I’m going to tell you a secret, that may make most of you click out of this blog on the spot. But I believe in authenticity so here goes:
I don’t get that jazzed about Thanksgiving and Christmas as an adult.
When I think about the holidays coming up, all it does is give me low grade anxiety, which will probably continue to get worse the closer they loom.
I love New Years.
The planner in me is already wondering what my themes for 2019 will be. If we can ignore the diet culture hoard trying to convince us we need a “new us” in the new year, and shaming us for our choices, the New Year is brimming with possibility and wonder.
I’m actually not a huge Resolutioner, but I do always set new intentions and themes for a new year.
One of my big themes in 2018 was to rediscover my inner creative. I knew that adult life had squished her down, and I wanted to get reacquainted.
I talked about this some a couple weeks ago, the process hasn’t been as smooth or easy as I expected. My inner creative is demanding and unpredictable. She also just may be upset at me for sidelining her for years.
As a creative, I know how challenging it can be to feed your creativity while not losing yourself in them. I’m going to share a few mantras to reflect on which will help you nurture your relationship with your inner creative.
I think perfectionism is a really common problem for artists and creatives. It’s worse than run of the mill perfectionism because we have a vision, and getting a project perfect isn’t just about other people thinking it’s perfect.
Creative perfectionism is about how close our finished creation or project is to what we envisioned, and how OK we can be creating without knowing the outcomes. It’s about learning to show up to create with inspiration, but not letting our vision ruin our reality.
We have to follow our vision but still hold it loosely, and allow for it to grow into something totally unexpected.
Artists and creatives are known for pushing all of the envelopes. But a lot of times, this also requires us to be the oddball and the weirdo, especially when no one else knows what we are going for. I’ve taken self portraits in public so many times, and it can feel awkward, but I am way more invested in my project than I am what the random cars driving by think of me. Don’t let “but it will be weird’ or “people will look at me funny” keep you from doing YOU.
I touched on this a couple weeks ago on the Gram. So often we are afraid of putting any boundaries around our inspiration and creativity for fear we will lose it. We get on a roll and don’t want to stop until we burn all the way out.
Maybe some people have a lifestyle that accommodates this, but it’s definitely not a healthy one for me. Here’s the secret, if we are building up our creative life with intention, we can implement internal boundaries even for our Creative.
My boundaries include not bringing my phone upstairs to bed with me, and not spending every moment I’m not working my day job writing and taking photos. I purposely schedule myself other things, like spending time with family and friends, regularly. I also schedule writing time, and try to leave myself outlines and trails to pick up on. I don’t have the luxury of blocking out hours a day to write, so I have to get really efficient in the time that I do have, even if it’s only a 20 minute block of time.
Think about what boundaries might help you in the care and keeping of your creative. If you would be interested in journaling prompts to guide you through this process, let me know in the comments!
This has been a hard one for me from both sides. I grew up thinking that my art would be what eventually supported me, and put a lot of energy into building a photography business. Except, it never took off. It never took off because booking clients I didn’t already know was really scary, and turned a spotlight on my social anxiety. I paid for decent gear with some weddings and portrait sessions, but this has always been a side gig.
The worst part was how I started feeling when I focused on monetizing my photography. It wasn’t fun anymore. The thing I loved, that actually gave me ways to connect with others meaningfully and provide them value, was stressing me out.
Hear me loud and clear: Your art doesn’t have to bring in money to be worthy
If you find a way to do what you love for money, and keep loving it that’s fantastic, but if not, that’s OK.
Ironically now I’m putting together a photography experience that I think will be incredibly valuable. But I have done so much personal work to be able to approach this with consistency and also release my expectations of it. I can look at the potential for the idea and get excited, without attaching that to a whole bunch of financial outcomes. If it gets big, great! If it doesn't, I'm still doing what I love, and I have a stable day job which pays my mortgage.
Here’s where it gets really individual.
Only you know what feeds your creative.
For me it’s everything from the changing leaves on my drive to work, to smooth jazz while I cook dinner. I purposely follow a lot of art and photography pages on social media, and read a lot of books as well. I want to immerse myself in enriching content, so when it comes time for me to create, I have wells of inspiration to draw on.
Spend some time thinking and writing about what moves you and inspires you. Again, if you'd be interested in more specific writing prompts to guide you through learning to set boundaries for and nurture you inner Creative, let me know in the comments!
Have you developed any creative mantras? I want to hear them!
Megan is a writer and creator from Wallingford, CT. She is passionate about empowering women to step into the full power and identity they were created to embrace and claim.