Time – the magical thing we all wish we had more of.
When things get really busy, our creative pursuits are the first to get the ax. Not because they’re unimportant, au contraire! It’s because no one else is affected by their absence.
No one is asking to read the novel inside your head.
No one is waiting around for your next painting, photograph, song or poem.
No one is going to make creativity a priority for you, but you.
This doesn’t mean that you need to move to a cabin in the woods, abandon personal hygiene and start talking to birds in order to achieve your creative goals. But it will mean making some tough decisions in order to find your simple.
A good place to start
Before we begin sorting through the physical messes, we’re going to dive into the place that probably feels the most overwhelmed and chaotic – your head. It’s important to approach this process with an open mind in order to avoid making decisions based on fear or guilt.
1. Get quiet
It’s time to turn off the blender of noise and obligation that fills your day and hone in on one voice, yours. Turn off all distractions and grab a trusty pen and notebook.
2. Get out
Now disappear for a while. By physically removing yourself from your home base you’ll be less tempted to blow off this process.
3. Get in touch
The goal? Sit and have an honest conversation with your creative self. No pressure, just intentionally tuning in.
It might feel strange. That guilt monster will probably start jabbering in your ear that there are more important things to do, but tell him to buzz off. The point of this exercise is to provoke your curiosity, and to get you into a safe mental space where you can ask yourself questions you may not have asked in a while.
5 questions to ask yourself during this time
Write down the answers to these questions:
- When was the last time I felt alive with creativity?
- What am I not doing that I wish I were?
- What is my biggest regret in my creative life?
- If I won the lottery tomorrow, what would I do just for fun?
- What’s the thing that’s sucking all of my energy?
Realize that this doesn’t have to be a one-time thing. You may not have all of the answers after this touch-base session (and probably won’t). It may take several get-to-know-me sessions to really figure out what’s calling to you. You may also find that your current passion isn’t the same as what you wanted in the past. As artists, our desires change over time, and that’s okay.
By asking yourself these types of hard questions whenever you get stuck, you can start to be more intentional in your creative life – which is the first step to simplifying.
Find Your Simple is a blog series about discovering what’s truly important to you, and letting go of the rest.
You might also be interested in our free Happy Muses 101 guide.