Staying Creative // Lisa Galek

Staying Creative

Hi, friends! I’m back with the next installment of my Staying Creative series. I’m excited to introduce you all to Lisa — an inspiring friend of mine who shares my love for words. Her inspirations definitely speak to my word-loving heart, and I hope you’re as inspired by her interview as I was.



First of all, big thanks to Katie for letting me contribute to this series and inviting me to appear on her beautiful and inspiring blog!

So, what’s inspiring me right now? Well, that’s a good question.


This one is kind of obvious, right? Who doesn’t love working for themselves? Who wouldn’t be inspired by a new adventure every day? Well, it took me a long time to get here.

It’s kind of weird to think of myself as an “artist.” Up until a few months ago, I probably would have thought of myself as a regular old cubicle dweller. Certainly not as someone anyone else would look to for inspiration. I was working as an editor for a major company in Cleveland, and while my work was creative, that creativity was squeezed in between endless meetings, deadlines, and paperwork. I badly needed some inspiration in my life.

The thing I missed most while doing my job was actually writing. Since I was mostly reworking other people’s stuff, I didn’t have as much opportunity to come up with things on my own. Yes, editing is creative, but I had an itch and I needed to scratch it.

So, I decided to make a change.

I quit the regular job and started doing freelance writing. Though quitting a full-time job in a bad economy seems insane, so far it’s worked out pretty well (thanks to the support of my awesome husband). So, why is writing and working on my own terms so inspirational?

  • I get to write. Every day. Yay!
  • I set my own schedule every week. That means lots of working in my P.J.’s.
  • Every week is something new and different. New assignments, new projects, new ideas and inspiration.
  • I’m my own boss. ‘Nuff said.

But the #1 one reason freelance writing is so awesome and inspirational…


Being at home more has given me a chance to spend more time with my family, which includes my two lovely daughters – Elizabeth and Gwendolyn.


My girls inspire my work in so many ways. Sometimes its obvious, like when I’m working on writing geared towards kids. Sometimes, they’re just laughing at my corny jokes (kids love fart jokes, which makes me feel better when I throw one in somewhere). But, most of the time they’re just hanging around, being their adorable selves, and lighting up my life.

Of course, there are always those times where I have to throw on the TV so I can proofread something (“Hold on, girls, Mommy is looking up the correct spelling of the word “latte”). So, I’m grateful when they don’t freak out over my work and home worlds colliding.

#3 – BOOKS

Last, but definitely not least. Books always inspire me. Any time I have questions, worries, concerns, or just down time, I turn to books. (Sure, I also turn to people too, but until I can resurrect Jane Austen and make her my best friend, I’m still gonna need to keep my copy of Pride and Prejudice handy).

Pretty much the only downside to being a freelance writer and mom is that these other awesome things take away from the precious time I could be spending with books. Sure, family and writing come first, but books are my first love.

Before I could write, before my daughters were even though of, there were books. And I was a reader. So, anytime I get a chance to snuggle up with one of my favorites or a new favorite-in-the-making, I take it.

Here’s a little tribute to my all-time good reads:

  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  • The Bible by God (and various other folks)

So, that’s what’s inspiring me right now. How about you?

Lisa is a freelance writer and editor, and you can connect with her via her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thanks for sharing your inspirations and creative journey with us, Lisa!

* * *

How are you staying creative these days? I’d love to hear about your current inspirations. (You can use this hashtag to share them on Twitter:  #BeInspiredStayCreative.)


Warming Up for Winter

As we head into November, I hate to admit it, but winter’s coming… ;)

So, I’ve been collecting cute + cozy pins and designing little art pieces to get warmed up and ready.

In terms of style, I’m inspired by bright coats (like this adorable one by Lauren Moffatt) and super-cute, but functional boots (like this pair by Modern Vice that I spotted on Eat, Sleep, Wear). (I’ll soon be on the hunt for stylish steals when it comes to boots & coats. Have you had any luck finding any gems this season?)

And, because I am, of course, a huge fan of all things cozy, as I gear up for the winter months, I’m stocking up on my favorite cider (honeycrisp!), lots of books to read (like Kate Morton’s new one), and my favorite fall and winter-scented candles (amber is always a favorite).

What about you? What are your favorite styles/cozy accessories this season?

{image credits top to bottom, left to right: 1. Modern Vice; 2. Lauren Moffatt; 3. Drink Cider artwork created by me for A Place to Dwell}

All design elements and typography by A Place to Dwell

Inspired City: Fall Library Date

I love library dates.

I love wandering around, row after row, searching for new books to read. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend a slow, relaxing Saturday. I think I might be happiest when I’m surrounded by books. ;)

I don’t know about you, but even though it’s only Wednesday, I’m already thinking ahead to this weekend. If you have the time, I encourage you to treat yourself to a fall library date. Pick up your favorite fall-inspired drink, and head to your local library. Take your time. Look at all the books on display for reading inspirations, wander up and down the rows, and see what you discover. You never know, you might just find your new favorite author or book!

