The thing about creativity is that unless you make a living practicing your art, it’s easy to deprioritize it. (Note: WordPress is saying deprioritize isn’t a word, but I’m sticking to it because WordPress also says that WordPress isn’t a word.)
On the to-do list you might not even have had time to write today, “make something awesome” would likely fall somewhere near the bottom, after “drop off the kids-prescription-dry cleaning-car,” “write the report,” “attend the meeting,” “reassure the boss,” “pick up the the kids-prescription-dry cleaning-car,” “do the laundry” “pay the bills,” “cook, clean, cry, collapse.”
It’s a perfectly understandable, soul-killing decision to NOT make something awesome. But as day after day passes in this frenzied “I have no time for creative badassery” mode, the muscle that creates your art – your wicked imagination – atrophies. It gets harder and harder to get it up.
So to speak.
I don’t want that to happen to you (or me), so I made a list of five ways to sneak back up on our creative natures. These ideas are small, but powerful… like Altoids.
Even if only for a few minutes each day, unplug your phone, your computer, your TV, your radio, and every device you have that starts with a lower case “i.” Immerse yourself in your physical surroundings. If at all possible, get dirty.
- Take a picture.
I seriously think cameras are magical in their ability to change our perspectives. Don’t believe me? Look at Marcie Scudder’s rainy day, Jen Erbe’s birches, jb’s kitchen table, my picture of stillness…
And – bonus! – the “make something awesome” goal is built right into this one!
Do something out of character.Wear a kilt or a tutu (or, for me, something purple). Publicly display your affection, throw yourself a surprise party, tell someone in no uncertain terms that what they do makes your knees weak, your head spin, your throat dry… and even with all that, you hope they never, ever stop.
Alone or with your lover, your crush, your best friend, your kid, your parents, a perfect (or not-so-perfect) stranger. Do something, anything. Just. For. Fun.
- Fuck should.
For a day, an afternoon, an amazing hour of precious freedom, don’t do anything just because you should.
It may be that the awesome thing you make… is you.