A great post from a couple of years ago from James Somers that Chris Guillebeau pointed to recently – More people should write – with a challenge to all to take up a creative habit:

That’s the promise: you will live more curiously if you write. You will become a scientist, if not of the natural world then of whatever world you care about. More of that world will pop alive. You will see more when you look at it.

Somers conveys so well what I’ve experienced. When you are intentional about regularly expressing yourself it raises your antennae to life. I’ve challenged myself to post something on this site every day, so I wake up each day knowing I must come up with something worth sharing. And I see the world just a little differently than I did when I wasn’t writing every day. I’m on the hunt for ideas and insight and experiences that I can wrap these keys around.  I’m more curious and primed for searching, for inquiring, for consumption that sparks creation.

It’s how a photographer sees beauty the rest of us miss. His intention to capture images opens his eyes to marvels all around, marvels those not armed with a camera and a desire to tell a story most likely never notice.

(I’m curious, now that most of us have these terrific cameras in our pockets and ways to easily share photos, if this is turning around, if more people are intentionally searching for beautiful moments to capture and share. The Instagramification of our culture could have some unexpected merit if it means more people are opening their eyes to the world around in ways they never did before.)

The intent to express yourself sparks imagination and stokes curiosity. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike before putting the words down. It works the other way around. Just commit to expressing yourself regularly, even if you don’t know where the ideas will come from. Write, draw, speak, make music… whatever delights you, and summon the muse with your action. Start each day with the intent to express yourself, and you will end up inhabiting more mindfully aware and interesting days.