As with all guides and advice, take in what resonates for you and try it on for size. I encourage you to sit with these questions (primary questions are in bold below), journal if that feels right, and most importantly, question any limiting beliefs you may hold.
- Is creativity important to you? Not exactly a tip, but something to sit with. Did you used to paint, make pottery, write, dance (insert form of creative outlet here), on a regular basis and love it, but somewhere along the way, life got too hectic and the creative outlet was cut from your priorities? Do you have a nagging feeling like it is something you should still be making time for?
- Once you have determined that creativity is in fact important to you and you are ready to commit to making creative time for yourself again, take an honest look at your day to day schedule. Where are the time and energy sucks? Can you make some changes? For example, in my circumstance I recognized my commute was sucking the time out of my schedule, so I moved closer to my office job and cut the commute time by over a half. I was fortunate enough at the time that my life circumstances allowed me to do so easily. I also lived without TV or internet for 3 years. This fast from TV and streaming shows really helped me to gain so much time in my schedule, and now that I’ve reintroduced them, it’s not a major part of my life anymore. Of course, these are extreme examples, but hopefully they paint the picture for how you can make some tweaks to your own schedule.
- Do you hold any self-limiting beliefs or thoughts that keep you from participating in creative activities? Here are some examples: “I am too busy”, “I am not talented enough”, “I used to be an artist, but….” “It costs too much money.” Definitely take the time to examine your thoughts and beliefs. You can even journal about your thoughts and beliefs to see them more clearly. Tip: If the thought causes you stress or puts you down, question its validity. Remember that the truth will set you free and not limit you or cause you stress.
- Are you too tired to even feel creatively inspired? This is a big one and trust me I get it!!! Hopefully, as proposed in number 2 of this list, examining your schedule will help with this. But also, try to pay attention to what energizes you. I am sure a lot of people reading this just had a vision of a giant cup of coffee. But beyond the obvious caffeine jolt, what recharges your batteries? Side Note: I have created some of my favorite paintings when I was super tired..something about a tired, slow brain helps me from overthinking.
- Do you have a routine that needs a little shake up? Maybe you started a routine a while back to help you stay inspired in some way shape or form, but lately it’s kind of feeling stale and like you are just going through the motions? Can you change things up a little? For example, for over a year the first thing I did when I woke up was sit down and meditate for 20 minutes. I wanted to stay disciplined in this practice so I really kept at it, even when I did not feel like it. I certainly gained a lot from this practice, but about a year and a half in I realized how stagnant it all felt. Being still first thing in the morning felt counterintuitive to getting my energy flowing. So now I have more active practices in the morning: yoga, dancing, walking, or even painting. I tend to change it up on a daily basis. This change in my morning routine was just the right thing to give me a boost of inspiration and energy to carry me through my day.
- Can you dedicate a physical space to where you practice your creative activity of choice? If not, what can you rid yourself of in order to make more space? On a side-note to this, dedicating an area of your home to your creative practice can be a really fun creative activity in and of itself.
- Do you usually start off creative pursuits with gusto and then lose your motivation? How do you stay motivated? Do you need to take a class? Do you prefer to learn from books or online videos? Do you prefer to do said activity with other people, or do you prefer alone time with your creative pursuit? These are all things to consider. I personally love online art classes that I can take at my own pace and have a group space for sharing as a way to stay motivated.
- What time of day is your peak creative time? This took me a while to figure out for myself, but my peak creative time of day is early morning before I go to work. The wee morning hours invites quiet time to get centered, a mind that is typically not scattered or affected by the busyness of the day yet, the soft light of the rising sun and a hot cuppa your drink of choice. Put on some soft music or light some incense, take a few deep breaths, and create for 10 minutes to an hour before the busyness of the day takes over and it becomes a magical morning.
I hope these guidelines and questions provide you with insight into your own creative path. Being a creative is definitely a journey with ebbs and flows, so of course, be gentle with yourself and honor where you are. But at the same time, please do not deny yourself the gift of creative expression if that is what feeds you!
And for those looking for a bit more of a nudge for some creative fun, I am now offering an online art class, Rise&Paint. Open to all people looking to insert some creative time into their daily lives, and especially created for people who lack time in their schedule. Come join the fun!