Almost There: Taking a Creative Journey

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Taking a Creative Journey

Today IS the day before Valentine's Day, but for many it's also Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

I am a Catholic, so I'm one of those people celebrating the start of this season, and it's had me thinking a lot about what this process is and how it can be used for fostering creativity. 

For people who celebrate Lent, it is essentially a time of preparation, meditation and renewal. It's a time to put some zeal back into your spiritual life (or break some bad habits, even!)

The process some go through during Lent for spiritual renewal, is not much different than the process creatives need to go through to inspire ourselves. 

So Lent-celebrator or not, I've come up with some ways to go on a creative "retreat" if anyone wants to join me in  some creative renewal. 

1. Commit to an hour. In the morning or at night or whenever you KNOW you can accomplish something creative and work on your craft.

2. Start a project life. Project life's are really popular these days, but they are such a great way to foster some creativity. Or, Tyler's 365 Project is pretty awesome and inspiring, too! It's a great way to get you practicing your craft in little ways, which will inevitably open the door for bigger ways. 

3. Get out of your environment. I talked about this last week (here), but sometimes all it takes is just a change of scenery. Go outside or for a walk or just find a new venue. It'll work wonders for your creativity. 

4. Set a deadline and meet it. Lent is 40 days long, so what if you gave yourself a 40 day deadline to work on something? Sometimes all we procrastinator types need is an end in sight to reach completion.

5. Try something new. Do you usually paint in watercolors? Paint in acrylic. Or try something totally new. You might find something new to love OR you might just get inspired to keep working with what you already know. 

6. Walk away. Maybe you've been working so hard on something you need a break. A 40 day break? Probably not, but maybe just the concept of a break will do your work some good. 

7. DIY something you could buy. You could buy some new curtains for your house OR you could try your hand at making them. This concept could work for anything. Sometimes you need to DIY just to inspire yourself. 

8. Ask questions. Find someone who you admire and ask them how they do certain things or what keeps them going. Just having someone you look up to respond to you can work wonders for your own desires. 

9. Seek out inspirational people. Look for people who are doing what you are doing or want to be doing. Read books about them, watch documentaries, follow their blogs. Just knowing that other people are fighting the same good fight that you are, is a beautiful thing for motivation! 

So here's just a few ideas for taking a creative journey. What will I be doing on my creative journey? 

Well, I'm working on enjoying my creativity a little more. I'm going to commit to taking the time to work on my book everyday, but I'm also giving myself permission to use some of these other tips I have written out if I need an inspirational boost! I want to remind myself WHY I create and that I enjoy doing it! 

Happy creating!

—Holli Anne 

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