little like the realm of astrology and horoscopes, but instead of identifying with star-signs, we discover and align with 9-step cycles.

We can use this cycle-system on a daily, monthly or yearly basis – or even over a whole lifetime.

Welcome to the fascinating world of numerology…

Numerology – the study of numbers and their meanings – is currently enjoying a renaissance, possibly because our Life Path Numbers can offer insights into our purpose and ideal careers.

But what I love about numerology is how it helps me to structure and pace my creative goals and dreams.

Because I have a tendency to have Lots Of Ideas and to want to create them All At Once.

I’ve learned this is not the most practical, productive or effective approach.

This is where my magic numbers come to the rescue…

When we know our numbers, we can identify what mode or energetic ‘season’ we’re in.

It’s little like understanding the rhythms of nature, where the creative process is aligned with natural forces, ie the best time to prepare the soil, when to sow our seeds, how long to wait and when to reap the fruits of our labour.

If, like me, you have lots of ideas or projects at varying stages of development, it can be really helpful to have a similar kind of insight and framework for your creative process.

I find that the 9-step cycle of numerology, with its different phases and ‘vibes’, is a perfect antidote to creative chaos and overwhelm.

It helps me plan and pace my projects, helping me choose what aspect to focus on and how to schedule my efforts effectively.

It provides an essential structural balance to my over-inspired tendencies.

It helps me to harness the energy and flow of my wild creative spirit in a way that leads to productivity, progress and the inner calm and confidence that those vital aspects bring.

Here are some of the benefits I enjoy by adopting numerology principles into my creative process and workflow…

The benefits of aligning my creative flow

with a balanced and productive cycle structure

• I can plan projects and goals in alignment with the right energies or seasonal themes – knowing when it’s time to move forward,  speed up, slow down or reassess.

• I enjoy balance and a manageable pace with opportunities to rest, recharge and recover.

• I can joyfully go for it with gusto when I know it’s ‘harvest time’!

• I get to experience deeper meaning, clarity, and a sense of purpose in my creative life.

• Understanding my process and rhythms brings peace and inner calm.

• There is a spirit-calming comfort in knowing that certain struggles are short term – that ‘this too shall pass’.

• I find it much easier to have faith in happier times and the inevitable upswing when I can see where I am in the creative cycle.

(And since faith and resilience are creative superpowers – this makes a huge difference to my work, and my quality of life.)

So if you ever struggle with having too many ideas, I highly recommend looking into numerology as a tool to tame any wild and overwhelming creative tendencies.

After all, if there are energies are at play in our lives – and there are undoubtedly some seasonal rhythms at work – wouldn’t you like to know what they are?

Then you can learn to ride the flows, instead of swimming against the current.

Or you could even just use the 9-step cycle as a way of pacing your creative projects and planning a manageable, productive schedule.

If you’d like to know more, I began my discovery of numerology with these books:

 

i see your dream job sue frederick    redesign your life using numerology felicia bender

 

 

Admittedly, it may seem a little complicated at first, but once you get used the language, it’s a fun and fascinating philosophy.

At least, it is for me – but I’ve always enjoyed maths and numbers. (As a teenager, I used to do extra maths exam papers for fun – I just loved numbers!)

But if you don’t share my love of maths and the joy of numbers, there are lots of resources online that can help you work out your own magic numbers.

Or if you’d like it done for you, I’ve created a new offering that reveals your personal numbers and cycles with a creative twist…

It’s a bespoke guide to show how you can best use your numbers to plan and structure your creative life and work.

More details below if you’d like to know more.

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So, there you have it – my unusual remedy to creative overwhelm.

I’d love to know if this strikes a chord with you!

Are you curious about the role of your magic numbers in your creative life?

If so, I hope I’ve given you something to think about and maybe a new solution to explore.

Because there’s more to being a happy, successful creative than just endlessly creating new things.

We need to find a way to work with our energies, rhythms and flows, as well as those of the wider world.

We need some kind of stabilising structure that helps us stay balanced, productive and inspired – not to mention happy and well.

Numerology provides that structure for me – and I love the peace and calm it brings.

So, if it sounds like the kind of balance you’ve been looking for, I hope you’ll explore your own magic numbers…

And let me know how you get on. 🙂

Hi! I'm Danielle.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coachcreative coach danielle raine l

Discover your magic numbers…

CREATIVITY  •  INSPIRATION  •  WELLBEING

... because happy creatives are good for the planet. 

Teaching writers to fish…

“It was as if Danielle was sitting next to me as I tried to write.”

 

These words from one of my lovely clients have given me an idea…

What if I could teach writers how to fish?!

Sort of.

Inspired by the saying: teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

What if I could teach writers a series of self-coaching skills?

Because as wonderful as coaching and 1:1 support can be, I believe the best coaches empower their clients to enjoy a new level of confidence and independence when the coaching is over.

No-one has their coach by their side all day, every day – when they are facing the dilemmas and quandaries and wobbles of life.

One reason I love email coaching is that it addresses this need to a degree – you can email your issues anytime, or as they occur, and sometimes articulating the question is all you need for the time being.

But I’m interested in helping writers coach themselves through the inevitable creative challenges, at all hours of the day or night.

Skills that will support them for many happy writing years ahead.

So I’m planning to distil my studies and training into a series of Self-Coaching Tips for the most common writing issues.

Have you met any of these creativity-zapping gremlins along your writing path…?

   • Procrastination.

   • Lack of time.

   • Self-doubt.

   • Confusion.

   • Inner critic.

   • Fear of others’ opinions.

I have a whole toolkit of magical and powerful techniques to reduce or eliminate these (often unnecessary) creative blocks.

Ways to help writers tap into their own resources and inner support skills when they need them most.

But I first I need your help.

So, if you’re a writer, and these self-coaching skills would be valuable to you – how would you prefer to learn them?

Email series?

Weekly articles?

Video?

Audio?

In-person?

Alongside a coaching programme?

I’d love to know!

If you’d like to help me shape this offering, please email me and/or leave a comment below with your thoughts and any other feedback you’d like to share.

As a thank you, I’ll send you a free copy of my book. Just let me know where to send it.

The creative path can be a bumpy one, yet the rewards are FABULOUS – and good for you!

I also believe that happy creatives are good for the planet.

So thank you for helping me change the world by spreading the creative magic and getting more writers writing.

And enjoying the journey.

 

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Hi! I'm Danielle.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coachcreative coach danielle raine l

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CREATIVITY  •  INSPIRATION  •  WELLBEING

... because happy creatives are good for the planet. 

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