In the creative world, I have found it’s easy to fall into the habit of “going through the motions.” I started with photography because I loved the idea of capturing memories of my daughter as she grew up fast. And then, I fell in love with the creative aspect of storytelling, blogging, and sharing beautiful imagery with the world. However, as one day led to another, my business started to grow and I focused more on the aspect of marketing and maintaining a business than actually creating. I had to my admit to myself, that I had lost all creative inspiration.
Maybe you can relate? It happens so quickly. And unfortunately, it can happen often. If you’re anything like me, you probably enjoy running your business, but at the root of it all you started this journey because you LOVED to create. Over the past several years, I have learned that staying creatively inspired is something I have to work at. It’s a muscle that needs exercised and often. On a daily basis, something else will always feel as if takes priority over creating. While it seems like it should be easy, practicing creativity is something that may actually require a bit of effort and discipline. So how can you stay creatively inspired, without adding any overwhelm to your business and life?
- If it isn’t on my calendar, it probably won’t happen. When I plan out my day each morning, I have to be extremely mindful of what I pencil in for myself. I personally love the method of time blocking. I block of portions of the day for my big priorities: work, homeschool, home care, self-care, etc. Then, I list out any tasks that need to happen and see what can fit into that block of time. The beautiful thing about creativity, is that it can often take place in any block of time. There are many different ways to practice being creative, so I just make sure that at least one form of creativity takes place in my day.
Incorporate it into daily life
- Like I mentioned above, creativity can take many forms. As a photographer and writer, I try to practice both of those forms at least once a week. However, I also love to stay inspired through music, cooking, self-care, and other forms of art. Rather than trying to force creativity into an already full-schedule, I find ways to make my daily life creative and stretch that muscle in a way that feels good, without forcing it.
Turn on some music
- For many people, music can help to lower anxiety, improve your mood, and overall boost your productivity. What is there not to love about that when trying to be more creative? Not sure what genre would be best? Subscribe to Amazon Music or Spotify and try a variety to see what works for you! I love classical music when I’m trying to focus, but I appreciate some serious jams when I’m shooting, exercising or in the kitchen!
Practice a new medium
- Practicing art and creativity outside of your business and professional medium is a MUST! Why? Because it allows you to let go of the need to stay on brand so to speak. When you practice a new medium you can let go of any expectations you might have for yourself and just experiment and well, create! It can bring a lot of joy and breathe inspiration into your life.
- While I enjoy a good scroll on Instagram and Pinterest, I know that in reality, they’re actually hurting my creativity more than they’re helping. Practicing creativity is an active exercise, scrolling through “inspiration boards” is a passive exercise. Draw from your life experiences, and let go of drawing from other’s work. Aside for that, spending too much time online can exhaust your mind in other ways. I don’t think I have to explain how today’s social media feeds and news outlets can be hurtful for your mind, body and emotions. Spend less time online, and more time enjoying real life. Then pay attention to how it shapes your mood and creative efforts.
Let go of perfection
- Done is better than perfect, especially when practicing creativity. By overcoming perfectionism, particularly when you create, you can find peace, joy and satisfaction in everything you do. You’ll start to see the art of creating as a journey rather than a destination. It will help free your mind of this need to create with strict expectations, and allow you to experiment and practice freely.
Move your body
- Did you know that daily movement can help creativity? Really, it can. Exercise is known to help boost your mood, improve your cognitive skills, boost memory and reduce stress. Uhm, hi, that sounds like the best form of medicine any doctor could prescribe! So how does that improve creativity? Well, as I mentioned above, there are a lot of things that sneak into our daily live that inhibit our creative skills. Moving your body daily can help you overcome those obstacles and free your mind to be inspired. PS – Bonus points if you exercise outside.
- Oh shucks, look at that. I don’t know about you, but life just seems better when I go outside. I’m fortunate to have a backyard that oozes happiness, calm, and creative inspiration. Depending on where you live, maybe it’s not as easy for you to step out your door and feel that sense of calm. Try finding ways to once again incorporate it into your daily life. Schedule a walk in the park, open your windows and simply breathe in the fresh air, call a friend and meet up the closest nature reserve, take your dog for a walk (there’s that exercise again! #twoforone.)
Read more books
- Introducing analog art to your brain and life is a beautiful way to seek creative inspiration. I love to read fiction books, business books, and books about my medium. However, I often find that I’m most inspired by keeping some gardening books on my coffee table, browsing a new recipe book at the library, subscribing to a magazine about organizing or nature, or even flipping through an interior design journal. Go beyond just reading, and allow books filled with art and life to become a new part of your routine.
Keep an idea journal
- Writing is one of my favorite habits to practice each morning. Before I even pick up my phone, I try to make it a habit to write whatever is on my mind. It’s a form of release and the best way to start my day without feeling overwhelmed by the things that happened the day before or anything that is to come. Aside from writing in typical journal style, it can also be really helpful to keep an idea journal. Whenever you write something in your thoughts on paper, you’ve captured it forever, and free up space to think, create, and be inspired.