Commitment is the first step of the creative process. It is the kick-starting spark that shows our ideas where to head to, destabilising the barriers that stand in the way of creating. It’s then, and only then, that the creativity inside can truly begin its magic. Sometimes I watch people doodle in meetings. Some just draw a line, others keep going until it starts to sprawl out and unveil something interesting. If we are prepared to stick around doodling for long enough, then our creative sides will definitely appear.
This is normally the point that people who are struggling with commitment say ‘But I’m not creative,’ or ‘I can’t draw,’ or ‘I don’t have time’ and that may well feel genuine. They put the pencil down. But we have to push through that reflex action in order to hack the internal belief system. We have to put the time in if we are truly keen to see anything different. We have to pick back up the pencil. Furthermore, we must trust the direction in which things start to pull these proverbial pencils in. And please do not let your demons start to limit your ideas about creativity. For it goes way beyond the parameters of traditional ‘arts and crafts’ we were taught at school. It comes in many forms that, given a notes tab, a view finder, five minutes in conversation, or a page in your Moleskin – will begin to take shape more intentionally.
There will always be reasons not to create, or stagnate in routine if we want there to be: an invitation from friends, a fun show on telly, an inviting duvet, a busy day at work. Although these elements of life have a time and a place, one must learn to hit pause on them to truly make way for creativity. And the longer we are willing to hit the pause button for, the larger the space is made for our creativity to evolve. The closer to creative fulfillment we will be. A feeling that some of us may not have ever taken time to consider.
Hacking the internal belief system that stops us from connecting with our creativity means overriding the feelings of fear: of picking up a pencil to draw from our ten year old selves, of singing whether it’s screechily off key, of accepting we are not yet the ‘professionals,’ nor at this point are we intending to be. And with that level of acceptance, the kind hands of nurturing can get to work. The pangs of discontentment will begin to subside, replaced by the sensation of encouragement.
Small + Small = Bigger
We have a simple answer to help you on your creative journey. We want as many people as possible to join in deeply connecting with their creativity. We want to ask you to dedicate seven special days to it. We want you to be surprised by the outcomes of a small investment and see how given time, things begin to unfold.
How? Every day for seven days, a creative challenge is sent to subscribers by text message. You can spend as little or as long as you want to on it and you’ll be trusted to carry it out independently. You then have the option of sharing what you have produced if you sign up to the Whatsapp group or within your social network, or storing it somewhere privately. You will engage with your ideas and observations and be asked to capture your findings appropriately. The brief is open, the remit is yours.
Why participate? In past years, it’s proved to be heaps of fun, accessible, doable, a great chance to connect with others and a real challenge for those who want it to be. Plus, it’s completely FREE!
ARE YOU READY? SIGN UP NOW TO RECEIVE YOUR FIRST CHALLENGE:
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OK, Kick Start!
1. BOOK A SLOT
You’ll be sent a creative challenge early each morning for seven days. Find a slot in your day that is feasible and a time frame that you know you could be free. Stick to it. Yep, even if you’re tempted by distractions. Keep to it and the results will be rewarding!
2. RISE TO THE CHALLENGE
Whether you’re new to this way of thinking, or it’s something you want to develop further, RISE ABOVE the voice that is stopping you from participating. You are creative – everyone inherently is, we absolutely promise you will surprise yourself. You can be inspired, you can find interesting things, you can find ways to express this, you can finish what you started. This is the muscle work in getting things moving and flowing outwards and upwards.
Appreciate even the tiniest thing and celebrate the smallest steps forward. Look for opportunities throughout your day to spread your creative vibes and share what you have done or found with people you know will be encouraging. Every next step you take is progress and asking for feedback will help you. Negative Emotions? Remember everyone is at different stages of their creative journey. Treat negative feedback as an echo from a past, less creative self that has showed up just to test you. Then push through and pick back up the pencil!
4. TAKE RISKS
Similarly to creating a nurturing space, allow yourself the same space to be able to try out things that are new to you. It’s easy to be very creative, yet stagnate in the safety of what’s familiar to you. Venture into unknown places, explore what you are not very used to. Do that thing you are worried about and find a way to make it work for you.
By Maxine Clay, Co-Founder of Creative Retreats UK