Thoughts on Making Creativity a Habit
This week’s question posed by the lovely Spring gals:
How do you make creativity a habit?
It actually has taken me a long way to come to a point where I feel like I am, indeed, making creativity a habit. Along the way, here’s a couple of things I’ve found to be helpful:
– Making a commitment to spend time creatively, rather than zonked out in front of a screen.
It can be so easy especially when you’re tired or overwhelmed to want to switch off and turn on the TV, or while away time browsing Etsy or reading blogs for that matter. I had to make a conscious decision to do less of that and more of taking action to use my time in ways that would be more fulfilling to me. I read in several places that you should get rid of your TV if you’re serious about you creativity. I thought this seemed rather stern and unhelpful and, well…not much fun. However, at some point last year, Ben and I came to the realization we hardly watched TV and decided to cancel our cable. It just sort of snuck up on me. I then realized that once you’re finding things that really get you excited, it becomes less attractive to spend your time on things that are more of a passive way to spend your time. However, I do spend a fair amount of time on the internet and watch a couple of shows on-line. And we just got a subscription to Netflix…so, I’m definitely not on a soapbox here. I do try to be more intentional about when, what and how often I watch and I think that’s the main thing.
– Just do it.
This seems like super redundant, if not annoying, advice when you hear it from someone. But then I heard it explain in a way that made sense to me: There are times when something is on you mind and you feel like doing it, and you act on and enjoy the activity. It’s really nice when this happens. But unfortunately, sometimes you don’t feel like doing something that you know you will enjoy. You can decide to physically do the activity and nine times out of ten find yourself enjoying it even though you didn’t originally feel like doing it. Yes, this sounds probably wholly redundant and a really roundabout way of explaining this. But somehow, it took me a long time to grasp this idea and it has really helped me accomplish a lot now that I practice this more. I am actually surprised that I still procrastinate as much as I do, because I know from many experiences that even if I don’t feel like, say, writing a blog post, or whatever it is that I’m putting off, that once I start going through the motions of doing the thing that I’m putting off I find myself enjoying what I’m doing.
– Find out what it is you enjoy doing and figure out what it is you want to create.
Another really obvious one, but it can take time to really figure out what it is that excites you. And sometimes it’s the thing that you take most for granted because it seems like such a natural part of you that it can take a while to really see that this is ‘your thing’. I read an article by Martha Beck once where she compared finding out what you like to playing the game where you have to find a person or object and are being told whether you’re ‘hot’, and going in the right direction, or ‘cold’, and going in the wrong one. It can be like that with trying to find what’s right for you, but it takes action to find out and then reflecting on how you feel to see if you’re getting ‘hotter’ or ‘colder’. The worst thing is not to move in the wrong direction, but not moving at all.
So what about you? How do you make creativity a habit?
Have a great weekend!