“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many of us stifle our creativity from a young age after being taught that we need to focus on getting a “practical” career instead of following our passions. Some indications that you may be creatively blocked are thoughts like:
- “It’s too late to pursue my creative dreams.”
- “Being a mom and a business owner, I don’t have any time or energy to do any creative projects.”
- “Creativity is a luxury and I should just be grateful for what I have.”
Sound familiar? When you look these thoughts straight in the face, it’s easy to see them for what they are: fears. But there are some simple habits we can adopt to break through any creative rut we might find ourselves in.
3 Common Practices of Highly Creative People:
- Some type of daily reflection
- The ability to leverage their strengths
- A way to reframe failures
- Try to set an alarm to get up 30-45 minutes early to do the pages in peace.
- Stream-of-consciousness writing. Whatever comes to mind.
- Written on 3 full 8.5” x 11” sheets of paper.
- Never show pages to anyone else. They are your place to dream, fantasize, complain, and exult. Keep them private.
- They aren’t to be read or mulled over.
- Minimum of 3 pages per day. No writing 5 pages one day and only doing 1 the next.
- It’s ok if they are half to-do lists.
(These ideas come from The Artist’s Way and The Artist’s Way at Work, by Julia Cameron. A fantastic book if you haven’t read it!)
TIME OUTS (for mom!)
Schedule 1-2 hours per week when you go by yourself to do something fun and out of your normal routine. It could be a visit to a museum, a stroll around a new park, or even going to see a movie. This alone time gives you a chance to reconnect with what makes you happy and fulfilled. Think of it like taking yourself on a date every week.
Here’s a great writing exercise to get your creative juices flowing (from the book Wild Mind, by Natalie Goldberg):
Write about something you really loved, a time when you felt whole and complete in an activity all for itself. It could be something as simple as learning to make a grilled cheese sandwich, or a time your uncle taught you to tie your shoelaces into a bow. Something you concentrated on as a kid because the ability to concentrate is where the bliss and love come from. When you concentrate and narrow in, you are also aware of the whole world.
We’ll revisit this topic soon and go into more detail about the 2nd and 3rd habits of highly creative people. In the meantime, find inspiration in the art that your child(ren) creates. Heck, why not pick up some crayons and join them? You might be surprised at how much fun you’ll have!