Creativity is Our Bridge to Joy

“To all the secret writers, late-night painters, would-be singers, lapsed and scared artists of every stripe, dig out your paintbrush, or your flute, or your dancing shoes.
Pull out your camera or your computer or your pottery wheel.
Today, tonight, after the kids are in bed or when your homework is done, or instead of one more video game or magazine, create something, anything.
Pick up a needle and thread, and stitch together something particular and honest and beautiful, because we need it. I need it. Thank you, and keep going.”       Shauna Niequist
Procrastination is one of my favorite methods to stay in my fear and not move forward. I have had to put several action thoughts, prayers, and deeds into affect to change my old self into new and better action goals.
  1.  I use the focus–refocus –then review action steps to plan my day.
  2.  I always keep small legal pads at each place I use in the home and/or office. I work at home but have three workplaces. The variety gives me new scenery and different computers. A writer’s life is a solitary profession. Writers also have to be relentless about rewriting. I have found physically moving to another workspace helps to help me find a new train of thought.
  3.  After I have several ideas on several notepads, I do a “brain dump” of organizing for all the material I have notes. I have been training my brain for 30 years how to be my servant instead of my master. I believe this is one of my life issues. I call my main lessons life lessons so that I can remember they will be with me for life.  
  4. Writing down my goals or plans in a large, hardcover notebook that I have divided into 3 sections helps me to keep it simple. Then I use a red pen and circle my goals for the day. I may use a different colored marker for each day as I move through the week. But usually I have to move on to new topics.
  5. For translating my goals and plans into action steps, I use clipboards. I learned clipboards from the Navy when I worked in Guantanamo Bay. I keep 3 clipboards focused on 2 different directions I may or may not be following. If something loses favor with the direction I want to go in, it is easy to discard that topic. I generally keep a clipboard free for home care and/or personal errands.
  6. In the past few years, I have kept alphabetized white cover notebooks to keep all aspects of a topic I am researching. But, for now, I have so much material I no longer follow that smaller notebooks serve me better.

Everyone has creativity. To get in touch with new energy in you, try one of the following exercises.

Action board—use a large bulletin board to post 3×5 index cards for the 5 main categories of your life. You may wish to use general categories; such as goals, deadlines, dreams, etc. of be more specific, such as marketing, sales, etc. Using different colored 3×5 cards may help you to see the categories more easily.

Every Sunday evening or another evening of your choice, review your boards and update them for the upcoming week/month/year depending on your system. This update will go quickly and will give you a clear, concise review of where you are and where you are going. This will lead to greater confidence. Remember if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

Begin keeping a creative basket—pretend you are 10 years old or ask a young friend and/or family member to help you. Take a large basket with a handle and put all the things in it you might enjoy using to create a new project. You may include sequins, glitter, paste, colored pens, watercolors, sketch pads. You may use these materials to play with often as way to express your creativity.

Love Jar—collect a glass or clear plastic jar. Using bright construction paper, cut into strips. On the strips of paper, write down short suggestions for yourself of ways you can feel greater love in your life. These activities will also add new confidence skills. For example:

  • Clean out a cupboard or drawer today.
  • Take a warm bubble bath.
  • Explore a new lake or a nature retreat.
  • Make a list of 15 of your strengths and put it in your wallet
  • Create a bulletin board of special cards others have sent to you or go to a card store and pick out 5-10 cards that you really love.
  • Make a picture wall of your favorite picture.
  • Make a cassette tape of your favorite inspirational quotations.
  • Trade skills with a friend to explore new ways of doing things.
  • Choose a new hobby or improve on an older one.
  • Have company for dinner and create an original menu.

Begin keeping a loose-leaf notebook I call my “life-book”. The 5×8 size is convenient. I keep everything I might need to know in the immediate future. I also keep an index-sized Rolodex but the lifebook goes everywhere with me. It is a great companion when you’re remodeling or moving. You may have a companion on your computer.

Play is essential everyday for everyone. Plan to play everyday. The time you allot to play will repay you in increased productivity. Be sure to set time limits for play so that you don’t use play to prolong procrastination for some work you need to do.

Creativity Comes From Our Letting Go of Thinking

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”       Ray Douglas Bradbury

Some creativity links–

Be the Most Creative Person in the Room

I Remember the Day I Identified as Creative

What It Means to Find Your Community and How It Impacts Your Creativity

One Thing You Can Do to Feel More Creative Today

Creativity: The Strategic Necessity You May Have Not Thought Of

How to be Creative Every Day for the Rest of Life

Photo credit.

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