Today’s big idea is my third creativity mantra, which is to keep showing up. Creativity isn’t a one and done thing. It’s a part of you and just like a dog or a baby it needs loving care on the regular. Yet it’s also something that your conscious mind will try to tell you is frivolous, doesn’t matter, will take you away from being productive–the horror! So, today, we’re going to cover ways to keep showing up and making creativity just a thing you do and build some consistency around it.
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Keep Showing Up– Even During A Pandemic
And I’m going to start with the thing that has consistently worked for me, and that is to commit to something–it could be a musical lesson, a writing group, a class you sign up for, a knitting bee you start. I know this is hard during a pandemic. It’s still possible. I committed to a daily podcast which I get sounds extreme, but I had been putting off working on my own stuff for so long that it was really starting to get me down. Also, I love starting new things….. And then forgetting all about those new things and never doing them again, ha. I was getting sick of my own sporadicalness. I love to be moved by inspiration as much as anyone, but inspiration alone wasn’t getting me to create a body of work I was proud of.
I needed accountability and structure and I needed it to be fairly public so that I wouldn’t worm out of it. And wa-la, here we are, on episode 296. I have written reams and reams of scripts simply because I have to. Turns out I’m very deadline oriented. Perhaps you are too. You should see how fast I can write something when I know I’ve got to record it tomorrow. I know we’re more geared toward getting ourselves off the hook, but in the case of creating, putting yourself on the hook is very, very helpful, I find.
What Are Your Needs To Stay Dedicated?
Do you need a deadline? Create one. Do you need accountability? Ask someone you trust to keep checking in with you about how it’s going, preferably at a regular time so that you’ll know you have to do something by that Friday morning phone call. You may do it 30 minutes before the call, but that’s OK, because it means you did it.
Are you more of a rhythm person? Get out your calendar, look at your schedule over the last two weeks. And ask when you tend to have some time that you’re otherwise not using all that well. (And to be clear, doing nothing and having fun are both great uses of time; I’m talking about looking at maybe when you’re scrolling through social media or binge watching episodes, both of which can eat up hours but that definitely have a point of diminishing returns.)
Get Hooked On Being In Your Creativity Zone
Maybe you can spend a little time after dinner doing something creative, like dancing, or playing piano, or cross stitch. I think once you experience the groovy brainwaves that come from allowing yourself to get in the creativity zone you’ll get hooked on it, and will look for ways to do it, and you’ll get better at ignoring your ego that tells you that you should either be doing something more traditionally productive or that you deserve to zone out with your screen. Which, please, you can still do if you want. But maybe after you do the creative thing.
Or maybe you can see something you’re already doing most days as a way to express your creativity. Like, for example, cooking dinner. I know it can seem like a relentless chore, but it’s also a chance to make something. With your hands. That you can eat! I mean, it can be very creative. Light a candle while you do it and turn your phone over so that it feels a little bit more sacred and boom, there’s a near-daily creative practice right there that you didn’t have to find any additional time for.
I hope these episodes have reinvigorated your desire and your dedication to doing something creative. Your ideas are worthy. They deserve expression. You will feel better for it, and they will lead you to new places.