Friday, May 6, 2016

Four Ways to Create Creative Space || A Creative Process Post

I've mentioned struggling to balance the writing, blogging, painting, working hats a few times. Since opening the shop (nearly a year ago), I've learned that each part of my creativity is important to the others. So, I've had to prioritize in order to maintain a semblance of balance in each piece of my making process.

Four small, but vital, admissions and acknowledgements have assisted in making space for each part of my creative process. I know you, like me, are made up of a dozen different creative projects that are all vying for your attention while draining you of efficiency. So, here.

Here are four tips to make space for your creative pursuits in all their glory:

1. Realize your goals.

Your side hustle might be just that: a side hustle -nothing more or less. You might, like me, be a maker for making's sake, for blogging's joy, for the fun of the process. You might love to paint and create, but fear the pressure of full time creativity on your soul.

Or, you're the kind of creative who can work with a budget on your back and who, in fact, produces better when there's an outside force helping spur you onward.

2. Be honest about your time. 

Creativity isn't sparse, but time is. You could stay up all night making, writing, blogging, doing if you weren't going to run out of energy. But, you will and you do.

So, take a few days and track your time. Just a general sense of how much free time you have in the mornings and evenings will do. Then check in with yourself about how you feel in those hours. Are you tired? Do you want a moment to sit and read before the night time routine kicks in? Do you prefer quiet or noise? Is this your prime making time?

And then, make your day around those hours. I do best writing in the afternoon between three and five. So, I try to be ahead of myself at work (sometimes going in early) so that I can make space (i.e. have no tasks to complete) in that last hour to write. Or, I come home from work and hole myself up with amy computer and a glass of water.

3. Write space in on your calendar for each piece of your puzzle. 

I just started making sacred creative space in the last year. Friday mornings are my time to get work done, mark things off the shop To Do list, or write at the library. Three of my Friday mornings per month are non-negotiable meaning it is my creative time. No coffee dates, shopping trips, hair appointments, or house-related tasks get to come in and distract me.

This is hard. It is also feels ridiculously luxurious. But, your creative self needs it. Make space whether it's two hours or twenty minutes, whether it's daily or weekly or monthly.

When you write down what you're going to tackle in your given time period, try to focus on one facet of your creativity at a time. This can be challenging and your brain will fight you a bit, but try. Try and try and try. Eventually, your brain and creativity will be willing to compartmentalize.

4. Find a physical spot that works. 

I really wanted to have a space that was all mine to create in when we bought our house. Jason and I agreed we'd have an office-studio space for me to love and decorate. It's been nice, I enjoy the view out over the green yards in our neighborhood. But, honestly, I do seventy-five percent of my creating at our dinner table. Be it writing or painting or calligraphy work, I prefer the dinner table to any other surface in our house.

I think this is partly because I stretch out and spread all my supplies wide when I work, but it might also be proximity to the coffee maker.

What's your biggest creativity tip?
And your largest creativity challenge?

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