Input/ Output

Have you ever heard of having creative input and output days? I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately– especially since I’ve been trying to remember where I first read about them. It’s really bugging me that I can’t think of it, but I am still really excited by the idea! The past two weeks have definitely been more focused on input more than output, and while I love inspiration days, I think I’ve gotten a little stuck. I totally agree with Abbigail in her post about why she writes — when I haven’t been writing or “outputting” enough I feel mentally sluggish and frustrated, so I’m hoping that next week will be more focused on output.


Input Day


1. Emily Henderson’s Materials Girl #5: I’ve been reading Style by Emily Henderson religiously so I can soak up all the interior design advice I can, since decorating isn’t exactly my strong suit. I’m basically going to do my best to copy her entire house in my new apartment. But not in a weird way, obviously. I thought the mix of colors and pattern in her latest Materials Girl post seems like a grown-up, livable version of my wedding colors, which I kind of love.

2. Lettering Set by Noel Shiveley and Alex McDonell, via Kelly Purkey’s Five on Friday: I think I need this quote written above my desk or tattooed on my forehead. It’s something I need to hear every time I start over analyzing my writing, work, life choices, outfit…

3. SMP Living’s Behind the Scenes with Britt Bass Turner: I loved everything about this post– I love Britt Bass Turner’s art and reading her thoughts on her art and career was really encouraging and inspiring. If I lived in Atlanta I would definitely sign up for the next Studio Session!

4. The EveryGirl’s Rebecca Atwood Career Profile: Another really inspiring career profile, but this time with textile designer Rebecca Atwood. I have a whole new appreciation whenever I walk into a store and see how much work went into the textiles for upholstery, towels, clothing, etc. I’m definitely inspired to play with pattern and colors, both in clothing and decorating.

5. The Effortless Chic’s California Dreaming: It’s so funny to me how much pink there is in this photoset, because I don’t wear much pink. But I LOVE that pink backdrop! I also really like her sweater and the reasons she loves LA. It definitely makes me think of all my favorite places in my hometown, and inspires me to do more exploring in Houston.

6. 100 Layer Cakelet’s Lucy Roux’s Favorite Things First Birthday: Is it weird that I’m a little jealous of this birthday party? It’s so darn cute, and I love that the theme was based on her favorite things. I also LOVE the calligraphy and the illustrations used to decorate the cookies. So. Cute.

7. Design Love Fest’s Dress Your Tech: I’m pretty sure that the Dress Your Tech series is the coolest idea. I think it’s so great that Bri posts desktop backgrounds by different illustrators and graphic designers every week. I love this desktop background by Elizabeth Doyle, and it’s making my desk top extra pretty.

8. The Tomkat Studio’s Calligraphy Eat Cake Balloons: So the pink balloons + calligraphy are so cute that I couldn’t resist including them. I’m not sure if it’s a reference to Julia Child’s famous quote about cake, but I like to think it is.

9. The Vanilla Bean Blog’s Buttermilk Cake with Blood Orange Frosting: There are so many great things about this post! The cake recipe looks delicious, and since it’s blood orange season and they’re Teddy’s favorite, I think I’ll definitely have to make this soon. Also, Sarah announced that she’s writing a cookbook, which is so exciting! And I loved that she mentioned the Nancy Drew/ Narnia/ Sweet Valley mashup stories she wrote in middle school, because that sounds a lot like the stories I’d write when I was 11 or 12, and I would have definitely loved her stories back then.

10. Have you ever seen The IT Crowd? It’s a hilarious British TV show (that’s on Netflix, in case you’re curious). Moss is my favorite character, and this is one of my favorite quotes. Sometimes you have to rely on your weirdness and sweet sense of style.


Most of these aren’t writing-related, but I’m just going with it. Here’s to having a good balance of input and output days!

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  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Tabitha! It’s so easy to fall into an input rut in the name of “research” (I was there for like 2 years! Yikes). I love that you’ve recognized this isn’t a place you can stay for long. Balance is elusive but so important. 🙂

    Also: that Moss quote is one of my favorite quotes ever, even though I have shamefully never seen a full episode of IT crowd. Remedying that soon. 🙂

    1. Oh man, the “research” vortex is so easy to get sucked into – especially because in the past I wrote mostly academic papers, so I have a hard time writing something without copious amounts of color-coded notes. Ironically that’s the only time I’ve ever been so organized! 😉 So now I have to relearn how to write without that research focus. And balance is so elusive – I feel like it’s something you’ll always have to strive for since life changes so much.

      I think you’ll love the IT crowd! It has such offbeat British humor, but it’s more slapstick than some other shows I’ve seen, which is really fun! My friend Hillary and I quote it to each other all the time! 🙂

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