Now that we have defined that you really are more creative than you think, it’s time to begin making room for creativity in your life. This isn’t about necessarily adding one more thing to your plate, but utilizing a little of your downtime to nourish the creative part of your soul.
In order to understand how to make room for creativity, I have defined three habits that I think most creatives embrace and I’d love to share how you can make these habits a part of your own life!
Creatives Have Routines
It seems to go against the very grain of creativity to say that routines are essential in a creative life, but almost all creatives have a clear routine to their day. Why would a routine be essential for a creative? It is because so much of their brain power goes towards their creativity that these established routines free up space to make room for that. Essentially, they don’t want to think about anything except their passions so they stick to a routine to free up the necessary space to make room for all that is in their lives.
To make creativity a part of that routine, adding structure to your day can be beneficial so that you can allocate the time you desire to be creative. If you are someone who hasn’t establish a good routine to your day yet, this can be transformative in making room for anything you want to add into your life.
For one day, consider keeping a time sheet of the hours of your day and what you do with them. I love this free time tracker sheet that is provided by Jessica Turner, author of The Fringe Hours. For me, these wasted hours become quite evident when I look at how much time I waste on my phone and on social media. What pulls you out of your routines and what are the bad habits you could replace with time for your creativity?
Creatives Crave Solitude
As a parent, moments of solitude might be few and far between especially in those early years. Without solitude though, there is no room for creative thought and exploration. Solitude looks differently for each person, but many find meditation, times of devotion, or times in nature beneficial to their creativity. This time of solitude is spent doing nothing that is related to work or even being creative, but it opens up a part of your mind to creative thought.
I am, by nature, a very social person, but the creative well runs dry when I am constantly go-go-going and when I am constantly tapping into my creativity for my job. My husband and I both work in a creative field (he is a web designer and I’m a lifestyle blogger) and we often talk about how our best ideas coming to us when we are mowing the grass or taking a shower. Truthfully, some of my best work has come while quietly washing the dishes after dinner. They often come so rapidly, that I have a notebook and pen out on our counter so I don’t forget them, written with soapy hands. It’s funny; my husband has never mentioned good things coming out of his time doing the dishes… oh, wait! J
I want you to notice that I did not say that my best creative work comes from browsing Pinterest and copying someone else’s work or comparing my creative work to someone else’s. This time of solitude, without those outside influences, gives me time to be original. To be me honors my creativity.
Leo Babauta (from Zen Habits) says, “The best art is created in solitude, for good reason: it’s only when we are alone that we can reach into ourselves and find truth, beauty, soul. Some of the most famous philosophers took daily walks, and it was on these walks that they found their deepest thoughts. My best writing, and in fact the best of anything I’ve done, was created in solitude.”
If you can’t find pockets of time for solitude, consider rising just a bit earlier to create that space in your day. Rising just one hour earlier than my kids yields some of my best work and is an essential part of honoring my own creativity. Explore how you can make room for a little solitude in your day!
Creatives NEED Other Creatives
Although you need solitude, you will also need to fill your life with creative inspiration! I need to be honest and say that I had a really hard time when my kids were small because the everyday minutiae didn’t feel creative or interesting to me—my brain needs to have all cylinders operating at all times. I felt isolated and my creative spirit felt stifled in this role as a stay-at-home mom. My blog became the place where I could pour that creativity, but I needed the inspiration of other great creatives to pull it out of me.
Introverts might prefer observing creativity in others by reading blogs, books, documentaries, listening to podcasts, or visiting museums & galleries where they can enjoy the work (and the solitude). Extroverts, like me, might prefer being around others with creative mindsets and attending social gatherings of creatives, taking courses with others, or participating in a creative event with other people.
Whether you observe creativity alone or do it with others, the creative inspiration you gather will help to fuel your own creativity and make the work you do even better!
ACTIVITIES & QUESTIONS
- Print the time tracker and keep track of how you spend your time for at least one day.
- Looking at your time tracker, look for patterns, such as time wasters, how much time you spend on the internet or social media, and where you might be able to pursue creativity instead. What pockets of time could you use to make creativity part of your daily? What habits are robbing you of your creativity?