Many of you may have set goals starting the new year such as having a “Dry” January giving up alcohol for a month, losing 5 pounds, eating healthier, etc. I had a hectic January with the move and a short trip right in the middle of it all. This post is to revisit with you tips for starting or maintaining a creative practice in 2023.
3 Tips to Free Up Time for Creative Practice
1. Use a Planning Tool
For the month of January, I have managed all but one day to use the Franklin Planner method to plan out my days and focus my activities on one priority at a time. Notice I said “one” priority? I just recently learned from my Wild Women facilitator, Kc Rossi, that the word was always meant to be singular until modern times when we burdened ourselves with the concept of multi-tasking. I used to pride myself on my ability to multi-task and now it just leaves me scattered and bouncing around like “a fart in a skillet!”
2. Establish a Ritual incorporating at Least One Creative Practice
I still write Morning Pages – three pages of stream of consciousness writing – every morning. Then, I turn to my planner to lay out the rest of the day. My main area of focus so far has been setting up and organizing my studio. I found this studio for sale on Facebook Marketplace. I think I stole it for $250.00!
I managed to squeeze in a little art and focused on sketching the everyday. On top of the move and its associated chaos, we spent many hours waiting in doctor’s offices and labs. I packed a small sketchbook with me and captured a few quick moments to draw quickly what I see. People tend to move before you can capture the moment so it is essential to sketch quickly and not focus too much on details. It’s best to not even erase but I couldn’t help myself.
I’ve also been playing with Procreate and find if I can’t fit in any art during the day, I can certainly play with Procreate in the evening.
3. Eliminate the Unecessary
I took the time in early January to start cleaning up my email backlog. I’m embarrased to admit ust how many emails I had in my gmail account (5000+)! To start out, I unsubscribed from several email lists. I did this by noting just how many I would automatically delete without reading. Those were obvious choices. Then I focused on those who I follow in another site such as Youtube – no need to duplicate with an email. Next, I took a hard look at those that were esentially effering the same thing and decided the better of the offerings. The rest were unsubscribed. After doing this, I realized just how many of the above categories were still sitting out there either unread or opened for further action I would most likely never take. I had several days of not feeling up to par so I used that time to clean up the backlog. Now my goal is to approach email each day with three choices: read and delete, read an file in an appropriate folder, delete immediately and unsubscrie.
Free February – Free to Create
Currently, I’m reflecting on just how fast the first month of 2023 went by. Now I’m focusing on a “Free” February. Free from judgement. Free from self-doubt. Free to create. Free to be still. Free to rest. Free to be. The list could go on and on.
I like the word “free.” It lacks judgement and constraints. Sure, I like to create at least something every day, but if I can’t, I’m free to do something else. I would prefer to eat healthy and drink less, but if I don’t, I’m free to acknowledge the choice I make.
I’m at the age where I look back on my life and reflect on memories that pop up. “Digging Up Bones” as the George Jones song says. I finally started drafting a semi-autobiography telling the story of my sister, born disabled, through my eyes. I’ve been mullkling this story over in my mind and finally putting words on paper. To most, my sister was forgotton. To me, her story needs to be told.
That easel that I say I stole? The woman who sold it can no longer paint due to arthritis in her hands! My cousin’s wife has been an accomplished harpist and is selling all her harps due to the pain in her hands. Do your hands allow you to create? Do it now before you can’t do it at all!
Tips on How to Maintain a Creative Practice
Remember, creativity is a lifelong journey and it’s never too late to start. Establishing a creative practice can be a rewarding way to cultivate and maintain your creativity. Here are some steps you can follow to get started:
- Choose a medium: Decide which type of creative activity you want to focus on, such as writing, painting, photography, or music. Feel free to chose more than one at first and then focus on the medium that feels right for you.
- Set aside time: Dedicate a specific time each day or week to work on your creative practice. Set a reminder or get an accountability buddy to keep on task.
- Find a routine: Establish a routine that works for you, whether it’s setting aside time in the morning or evening, working for a specific amount of time each day, or having a designated day of the week for your creative practice.
- Create a space: Designate a space for your creative practice, whether it’s a dedicated room, a corner of your living room, or a specific table or desk.
- Get rid of distractions: Remove anything that might distract you while you’re working, such as turning off your phone, closing your internet.
- Celebrate your progress: Take time to reflect on and celebrate your creative accomplishments, no matter how small they may be.
- Surround yourself with support: Seek out a community of like-minded people who can support and inspire you on your creative journey. The Meet-Up site has worked well for me in finding local artists groups, especially being new to the Tucson area.
Remember, creativity is a lifelong journey and it’s never too late to start. Establishing a creative practice can be a rewarding way to cultivate and maintain your creativity. Sign up below and I’ll send you a set of journalling pages to color and jumpstart your own creative practice. You and unsubscribe at any time.