Creativity is critical for your soul’s survival. Here are three essential tips to help you in your creative efforts.
1. Have a Ritual
When I sit down to indulge in a creative endeavor, I often light an unscented candle. It’s important to turn off the influx of email, set my cell phone on silent and put it way across the room, clear my work space of clutter, have a cup of tea nearby, and play ambient music in the background (unless I’m writing–then I need pure, blissful silence). I also find it critical to be dressed in something comfy that feels well put together–accessories and all. But that’s me; it’s important to explore what works for you.
How can you make your creative time sacred? Try taking a bath before sculpting. Baking bread before gardening. Spending time at your altar before dancing. Meditating before sewing. Whatever it is, turn it into a regular ceremony that prepares your mind, body, and spirit for creative expression.
2. Set Up Your Space
We all know Virginia Woolf strongly suggested that women have a room of their own. I believe it is necessary, whether you are creating or not. But for artistic play, it is critical that you have a special space to store your tools, display your design boards, feel safe, come for inspiration, and file your ideas.
Design boards are the perfect place to post swatches, images, cards from fans, color chips, and artistic postcards so that you’ll have inspiration at your fingertips. Ensure that your space is well stocked with pens, paper, and creative tools such as needles, paintbrushes, or wire. Lighting can assist with creating ambience, but in your workspace it is critical to have lots of lighting to prevent your having to squint–remember, darling, squinting promotes wrinkles.
3. Manage Your Time
Carve out space for the creativity to flow, and have patience if it doesn’t flow as quickly as you’d like. A kitchen timer can be a handy tool for all sorts of discipline: meditation, creating, yin yoga, and taking small chunks of time to focus on a bigger goal. If you are heavily scheduled (aren’t we all?), it’s key to use the space between obligations for making things happen. Rushing from one meeting, class, or call to the next can leave you twiddling your thumbs between appointments, since there isn’t enough time to launch into another project. Take advantage of the in-between time to open your Word document and add fifteen minutes’ worth of writing to your novel. Sometimes you have to steal what little in-between time you have. Have your journal or idea book handy at all times for brainstorming and for capturing fleeting ideas.
I try to allocate one day a week for creative flow. During this time I muse on new designs for my ecoclothing line, TranquiliT, write, bead chunky gemstone necklaces, organize my living and work space, take hot baths, and daydream. This creative space is critical to refueling my often depleted well. Review your schedule right now and observe where you can carve out at least fifteen minutes weekly to work on a creative project. This is in addition to the weekly artist date. I know, I never said the journey to enlightened work and mindful play was easy.