I never thought of myself as the creative type. Just like many of you, I have a meaningful career which fulfills my needs to stay an active member of society. On the surface,I was perfectly content, but on deeper levels, I wanted to do more. You are probably feeling the same way I did. That's because people like you and I do need more. More than waking up, making coffee, going to work, coming home and doing it all over again.
If you've sat there reading blogs, or scrolling through social media wishing you were making something fun like many creatives out there, then you should know that:
1. You are creative. But, you may not know it yet. It's tough to fathom when you feel incapable of making anything. The more you work towards the creative outlet of your choice, the more you'll progress over time. Just like riding a bike, you'll slowly ease into your undiscovered capacities.
2. Some days you're bombarded with ideas. These are some of the happiest days of your life! I recommend writing all of the ideas down as soon as they come about. Your brain becomes inundated with "what ifs" and in order to have hang on to all of that potential content, you should document it as soon as it hits you. Funny enough, the surge can occur during unexpected circumstances.
Mostly, I find that my creative thought process takes place while I'm working. It's ironic that my brain functions in such a way during high levels of stress. I'm learning it's a subconscious way of compensating for the fact that I deal with pain, illness and ultimately death on a regular basis. Surely I've instructed a patient or two not to drink their hot glue gun glue on an empty stomach. Wait, what?
3. Other days you haven't a single creative neuron in your brain. Like looking for water in the dessert... With a pack of crickets to really bring the situation around full circle. This is real, friends. I remember thinking a large number of ideas over the holiday season and not a single thing after Dec 31st. It's important to recognize your brain will and must take breaks. Researchers have found that creativity is very complex and varies from your thought process.
In other words, you can't instruct your brain to come up with something creative. It sparks up on its own, based on inspiration, day dreaming, visualization and other more abstract contributing factors. Therefore, the next time your brain needs a break, let it be! You'll have a great idea when the hiatus is over!
4. Pinterest is your frenemy. I say this with much love as I recognize that Pinterest is an amazing tool! However, let's try and remember that creativity existed long before Pinterest did. I've been married for 3 years and at the time when I was planning my wedding, Pinterest was already around. Luckily, I didn't know how to use the app (a blessing in disguise). I proudly look back at our photos and am reminded that that everything that took place on our special day was thought of and selected by us, sans the help of an 'aiding app' to tell us what was best. Was the wedding perfect? No. Could we have done things differently? Sure. Nevertheless, it's very satisfying to know we pulled it off quite nicely. The fact that Pinterest tells you how to, where to, and when to for every topic imaginable, isn't necessarily a good thing. Your brain needs to put in the work and exercise those creative muscles.
On the other hand Pinterest is a good resource to have and there's room to have fun with it. Here's what I do: when I come across a craft that sparks my attention, I pin it. Then, I do everything I can figure to figure it out independently. As with most things, there's more than one way to slice an apple and there's a good chance you're capable finding a way to do it.
5. Not every project will have the outcome you envisioned. OR be successful, for that matter. This sounds a sad reality, but it isn't the case. It's an opportunity to grow. Once, a social media friend explained how she reupholstered her ottoman and it sounded so easy! I jumped in my car, took myself to Joann's Fabrics and came back home with a hopeful heart!
Nothing went my way, the measurements were wrong, my ottoman was not like her ottoman and my arm was so tired from not using the staple gun properly! Although that particular project didn't have the outcome I wanted, it taught me that being prepared is equally as important as everything else.
6. There's no such thing as an insignificant craft. You may think whatever you've made is silly, but I'm going to tell you to STOP RIGHT THERE. Last month, I wanted to make a drink with Pomegranates. I had so much going on that I didn't have the time to invest in this craft as I originally planned. Instead, I stopped at Trader Joe's and spotted pomegranate seeds. I made pomegranate ice cubes that could be added to any drink.
It seems easy to the point where I was insecure and almost didn't publish it on my blog. It turned out it was shared more than 75 times and got 693 views. While that craft seemed insignificant, it certainly was a popular one for everyone else. To think I almost didn't hit "publish'. Making is making. Period.
7. Don't measure your creativity to that of creatives. Creativity isn't something you can quantify. It has to do with individualism, inspiration and imagination. Comparing your craftiness to others will only hold you back from the many possibilities. Always remember that no one is born knowing everything, we are continuously learning and exploring.
8. Use your time wisely. Yes! When you're on a creative roll, gather your tools and get to work! You'd be surprised how many projects you can get done in one day.. Stay off social media (aka the biggest time eater ever) and that will allow you to gain ample time and increase your level of productivity. Lastly, spending lots of time working creatively is a form a therapy- way cheaper than the real thing, folks.
9. Once you find a knack, you'll never go back. Instead, you'll begin to wonder how you went this long without it.
Grab your tools and get started! Today, is a great day to make something new.