Getting that Creative Grind
Imagine being suspended in midair with three little monkeys clinging to your body, asking for snacks every 20 seconds, and to top it all off, you have a delicate teapot on your head that you CANNOT allow to break! Welcome to motherhood!!!! Ok, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but what I’m trying to get across is that I’ve had to really hone in on the art of being creative and productive, all while being completely a mother, completely a wife, completely an artist, completely a little human being in a big world without giving up my soul to the devil of defeat. Sounds fun right? So here is what I’m hoping: I am hoping that these words—maybe some of them, maybe all of them—help you on your own scary journey. That you find a little more strength, and a little more encouragement.
Set a Time. Yep, you heard it from me, one of the most spontaneous, fly by the seat of her pants kind of person you’ll meet. Setting at time every week where you just get stuff done works. Even if that means you have to take turns babysitting with a friend or have regular “quite time” for your kiddo (aka: “Netflix time”). Everything worth doing requires some sort of grind. Whether you are living your dream job or not. Start small, grow from there.
When inspiration hits, STOP EVERYTHING AND DO IT! As much as is possible, do not put off a creative thought or an inspiration. If you are able to make it work then make it work. Write those thoughts out, paint those thoughts out, let the creativity flow. And if you have to wait, write it down. I know you think you’ll remember, but you probably won’t, believe me. Inspiration is like a bird—it lands on you and if you don’t stay still and pay attention, it will fly away.
Your phone is your frienemy. I am not saying phones or social media are the devil, considering I use them all the time for my business. However, you know and I know when it’s just too much. I have rules for myself, like, no one needs to reach me before 9am, and I take Sundays as a complete day free from social media. You can definitely get inspiration from others and from Pinterest. But more often than not, it is only keeping your brain from thinking deeper thoughts, connecting ideas, and drawing from the well spring of creativity you have within you. Which leads me to my fourth point:
Get outside and get reading! Did you know that your brain needs nature and quiet in order to be creative, in order to leave room for inspiration? Some of the greatest creatives of our time spent huge amounts of time alone outside. Or maybe a great mom pushing her kid around in a stroller outside, that’s great too! And there is nothing like a well written book to deepen your well of creativity. Books allow you to think like someone else, thrust you out of your normal way of thinking, and open you up to other possibilities. They invigorate your thoughts, making new pathways for inspiration.
Have FUN! The best work is not only hard work, but work that comes from joy. Taking time to rest and have fun brings joy to your work. And when you’re productive, you always feel better about the time you spend resting, amiright? There is a lot of good creativity out there but how much better to create something from joy not just pain?
Before you run away and try any of this, there is a KEY ingredient I need to point out. You ARE NOT what you do. You are good and lovely before you did anything. Learning to love yourself is so important and an ongoing journey. If your worth is in what you do then nothing will ever be good enough, and if you ever fail—which you will—it will ruin you. Or maybe you will have all the success yet still feel empty. Because things and success, though not bad, do not make us who we are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are loved just as you are.