I know, I know you don't have time to be creative, right?
Your life is too busy. You're running the kids around. You're finishing college. You are trying to cook dinner. You want to take a walk to stay healthy and in shape. You've got some books to read. I get it. You have to go to the grocery store. I understand all of those challenges and they are real, so I will not even try to minimize them.
What I want to tell you is - you do have time to add creativity into your life. It might not always be exactly like you pictured and it may not be in luxurious five hour chunks of time, but you can do this. So, let me give you a couple of tips.
First of all, start looking at creativity as just an element of your life.
It's not an extra add on thing. You don't have to set aside two hours and you don't need to get out all of your supplies. Just start thinking of yourself as a creative person, as an artist. and then look at your life through this lens. As you go about your day, look for opportunities to be inspired or to create new things, new thoughts, new feelings, new decisions, and yes, some new artwork perhaps - creative writing or sculpture, a collage, assemblage, whatever it is that you like to work with, but don't overcomplicate it.
Especially when you're getting started, be okay with creating in very small doses. You can prepare for spaces in your life. We all have moments in our life where we are caught, waiting, thinking, tapping our foot at a red light and all of these little spaces, if you make a habit of using them, can be opportunities for creativity. Obviously, many of these moments don't allow you to have paints and glue out.
No matter what, you've always got your brain. You can think and plan creative projects. Capture your thoughts using voice texting or an audio app on your phone. You can just work in your mind and seek to make your mind more nimble, more creative. Read or listen to books that inspire new and different thoughts.
Another big tip: stop having an all or nothing mentality.
I know I do this. I . I often think that if I don't start something on a Monday, which is for some reason the appropriate starting point in my mind, then I can't start THE THING until the following Monday. In my mind, the narrow window of starting time has passed, so I lose an entire week of whatever it was I was trying to do. I hope you noticed that starting on Monday is a self-defined rule that isn't even real all. Monday or nothing can be a way of procrastinating.
We do this with many things in our lives, including creativity. Sometimes people think if I don't have time to sit down and create an entire painting, then why bother? It's not worth this mess. I don't have anywhere to create. I don't have a big studio, like some of these artists. So forget about it. I can't do it.
The truth is, you can create anywhere.
You can create in a very small. You can pick your things up later and put them away, then get them back out. Save a large piece of cardboard to use for your studio desktop; when it's time to put things away or make more space, just pick the entire thing up at once. You don't have to have every new shiny bell and whistle from the art store. You can use papers in your house and a glue stick. I promise I've been doing it for years.
You can fit in art and creativity and you will be so happy that you did.
I encourage you this week to give it a shot. In fact, a starting point might be, don't even try to actually do it yet. Just take a look at your life and identify where you may see a few little spaces.
Another tip is if you watch a lot of television, no judgment, but that's a lot of time that you're spending. You could do one of two things:
1. You could create while you're watching television. In my opinion, not the best option because the kind of creativity that I'm advocating for is one that encourages thinking and clear mental space - openness in your mind. However, you could try if the television is important to you.
2. The best option, in my opinion, is to trade out some of your television time for creative time.
The last tip that I'd like to offer you is to set appropriate expectations. If you're interested in establishing a creative practice, but you haven't done it before, and you don't have a lot of time, don't expect that you will suddenly be able to find four hours a week to do this. Don't set yourself up for failure.
Set your bar low, be patient with yourself, and let the practice develop over time. Let it evolve. Part of this practice is related to less expectations, less judgment, and more freedom. Please, be kind to yourself and exercise those principles as you begin your practice.
Who am I?
I’m a systems engineer and creative coach living in ABQ, NM. I believe that we can intentionally design our lives to align with our deepest dreams and desires.