IIf you were one of the lucky ones during the confinements (healthy, with a job, without a permit or working from home, without young children) you may have used the free time to write a novel or two, master clog dancing, or embark on a life-size sculpture of Professor Chris Whitty. A survey by the Open University found that 61% of people took up something creative in 2020: nearly a third reported reading for pleasure, with the kitchen in close proximity, while crafts like knitting and photography were also accepted. It also reported a 622% increase in enrollments for creative online courses, while Pinterest had a 130% increase in sewing video views. Now, as life begins to get busier, how do we keep our newfound creative practice alive?
Remember why you are doing it
You may have ambition that one day the script you are working on will win you an Oscar, but even if you don’t plan to turn your project into a career, it will bring numerous benefits to your life. “Remember it felt good,” says Kevin Chesters, marketing strategist and co-author of The creative push. “It was fun, it was interesting, and who wouldn’t want a more fun and interesting life after the year we just had? Don’t let this return to normalcy be a return to monotony. Don’t let him go back to doing things the way he always did. Keep the good things going. “Participating in creative activities is beneficial for health and well-being. “See it as a way to take care of yourself,” he says. Beth pickens, artistic consultant and author of Do your art no matter what. “Thinking of it less as something fun to do when you have time and more as something you do to take care of yourself can help you prioritize it.” “Creative practice,” he says, “is restorative, gives you more energy, while many of our habits, like television and social media, are fun, but are more like numbing activities. They don’t give us much fuel ”.
Fold it in your identity
If you think of something as “just” a hobby, it can be harder to justify spending time with it. Alternatively, suggest Mark McGuinness, Creative Professionals Coach and Author of Productivity for Creative People: “If it’s something that you really feel is part of your identity, if you say, ‘Now I feel like maybe I could be a writer or an artist,’ it’s easier to hold on to that. And if you feel like what you’re creating is something you really want to put out into the world, that’s another form of motivation. “No, he adds, if you see it simply as a hobby, that’s not great in and of itself. The emotional benefits of having that activity in your life? The more benefits intertwined, the easier it will be to hold on to when other things threaten to take you off the program. “
You don’t have to become an artist though
“People think creativity is a job title and it isn’t,” says Chesters. “You can bring creativity to whatever field you are in. You can be a creative lawyer, you can be a creative grandmother. Thinking about things in new and interesting ways will just improve your life. “Humans like predictability” and we are afraid to do new things. It’s not our fault: evolution gets in the way, social conditioning gets in the way. the way. But every human being was born creative, it is society that slowly crushes us into adulthood. ”
Get ready to be creative
This includes getting comfortable with novelty and chaos, Chesters says. In her book, she includes tips for little “nudges” that will help: unpair her socks, change silverware drawers, use more of her non-dominant hand. Talk to new people. If you walk to the station every day, add a different street there. Just do different things, ”he says. Creativity, he says, may consist of challenging orthodoxy.
For many of us, it’s not genuinely that we don’t have time. “Consider what is least important by what time would change,” Pickens says. “How much do you really need to be on social media if they make you feel bad? Trade it in for working on the creative project that has been giving you so much joy. “Schedule time for your creativity, rather than waiting for” free “time to appear. work or school, start with the things that are important to you and then build the other things around you, ”Pickens says.
Don’t commit too much
“If you say ‘I’m going to do two hours every day at night after work,’ maybe some days you have the energy for that, but other days you don’t,” says McGuinness. Failing to meet those high standards can leave you feeling discouraged, so keep your commitment realistic as other demands arise. “The place to start is: what is the minimum it takes to move forward?” says McGuinness. “Is it 30 minutes a day? Two afternoons a week? Half a day on the weekend? Of course, do more, but have minimal commitment. What do you have to give so that you find space for it? Does it mean getting up half an hour earlier? Does it mean having an agreement with your partner about childcare? “Identify potential obstacles ahead of time and have a plan to overcome them.
Not only is it motivating to see progress, but your creative practice will also become a habit. “Even half an hour a day will make a difference,” says McGuinness. “The most important thing is that you stay where it is normal, like brushing your teeth or going to work.” If you miss a day, a week, or more, just start over. “Try not to punish yourself, but also make sure you learn your lesson: what was it that stopped me? What would you do next time to avoid derailing? ”
Ideally, by now, a creative practice may seem as vital to well-being as exercise, but you probably still have the feeling that it’s not important or forgiving. There may be anxiety, McGuinness says, “about all the other things that I feel like I could or should be doing instead.” He advises being as organized as possible, so that you can tackle the things that you think you should be doing. “There is much more space in your life when you are more organized and there is much less residual anxiety.”
Join a community
It’s hard to do things on your own, Pickens says. “Even if you are doing something alone, like painting or writing, building and maintaining relationships with other people who also think that is important will really help you. Anything that gets you involved with other people who are also prioritizing their creative work will also help you do that. “Look for local writing or craft groups. You can connect with people online, but Pickens prefers in-person groups.” When we have support emotional and other people who are doing the same, we can stay more motivated and committed to our goals. “
Discover a passion
What if you didn’t accept a creative blocking project? The simple solution is to find one now. “Try a lot of things, stretch your originality muscle,” says Chesters. “It’s okay to fail. If you want to get comfortable with failure, just take on a bunch of different hobbies, and some of them will be good, some of them will be terrible. “Passion comes later, says McGuinness.” What I find often is that people, usually It doesn’t start out with a raging passion to do whatever it takes, but rather, he is curious and discovers it. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism