Creating. Something we’ve done ever since we were small, playing with our spaghetti or drawing on the walls in pen.
And now, whether it’s coming up with silly business ideas or simply doodling in a meeting, we can’t resist it. But the complexities of growing up or getting older: pursuing career aspirations, working at least five days a week, dropping kids off at practices, going to the gym, making dinner, doing laundry, working late… a truly exhausting list of to-dos… stops us from spending much time creating.
We make time for those other things, scheduling in advance and building them into our routines, because, well, they’re important to us!
But you should know that making time to be creative is just as important.
I love art. I love music. I love writing, drawing and dancing, and my younger self constantly, in class or after the school day was over, pursued these endeavours. Sometimes making them priority over homework, studying for tests or going out with friends.
But now, exercising my creativity often falls to last priority. My routine rarely allowing for even thirty minutes of creation, even though I have many unfinished creative projects or personal unattained creative dreams and goals.
So, why do we have so much trouble making time for creativity?
Actor, comedian, writer and film producer John Cleese, widely known as the co-founder of the Monthy Python sketch group and its films, answers this question exquisitely.
“…As we all know, it’s easier to do trivial things that are urgent than it is to do important things that are not urgent, like thinking. And it’s also easier to do little things we know we can do than to start on big things that we’re not so sure about.”
So we go to our gym classes, we spend time on our dinner recipes, we linger in the mall and watch television, but we have difficulty starting that novel that’s first scene has been in the back of our minds for months or setting time aside to teach ourselves how to play an instrument twice a week or growing a garden. They’re harder. And we’re less certain about them.
And I know that I personally find this frustrating, disheartening and kind of unfulfilling, thinking about all of the things I want to do in the realms of creativity. But I continue the same routine and the same schedule, without making time for those desired things.
And I am tired of it. I want to make things. I want to unlock my creativity.
Do you desire to do the same?
If you answered yes…
Here’s how to starting making time in your routine
After brainstorming and googling how others and the greats made time for their novels, paintings, musical compositions, gardening, etc., I realize that you don’t accomplish those aspirations without making time to do them.
That’s common sense, right?
Yes. And yet we keeping blaming the clock of life and “limited time.” While all along, the blame is placed on us.
So, we’ll make a list of what to-dos here. How to change this.
Start Disciplining Yourself
Usually the word “discipline” has a negative connotation, and disciplining ourselves to be creative seems counter-intuitive, I know. Why would I regiment creative sessions? Why control those loose and fluid thoughts? Isn’t creativity supposed to have no order– the beauty of it lying in its chaos and disorganization?
Well, yes, that’s all true. But by scheduling a chunk of time in your week every week and making yourself think, create and teach, this impulsiveness will start showing its neck through the regiment. It might be hard thinking about ourselves sitting in a room, thinking. Attempting to add onto our creations, and ending up lacking inspiration.
But just as a Todaymade blogger said: “That inspiration will hit a wall at some point. Without discipline, we won’t work past it. The person putting his entire creative life at the mercy of a whim won’t create or finish much at all.”
So like any other thing in life: practice, practice, practice.
Set a time. And try. Then try again. Until your ideas starting flowing. And this allotted time becomes your best friend. Your free thinking period. Your guilty pleasure.
When you hit the wall, and you don’t want to set aside the time, do it anyways and see what happens.
Next: Finding Your Creative Space
If you’ve ever tried to write with the television on, with friends or family in the room or in a space that’s not conducive to doing so, you’ve probably realized that it’s hard to do.
So, when we make time to be creative, whatever the activity, we should also find a space that can be reserved in our mind as “our work space.”
When we mentally prepare ourselves and stick to one room or area as the “creation area,” we can come into the space knowing “I’m going to create here. Brainstorm. And concentrate.”
And then do it.
We’ll pay Mr. Cleese another visit. A re-visit.
As I mentioned earlier, he’s an artist (writer, producer, actor, comedian) and he has his own method for creating. It consists of 5 factors, which he says “make your life more creative.”
Without going into too much detail, these five agents are truly imperative to any creative process. And they are as follows: space, time, time, confidence and humor.
Consider each one. And string them together.
- Designate a space
- Set a time frame
- Allow yourself as long as you need (the other time– not worrying about how long something takes)
- Understand that mistakes happen and don’t fear them
- And laugh
Now go create something!