Welcome to HerdingTheDragon.com!

I'm a writer, a freelancer, a crafter, a nail polish mixatrix, a tea drinker, an unconventional life-liver, a journaling junkie, an introvert, a chronic-pain-sufferer, an idealist, a geek, a TV-lover. Welcome to my corner of the web!

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Daily Creativity - Setting up your life for being creative

This is something every creative person will say at some point when being asked about creativity, but since I keep having to be reminded, I'm saying it: to be creative, you have to e creative. Or, creativity breeds more creativity. Or, set up your life for creativity and you'll be creative!

Because, look, the average life doesn't really care if you're reaching your creative potential or if you're feeling inspired and fulfilled in your work, so long as you're doing said work and paying your bills, right? It's easy to narrow down to this place where that's all you're doing. So you (meaning, me, as well as probably you if you're reading this!) need to include chances for creativity in your daily schedule, and identify the stuff that makes you feel NOT creative, so you can head it off or compensate.

For me, these creativity-sappers are things like house chores (I really really hate doing laundry and vaccuming!), basic Adulting, and when I have pain flare ups. So I make sure that I don't schedule or plan any really important writing or crafting work on the days when I know I have to do some annoying and time consuming real life thing. On those days, I tackle smaller tasks, or I brainstorm for later, or I lower my expectations of myself from four decent pages to like one page that's allowed to suck as long as it happens and move the story forward. On my pain days--which can't be scheduled because they suck and are stupid--I pare down to only what absolutely needs to be done in life, and sometimes don't do anything creative on those days at all. Because resting and not producing is also part of the creative process, so that's fine. It's required. Flare ups like that tend to happen because I'm trying too hard or not paying enough to attention to myself, so I take them as signs that I need to cool it. It can be frustrating, but it helps.

Also part of setting yourself up for creativity: doing things. You've got to get new ideas in to get new ideas out. So schedule in time to daydream (call it brainstorming if that helps). Go check out new places and just wander around. Doodle or play with new apps or journal. Make lists. Read books and watch movies and watch tv--I hate the advice to eliminate tv because there's tons of good ideas and wonderful information there. You just have to be selective about which stuff you let sink into your head. Talk to people. Make things--especially if you're a writer, I think it's important to have side projects that are creative but use other parts of the brain, giving the word-parts a break but keeping the making-stuff parts active. Try new foods. Pet all the dogs you see. Ask questions and look up the answers. Find historical places and tour them. Talk to other writers and artists about how they do it, and try ther process to see how it works for yours.

Basically, make space in your life for creative things to happen, and then let them happen. A little at a time, a little each day, and one day you'll look up and have hundreds of ideas and dozens of projects and feel really inspired and connected--and that's what we all want, right?

The hard part is just remembering how to live it like we mean it!


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