Read anything about creativity, and the advice is the same. In order to be creative and do creative work, we have to show up on a regular basis to play and work with our ideas. That means even when we don’t feel like it, or we’re not inspired, or we’re too busy, or we’re tired or whatever the reasons may be. I don’t know about you, but I can get pretty creative with my list of excuses to avoid doing the work.
We all learned at a young age that if we wanted to get better at something we had to practice – a lot. Remember learning to ride a bike, roller skating (my favorite), playing baseball or whatever it was that you loved? We called it play, but we worked at it – developing our skills, making mistakes, taking risks, and trying new things.
I know from my experience as a video writer and producer that I got better because I worked on it regularly, even when inspiration was nowhere to be found. Of course, there was nothing like a deadline, and mine were daily, to get me and my creative ideas moving. To be honest, there were days when things just didn’t work, despite my best efforts. But I kept going and some days things worked really well.
Now, in addition to running my business, I like to put my creative energy into writing and painting. But I don’t always make the time to do those two things (see excuses in first paragraph!). But here’s something that I learned from my husband who is an oil painter. Set a specific and reachable goal for your creative work each week. He paints one picture a week, working on it for a while most days. This is one of his paintings.
One of my creative goals in 2011 is to write a blog entry every week and post it on Thursdays. So far, so good. Now I’ve set another goal for myself. I’ve had to write one short story each week for a class I’m taking. I want to continue to do that once the class ends. I’ll let you know how that goes!
What I have discovered is that doing creative work often and regularly primes the “creative pump.” It keeps ideas flowing and builds skills. But more than anything, it’s a heck of a lot of fun.
So what are you doing that is creative this week?
Don’t want to miss any new posts to this blog? All you have to do is sign up for an email subscription on the right side of this screen, and you’ll receive a note each week telling you there’s a new entry on Lynn’s Creativity Post.
© Lynn Wyvill 2011