Nurturing Your Creative Life

Ways to nurture creativity and in turn be revived by a creative life.

"I have a lot of energy and I don't want to waste it."

My 4-year-old had just asked if he could help me fold the laundry. I wasn't quite to the point where I could use his help, so I was making him wait. That's when he told me about his excess energy that needed to be put to good use.

He ran off and played for a bit, and returned inquiring again if I needed his help yet. I said no, not yet, but I was glad he found something to do.

"Yeah." He said. "But this isn't wasting my energy--it's refueling it."

I chuckled, then thought more about that wise statement.

Maybe I can't relate to having a lot of energy, but I can certainly relate to how certain activities refuel my energy and others deplete it. Chores deplete my energy. But writing and making use of the creative pull inside me? Definitely refuels and even revives me.

We all have activities that refuel us, and I think most of us have some kind of art or creativity we tap into for that refueling. Following are some ways to nurture that creativity and in turn be revived by it...

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Adjust your definitions.

Until I was in my 20s, I had an image in my mind of creativity, art, writing, and I was not it. It took some expanding of the stereotypes I understood for me to realize: I am creative, I create art of sorts, and more specifically, I am a writer. I've read from people wiser than me that as children of God made in His creator image, we are all creatives and we all create art in our lives. And I agree. The sooner you expand your definitions to include your version of creating art in your life, the sooner you can get to sharing your gifts, your self, and God's image in you with the world.

Surround yourself with people who get your unique struggles.

I had to keep myself from typing "like-minded." The point with this sort of intentional connecting with others isn't necessarily about similar beliefs or ways of seeing the world--except in the constructs of being a creative. The point is take whatever challenges you have with being a creative, and find peers who get it. What areas of your art do your close friends and family not relate? Which language of your creative pursuits do they not understand? Those are the people to go find to fill your need for connection around creating. I'm a part of a mastermind group, a local blogger's group, and a Facebook writer's group; we meet on Google hangouts, in person, and in Facebook comments or direct messages. Each of these places get the unique language, challenges, and joys behind blogging, social media, branding and design, writing, and the inner pull to create.

Become a reader.

This comes up in just about every one of my posts. I spent far too long making excuses for not reading books regularly, and my life is far better now that I make reading part of my daily routine. When it comes to your creative life, there is so much great encouragement, inspiration, and wisdom found in books. The War of Art, Big Magic, and A Million Little Ways are just a few on a life of art and creativity in general. When it comes to writing, Bird by Bird, The Writing Life, and You are a Writer are some of my favorites.

Make creativity a lifestyle.

Always be working on something for yourself. It doesn't have to be a paid project or something shared for praise. Just schedule in that time regularly (daily if you can, otherwise weekly) to put into your creative outlet, whatever it might be. Pick up your paint brush, that needle and thread, the pen, that gardening shovel, whatever your artistic tool might be. Let the practice revive you.

Know your why.

What keeps you at your art? Maybe you hope to make it part of your career, or maybe it's purely a hobby. As you refine your craft, don't let others determine your value. Knowing why you do it can help you keep at it even if you get crickets or critique in exchange for sharing your work.

Diversify your income.

You might get to or be at a point when you want to pursue a creative endeavor as a means to an income. There is nothing wrong with that. Just don't rule out a day job or a variety of sources of income to take some of the pressure off your art.

Be up for an adventure, and do it scared.

Even pros in any given craft have self-doubts. Decide to do it anyway. Experiment, give new things a chance, and see what happens next. You'll never know if you never try.

As long as you're still breathing, it's not too late to find your inner creative and share it with the world, and refuel in the process.


also see:
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*Note: Affiliate links used in this post. Purchases made through these links could earn me a small commission with no extra cost to the purchaser. This is a little known way to support the writers, bloggers, and online creatives you love. If you choose to do that here, thank you!