As life pulls you in many directions, consider saying “no” on occasion to carve out a little time for healthy, creative expression. We created a simple checklist to get started:
- Find a space
Construct a base from which to work – something along the lines of –a room of one’s own. Find an area you can claim as your creative hub or meditative lab. Light beaming into a room is a great energizer – as is color. Figure out what works best for you. Whether your creativity goal is living a simpler life, taking acting lessons or making jewelry, design the physical space to make that happen.
- Make the time
We know this is easier said than done, but the key is making the commitment. Allot a certain amount of time, whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly. Set realistic goals and carve out the time to make it happen. And keep at it! Does that mean getting up before the rush of the day begins? Perhaps. Or are you going to squeeze in your time between getting the kids to school and heading out to work? If it fits into your daily routine, terrific. The point is to set a place and regular time that is dedicated to creativity.
- Pick a medium
Is it writing, poetry, music, dance, photography, cooking, gardening or painting? Maybe you are thinking about something out of your comfort zone. You may already know what you want to do, or you may be searching for a new outlet. Perhaps this is the year you dive headfirst into a new medium or breathe new life into something that has been smoldering for years …
- Push the “go” button
Think about what you want to create, meditate on your goal, and then get started. If it’s writing – start writing – anything that comes to mind. If nothing comes to mind, then write about that! Something will germinate from the exercise. If it’s photography, give yourself an assignment and shoot away. Don’t feel the pressure to become the next Donna Tartt or Camille Claudel – simply imagine the outcome and then move forward to create. To borrow a famous tagline, “Just do it” and find joy in the expressive process.
- Tell your story
A guest lecturer spoke during a college photography course describing how racism and discrimination affected his work. You could see that theme within every fiber of the work he created. Essentially he was telling us that we have to be authentic. Tell your story because it comes from your DNA — write, photograph, paint, and sing about what you know.
- Resist over-processing criticism
The world certainly has no shortage of critics, so keep in mind that “getting back to creativity” is all about you and not about them. Also, remember not to be too hard on yourself—keep your internal critic at bay. How many talented artists have left this world without public acceptance of their work? Plenty. Hopefully, you won’t become one of them, but the point is to have faith in yourself and nurture that spirit.
- Share your creativity
Do you want to showcase your work and engage others in the process? You have many “world stages” from which to choose! YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vimeo are among the most popular. Check out Etsy, too. Get feedback or challenge others to do the same.Here's a good place to start sharingIt’s our Facebook page… and don’t forget to “like us” to see how others are using creative expression to support their health and well-being.
There are no boundaries. There are no restrictions. Keep it simple. Enjoy what you do even if it doesn’t turn out to be the masterpiece envisioned or turn into your primary income. Keep at it. Consistency is key. Routine becomes a habit, and this is a habit that will pay dividends for you in mind, body, and spirit.