One of the most important ways I’ve found to keep growing, expanding and becoming more vital and joyful in life is to stay connected to my creativity.
But sometimes, the world around us doesn’t support this process. We’re surrounded by screens to distract us. We might work at jobs that don’t necessarily encourage creative thinking or expression. With all this, it can be easy to fall out of touch with creativity in the course of daily life.
The best solution that I’ve found to do this is to develop a creative habit.
Creativity is like a muscle—it wants to be exercised. Just like you would create a routine or practice for exercising your body, you can create a practice for exercising your mind and creativity.
You don’t have to be a professional artist or have a “creative” job to exercise your creativity every day. Here are a few things that have helped me build a creative habit I can rely on to keep me inspired...
Find a creative activity you absolutely love.
This can look different for everyone.
Some of us love the visual worlds of painting, drawing, sculpting or working with clay. For others, the meditative nature of knitting, crochet or needlework is incredibly inspiring. I’m a natural storyteller and I love to write. Some of my friends have changed their lives by signing up for an improv class.
You might love to cook or bake or garden. You might love to dance, sing or play music.
Perhaps you love writing as much as I do. If so, you might try writing short stories or your own poetry. (For example, one Boom reader wrote us this gorgeous pro-age poem. You see an excerpt of it on this page.)
Really, it doesn’t matter what the activity is. What matters is that it feels exploratory, expressive, inspiring and pleasurable.
If you already know what that is for you, great! If you don’t, try following what you’re most attracted to or curious about—and then experiment.
Sign up for a class or try a new hobby. Then if you find you’re not really “juiced” by that new creative habit, just try something else until you find what inspires you!
Put it in your schedule.
Once you’ve landed on a creative activity you enjoy, try shifting it from an activity to a practice.
Make it a priority. Don’t wait for that moment you’re inspired or it’s convenient, but schedule this creative time on your calendar in advance.
Schedule it in like you would any appointment and then keep the appointment. Just like if you were making a date with a friend, schedule your creative time around whatever other commitments you have—and then keep the date.
I think of it as making a date with my own creative spark so I honor it just like I would keep a date with someone I love!
I like to schedule my creative time two weeks ahead of time so I’m not left trying to fit it in around everything else. I’m actually making it a priority and scheduling other things around my creativity!
Don’t hold yourself to unreasonable standards.
Just like with beauty and age, a lot of us absorb cultural assumptions about what it means to be creative.
Our society hands down some funny ideas about creativity. Like, in order to live a creative life you have to be a serious artist, or that being an artist requires some kind of special “inspiration” or “genius,” or that creativity is something that only some people have.
But all of us are naturally creative, just as we are.Just like all of us are naturally beautiful, just as we are. And just as your skin and your beauty and your inner life evolve and expand and grow over the course of your life, so can your creativity.
You don’t need any special qualities, experience or identity to develop a creative habit and make it a priority in your life. We all have access to creativity and inspiration—we just have to make space for it in our lives!
Do you already have a creative habit? If so, what do you do that’s creative? As always, we’d love to hear from you!