Untangle Your Creative Threads

Friday 17 July 2020 - Posted by Julia McCutchen

The main challenge Sarah brought to our mentoring session was that she felt completely overwhelmed with too much going on in her life.

She had all sorts of projects on the go relating to home, family and work priorities as well as her clear intention to write her book this year, come what may.

As a naturally creative person, Sarah loves all that she’s doing; yet she wasn’t making as much progress as she wanted to with her writing, and despite her best intentions, she was struggling to keep up and that was getting her down.

Creatively Organized AND Creatively Alive

As the session developed, it became abundantly clear that Sarah was regularly wasting time and energy unnecessarily because she hadn’t realized just how important it is to be creatively organized as well as creatively alive.

Sarah had ideas for her different projects all over the place and was carrying so much around in her head that even when a window of time presented itself she felt confused about what her next priority should be.

Her creative threads were in a real tangle at every level!

Clearing the Physical AND the Energetic Space

When I reflected back to Sarah what was actually happening, she had an “aha” moment of realization and saw the situation clearly for the very first time.

I explained that some degree of creative organization is essential to provide the focus that facilitates a deep creative flow because getting organized at the physical level also clears the energetic space.

This is how to untangle the creative threads and manage multiple projects simultaneously or handle all the different aspects of big projects without overwhelm.

Here’s the How

    • Cultivate the positive habit of capturing your ideas when they arrive. Record voice memos on your phone or jot notes down on paper as soon as they come to you.


    • Create folders for each project and each component of large creative projects. I love using brightly coloured folders and put all the ideas I’ve noted into its relevant folder.


    • Make lists of actions you need to take for each project to go in the folders you’ve created. Download what’s in your mind onto paper to create space for new ideas and greater clarity.


    • Review your lists and identify your next priorities. When you’re working on several projects simultaneously, select the most important actions from each list.


    • Schedule your chosen priorities, take action; then review and repeat until completion. Ideally you’ll make some progress and review your priorities daily.

Sarah decided that this would be a good way forwards for her and dedicated several chunks of time over a period of about ten days to organize herself and her various projects.

By the time she had finished all her folders, lists and scheduling, she was elated from the relief she felt as the chaos of overwhelm that had been her pattern for so long had completely dissolved.

She was also delightfully surprised at the boost this process gave to her creative productivity and flow, and she’s now writing regularly and keeping her other projects moving forwards!


  • I like these ideas and find that I am already doing some of them since I am a fairly organized person. However, I still struggle with making time to write. I tend to want to clear things away before I write but that sometimes takes a while especially as I age (75) and am getting slower at doing things in general. Will appreciate any suggestions you have to offer.

    • I understand about wanting to create space before you write Helen, and encourage you to do so as clearing space in your external environment also has a positive effect on clearing your inner space.

      My suggestion for you is to take action with this in advance of your writing time so that it’s all ready for you to dive straight in when you sit down to write.

      For example, if you write first thing in the morning, clear the space the night before. Try that approach and let me know if that helps!

  • I’ve had some serious trouble organizing my creativity in the past, but I can’t wait to use Julia’s tips here! I have a feeling they are going to really help me get organized and start creating!

    Thanks Julia!

    • That’s great to hear David, thanks for sharing! Hopefully you’ll feel the benefit of this approach straight away; then ideally it will become a natural and effortless stage in your creative expression. I’ll look forward to hearing about the fruits of your creative projects in due course!

  • Its always good to read these blogs, and especially so in this period of lockdown as I seem to be so much busier, as I’ve got to do everything myself. I am very aware of advancing age and, although I already do most of these things, this has been a very good reminder to me to keep up all these good habits.Thank you Julia for another very helpful blog. They always seem to drop in at the right moment for me!

    • I’m so glad to hear that the blogs continue to be helpful and drop in at the right moment for you Daphne. I wish you well with all that you’re being and doing!

  • Creating space is my mantra! But the tip on recording the inspiration when it arrives is great. I just had one while walking in nature which is often the case. I try to rhyme words with the ones coming in so I can then get back and begin writing. But yes, its so important to find a way to jot down the tidbits!

    • Good for you Susan. Yes, capturing the fragments when they arrive really serves to strengthen your creative practice. Voice memos on your phone also works!

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