This is the final part of a four-part series on the basics of cultivating creativity. In this post, I talk about the key called “Being Intentional” that unlocks your creative mindset (Part 2) and makes the creative habit (Part 3) stick.
My parents always reinforced the message that they loved us the same and equally. I know they still do but now I know better. As a mother, my children have taught me that I can never love them the same or equally. My children have taught me that they are individuals with different personalities and needs that my love for them has to be different. On top of loving all my children fiercely yet differently, I have a deep admiration and respect for my middle child. She is three weeks shy of turning 8 years old but she has this artistic creativity thing down pat.
You see, her artistic creativity dial is set on max every waking hour. This is her constant state of being. Whenever she has any time to herself, you will find her sitting quietly in a corner writing a story, or drawing or making something. I found her two nights ago sitting on her little baby sister’s play mat designing a game using one of the toys. She said to me not too long ago that she feels like exploding because there are so many ideas inside her. To keep her from exploding, we supply her with notebooks, sketchbooks, paper (lots of it), paint, pens, brushes and space to make those ideas come alive.
If you have been following along this Cultivating Creativity Basics series, you would recognize that this is just her creative mindset and her creative habit shining through. This state of being is absolutely effortless for her. This is the only way she knows how to be. So many children are like this. However, for the rest of us adults, being in this head space all the time is difficult and takes a lot of hard work. With so many aspects of our lives vying for attention, how could we possibly find the time to be creative or find the time to create a creative habit? Many of us fall on the wayside never to jump back on the bandwagon again because it is too hard.
I can attest to this. There has been a few times I have thought to myself that these late nights are simply not worth it. If you are on this journey with me, I hear you. It is absolutely tiring. There were times when a tiny voice kept asking if this extra thing on my already very full plate is just a little too much and will topple the balance in my life. I’ve had to shush it many times lately. I shush it because being artistic is part of who I am and producing art is a positive product of that part of me.
Since I began this journey, I’ve been asked by many: “How do you find the time?” This is how: I make time. I am intentional about carving some time aside for creative output. This is how I do it and I hope it can help you too.
I am a planner at heart. You probably gleaned this when I suggested a way of replacing your new year resolution with a plan to implement three creative ideas. I plan on three levels: macro, monthly and weekly. For the macro level, I use Lara Casey’s Make it Happen Powersheets.* I find the powersheets help me find the centre of my motivation for various aspects of my life so that I can plot a path through the months. On the monthly level, I use Corey Willis’ The Blog Planner. I use it to plan my posts in 3 month chunks. That helps me see what special occasions lie ahead and helps me stay on top of what is happening on the website. On a weekly level, I have a paper planner. I was an early adopter of the electronic planner but I returned to the paper diary in early 2015 and have never looked back. I like Personal Planner* because I can customize it and personalize it and the week over two pages layout is exactly what I like. Using these planners, I keep an eye on all the different aspects of my creative, business and home life.
Whatever planning tool helps you, use it. Being intentional about cultivating your creativity means you have to put time aside and the only way you are going to be able to put time aside in your busy life is to plan it. Let’s be honest. It would be great if it was effortless like how it is for my daughter. However, she has the luxury of time that children have that you and I, as adults, simply don’t have. So we need to plan it.
- Read Lara Casey’s Make it Happen* and then explore if her powersheets are what you need to help you steer your life.
- Corey Willis has a lovely website on home decorating, blogging and crafting called Hey there, Home. You can find her Blog Planner on her website too.
- I have been tempted by the Hobonichi Techo and the Rhodia Webplanner but the options for customization of the Personal Planner* won me over.
* I don’t earn any commission on these. I just find them really useful.
Being intentional and planning always,