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Snapshot Inspiration

Morning Revival: Busting Out a Doodle Journal

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
-Maya Angelou

I recently started a new job and traded my stop-and-go commute downtown for an express bus along Chicago's lakeshore. While I loved working amongst the high rises, my new workload is exciting in too many ways to count. New chapters in life often bring with them new vistas. I've left my skyscraper perspective for this stunning view through a streaky bus window.

 Hyde Park, Chicago

Photo by Heather Linder

Public transportation definitely has its drawbacks. For instance, my bus ride takes about 25 minutes, and I live 7.4 miles from work (which is actually incredibly speedy for this city. Three cheers for express runs!). I also only have a couple of chances to grab the right bus before I'm doomed for tardiness.

However, the perks are numerous. I love having the chance to collect my thoughts, listen to music, read, check Instagram, etc., first thing in the morning rather than having to navigate traffic or wait impatiently at stop lights. (I've also grown to hate parking so hopping off at my stop and walking right into work is freeing.) But mostly, I love that every morning, guaranteed, those short 25 minutes are all mine. I don't have to talk to anyone or get anything in particular done. I can stare out the window and dream while the day is still full of possibilities.

I always keep a journal handy for those occasions when, hey, the creativity just can't be contained. I'm a huge believer in journals, both for writing and for drawing, and the ride to work each morning is that perfect pause between the getting-out-the-door hustle and the ensuing craziness of a full day in the office. I tend to do my best writing at night (plus the ride is a bit shaky) so lately I've been jamming to some mellow and sweet tunes while sketching whatever comes to mind and works its way out of my pen. Here's a recent masterpiece. Don't worry; I won't quit my day job.

 skyline doodle

Photo by Heather Linder

The act of doing something artistic tends to revive my senses and get me thinking outside of the box again. Though not art-related, my day job requires me to be a creative problem solver. Drawing, writing, and reading all help keep my energy tank full and my mind ready to be stretched. I may credit my doodling with the next mission accomplished.

So how do you like to start each day?

Heather Linder

Heather is a journalist and writer living in Chicago with her composer husband and art-loving puppy, Lancelot. She's on an endless quest for the city's best coffee and is endlessly inspired by Chicago's magnificent skyline. Heather is a bookworm, aspiring chef, and NPR fanatic. She's in the process of teaching her beagle to use a French press and overcoming her fear of DIY.

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Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.

Albert Einstein

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