A list of some of my favorite creativity tips + tricks.
Some people meditate, and yay for those people. I am not one of them. I need to be in motion, creating something, even if it’s just a series of words on a page I’ll never read again.
Starting my day with intentional quite time ensures that I get space to check in with my guiding presence, that quiet voice inside. Many mornings are boring, and I’m tired, and I don’t have anything more interesting to say than that I’m grateful for my plants. But the act of committing to showing up means that I’m there when flow does come, and I can hear when I’m being guided by something bigger than just me.
It’s in these moments that I remember to check in with an old friend who’s mom is sick. Or when I stumble upon a new idea. It’s before the gunk of the day has gotten into my visions, and when I’m at my most optimistic.
When I really want to do a thing, but am afraid I won’t have the gumption to follow through, I call Liz and tell her what I want to do and by when, and precisely how I’d like her to support me.
I did this with an article I wrote recently. I had a flash of inspiration and wrote a piece over a weekend, and then came time to try and publish it, which involved sending out pitches to editors, a thing that always makes me feel like I’m not accomplished enough and don’t have original things to say. Four rejections later, I was losing steam and wanted to give up. But instead, I told Liz. I still wanted that thing to be out in the world. And I asked her to check in with me in a couple of weeks to see about the progress.
Each month, I take a creative project from idea to completion. I started wows because I wanted to prove to myself that I could finish things, and I’ve kept at them because they’ve become a fun, playful exploration.
I’ve found that a month is enough time to create something with substance, but not so much time that I get overwhelmed. It’s also right in the sweet spot of my attention span - it means I can continuously make creating new because I shift my focus every 30 days. If I choose, I can work on a project that builds on the previous one. Or, I could pivot into an entirely new medium.
Doing one wow leads me to the next one. It feels like I’m following a trail of breadcrumbs. I don’t know where they’re taking me, but I trust in the process because I know I’ll end up in a much more interesting spot than if I hadn’t.
I remember once feeling completely overwhelmed by a project at work. I had just started a new job, and now that I was in, I wasn’t sure I could do it.
So on my walk home that day, I gave three friends a call and asked them to give me a lightning round two minute pep talk. They weren’t long conversations where I gave them tons of back story. They were just a short convo where they injected in me a reminder of how capable and badass I am.
It can be hard for me to keep track of sparks of inspiration when they strike. So, I made a game out of it. I print them out and put them in a mason jar, which is made up of sketches, print outs, words, and passages. When I’m feeling creatively blocked, I twist it open and pull something out at random. Then I ask myself: “what might this piece of inspo suggest me to do?”
A vision wall is like a vision board, but way bigger. I collect images and words that speak to me and put them somewhere where they’re always in sight. Mine wall includes photos from place I want to visit, what I’d like my next home to look and feel like, ideas I love, and passages from tarot readings I’ve had.