5 Hot Tips on Carving out Creative Space (When You Have Entirely Too Much Going On)
Fact: when creative people become too mired in their day to day -- their paid obligations, their society-approved Instagram scrolling, their self-mandated and soulless workouts, etc. -- to actually create; things fall apart. I know for certain that when I don't prioritize time to write and sketch and sing, I'm the most reactive, despondent, total bummer version of myself. But making room for "hobbies", despite the fact that said hobbies are probably your lifeblood, can seem impossible sometimes. Here's how I get myself back into my creative groove when I've drifted way, way out there.
First, a mindset shift.
For me, it always comes back to balancing my priorities. I like to write for myself before I go into my office. However, my precious mornings also tend to be the most logical choice for exercise. And I'm really fun, so sometimes I need those mornings to recover from the night prior. Creativity, movement, and being social are all important aspects of wellbeing, so it comes down to accepting that I can't do every important thing every single day. On most days, I need to check in with myself and choose which activity will be best for me in that moment.
Creatively insert creativity into your life.
Maybe you're at a place in life where an entire hour of creative exploration is an unlikely luxury. That means you have a responsibility to yourself to live creatively. So pick a daily task that could use some flair. Jazz up your brown bag lunches. Wear something subtly wacky. Switch up your routine in some small way and don't get too down on yourself. Think of it like... banking up creativity points that you can cash in on at a later date.
Acknowledge that vegging out and creative downtime are not the same thing.
And you need both. That's something I don't hear creatives talk about very often: we need time to do nothing. If you wind up with a free night, you may very well use it to watch six episodes of Sex and the City that you've already seen. Vegging out is actually part of the creative process --constant productivity is not reasonable to ask of yourself. So notice where you're at in your own creative process and move through it.
Ask yourself where you can sneak in some creative rituals.
I have a 9-5, but I could certainly fit in a 10 minute, post-lunch stream of conscious writing session. That would actually clear out some brain trash and allow me to do my job better -- and it, too, would bank me some creativity points. The idea is not to give yourself more to do, but to put yourself in the habit of tapping into your creativity so you can access that power when you need it.
And surround yourself with people who are doing and making.
Cultivate inspiring friends who get it. Talking to people about their own creative practices gives you a more fleshed out perspective of your own, and gives you the opportunity to collaborate. I used to assume no one had the same endless, gnawing hunger for self-awareness and self-expression that I have but, ha. It turns out this is the artist's dilemma, and we're all in this together.
What are your hot tips for nurturing creativity? Tell me below!