Happy searching! :)


I’ve already been compiling my fall reading list.

Here’s what’s on it so far:

Love Does by Bob Goff (currently reading!)

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

Blog, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho

What about you? What’s on your list?

{photos by LuSarah SEAS}

Amazing Things

{artwork by Mary Kate McDevitt}

I’m reading The Circle Maker, and one of the things I’m learning is the importance of trusting in and praying over God’s promises.

One of the promises He’s placed on my heart recently is what He promised through Joshua:

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

So, so good, right? :)

Something I used to think about, journal about, and pray about often is this: I am living every day in anticipation, ever thankful for His faithfulness.

God’s promise in Joshua is just the reminder I needed to keep living life that way.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that God is good and He does amazing things.

A Heart That Trusts

I’ve been reading a lot lately — taking in as many beautiful words as I can.

And in the midst of all those words and stories, God’s been speaking to me.

His main message? Trust.

I finished One Thousand Gifts this weekend, and I feel like I could keep going back and rereading so many of the pages (which I’m doing a bit of this afternoon, as a matter of fact, as I write this blog).

The author, Ann Voskamp, writes such challenging and inspirational words about trust an area of my faith that I feel God is really challenging me in this season. It’s tough work — this pruning, this teaching that He’s doing in my heart and in my life, but I believe the fruit of it will push me even closer to Him and give me bold courage to follow wherever He leads.

I liked that in One Thousand Gifts, Ann talks about trust being work, taking action, taking discipline: Believe is a verb, something that you do. Then the truth is that authentic, saving belief must also be? The very real, everyday action of trusting. Then a true saving faith is a faith that gives thanks, a faith that sees God, a faith that deeply trusts?

And she says that our daily work must be to trust, referencing John 6:29 AMP — Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger]. She then writes: To trust in the Son, to trust in the wisdom of this moment, to trust in the now. And trust is that: work. The work of trusting love. Intentional and focused.

I think about how my trust in God has ebbed and flowed during the last few months. How I’ve questioned Him and wrestled with Him a bit over various circumstances I’ve found myself navigating.

But like Ann, I believe this, too:  I know my supreme need is joy in God, and I know I can’t experience deep joy in God until I deep trust in God.

Trust is everythingshe writes.

I think she’s right.

Her main focus of the book is the practice of eucharisteo (giving thanks), hence the book’s title One Thousand Gifts. And in her chapter specifically about trust, she connects the two beautifully.

I am changing, deep changing, and I am giving thanks, doing eucharisteo and eucharisteo is eureka, and I know why there’s no fear and why had I never seen it before?

Thanks is what builds trust.

Such a simple sentence with such immense meaning. Thanks is what builds trust.

She goes on to write:
How do you count on life when the hopes don’t add up?

The hopes don’t have to add up. The blessings do.

Count blessings and discover Who can be counted on.

* * *

I’m going to continue to count my own blessings and share them, here.

And as I abide in Him, and He in me, I look forward to discovering more of who He is and more of what He has planned for me.

{Imagine the Possibilities artwork by Penelope Dullaghan from the book Desire to Insire}

Vintage Lettering Love

Lately, I can’t get enough of vintage lettering — especially chalk lettering. I’ve been collecting inspiration on Pinterest and can’t wait to get a copy of the book Scripts: Elegant Lettering From Design’s Golden Age.

I’ve got some plans to use vintage-inspired typography in some upcoming art and blog projects, and I look forward to sharing those here! :)

Aren’t these images inspiring? They make me want to grab my sketchbook and start playing with letterforms.

{ Drew Melton of }

{ Molly Jacques of }

Dana Tanamachi }

For more inspiration, check out this great article in the Wall Street Journal about chalk-lettering artist Dana Tanamachi. Her video interview below also is super inspiring!

Happy weekend!

What I Needed Today

I needed to get out today — away from the clutter at home and the clutter in my mind.
I needed to feel the sunshine and the wind in my hair.
I needed to let the sounds of people talking, children playing, and the chimes of a nearby church’s bells surround me — but not distract me.
I needed to write out my prayers and get lost in a book.
I needed to feel my pen move across the page, capturing thoughts and questions, hopes and doubts.
I needed to seek God and know that He was right there with me.

So, I did.

And it was lovely.

Vintage Books + Hot Cocoa

It’s been the kind of day that calls for good books and hot cocoa.

After grabbing lunch at a cute local diner with family, I’ve settled in at home to drink cocoa, do some blog/creative project brainstorming, and perhaps work a bit on organizing my craft supplies.

I hope you’re warm and cozy today.

P.S. How cute is that vintage book bundle? It was a Christmas present from my Aunt this year.