Date Your Creativity, then Marry It

“The thing is, if you’re alive, you’re creating. You’re creating thoughts, friendships, new cells, hairdos, joys, problems, solutions, sentences, routes to work, truths to live by, perhaps the occasional avocado toast” -Jen Sincero

What are your creative outlets? Are you a painter, singer, baker, chef, killer pet costume designer, scrapbooker, skater, dancer, collage artist, mandala maker, interior designer, knitter, nail artist, leatherworker, wine maker, gardener, designer?

How often do you let your creativity out to play? If you don’t have time, have you installed an app to report to you your daily screen time? Think you could cut it in half, and devote that time to creating instead?

If you think you’re not the creative type, hold the phone. You create your outfit every day, (some of) the jokes you make, your weekend plans, your sentences, and white lies to get you out of office parties and baby showers. You are the creator of your own life, and are creating things all the time. Just because you don’t have an art studio in your house does not mean you are not creative.

As a kid, we are constantly creating– games, pool-jumping-into-moves, songs, characters, stories, potions, worlds. Kids do this because they are fresh, they don’t experience the pressure to have their creative pursuits be “something” or monetized or recognized. Kids create because they are playing and interacting with their worlds, and they choose activities that are fun and bring them joy and fulfillment, because their minds have not yet been made insecure by society, culture, advertisements, and media.

Kids create because it’s fun.

As adults, I see many of us afraid to create. We put so much weight on it sometimes, but it’s like going on a first date and thinking this could be “the one.” I mean sure, it always could be, if such a thing exists, but way to scare any chances of that happening away with all that PRESSURE and EXPECTATION, as well as sucking the fun out of the whole ordeal!

It’s important to retain your ability to create for the sake of it, to experience it, to feel it move through you and then look at or taste or hear a piece of your own soul materialized. It’s real life alchemy in action. Don’t you want to make some magic?

Plan weekly dates with your creativity. I don’t want to hear about your lack of time, because we all know the statistics about time we spend mindlessly scrolling through our phones. The internet is a fascinating place, I get it. It’s full of endless entertainment, reassurance, beauty, resources, etc. I love it, for the most part. But you can have too much of a good thing, and the internet is no exception. We can all trim the fat and use our time more wisely, and get out of our phones and more into life more often.

Date your creativity. Give it a chance, get to know it, see what it’s like in different settings, and how it reacts to different circumstances. Allow yourself to fall in love with it, and to commit to it. Marry it, when you’re ready, of course.

I recommend three hours per week, to start, but obviously you are the boss of your own life and can tweak this as needed. I recommend 1 hour chunks, minimum, to allow yourself to get lost in it, and lose track of time (ideally.) Do the world a favor, and share it, too. Art, music, food, desserts, photography, dancing, games, books, fashion, and stories make our lives So. Much. Richer. Even street art or a doodle by our friend or a coworker make us happy. How much does your day improve when your coworker brings in really good, homemade baked goods? Give them to a neighbor, stick a doodle or a cartoon in a library book or hang them up in public spaces. Post it on social media. Share it. Share creativity that YOU love and inspire others.

This doesn’t have to be a selfish act. Giving your creativity to yourself and others makes your own and other’s lives better.

We all have at least one friend who’s a brilliant painter, photographer, maker, comedian or banjo player, who doesn’t believe their art is worth enough of an investment, either through time or effort, and you miss it. You miss that friend’s baking, or the fabulous clothes they design, or their comics. Your life, and your interaction with them, wouldn’t be as fun or as complex or beautiful without having known it. You are that person to someone, whether you know it or not, and you are that person to many more who don’t even know about you yet.

Allow yourself to be creative just for the fun of it! It’s so important we don’t lose sight of experiencing daily joy, fun, being and flowing and making and not worrying about perfection or results or feedback.

Creativity builds our self esteem. Instead of passively living and consuming other’s creativity, we can be participants, and we can progress, learn something new, and actually see something tangible resulting from our efforts.

Creating reduces stress. Creativity puts us in a state of flow, like a sort of meditation where our mind is cleared except for on the task at hand. It can be a welcome respite for those of us who struggle to turn our thoughts off. Being creative improves our mood and our brain function.

What is the world without creativity?

Dull. It sounds like being at the DMV. Fuck this over-saturated market business. Forget the market! Your art, your creativity is unique and a part of this world, and frankly it’s not the same world without it. It is our responsibility as adults to show up in this world as our best selves and creating and sharing that with the world is part of that.

If you’re struggling to get inspired, and are feeling a general sense of ennui, try a minimum of one hour a week to start. Stick to it for a month. Prioritize it, and dress up nice for it, like you’re going on a second date. Allow yourself to play, to have fun, and see how you feel after making it a priority. You may find yourself less stressed, more confident, more joyful, calm, interesting, interested, and more giving to others.

Try it.

If you’re looking for inspiration, or don’t know where to start, here’s a list of ways to get your creativity flowing:

Tips to Get Inspired:

Go to an art museum, or any museum, really. I love rock and mineral museums.

Go check out new art galleries.

Get out in Nature, go to a state park, a city park, an arboretum or even a conservatory. Walk along a waterfront.

People watch. Go to an airport, a park, a cafe, a fair, an expo.

Walk or drive around a new or beautiful neighborhood

Walk up to a really high place and get a sweeping view

Cut up your favorite images from old magazines and make a collage

Make a card for a friend who lives in another state. Send it to them.

Write a song

Write a handwritten letter to a friend

Go check out sections in the library or bookstore that you’ve never visited, or see if there’s something new in your favorite sections

Visit public gardens

Take a trip. Day, week, month. Get a change of scenery

Post up at a cozy spot outside and watch the clouds drift by

Make it a priority to watch the sunrise and the sunset in one day, make sure it’s clear or partly sunny that day (I find partly sunny makes for my favorite sunrises and sunsets, but that’s me.)

Meditate. Clear your mind

Go see live music

Watch Stand Up Comedy

Window Shop

Walk around thrift and antique stores

Peruse Pinterest

Move your body- dance, jump rope, run, do cartwheels. Get out of your head and move your body

Please let me know:

How creativity has changed your life?

What stops you from prioritizing your creativity?

What are your favorite ways to be creative?

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