Monday, September 17, 2012


“The grass is always greener where you water it.” 

Here are 10 tips to find the time, energy, and space for your creative life (essentially, how to water your grass):

1. Say no.

To invitations and purchases, to guilt about disappointing others and items you don’t need. We all have our weaknesses—mine is shoes, my partner’s is helping people—but learning to say no, is really the first step in simplifying your way back to creativity. It isn’t selfish to honor your creative self; it’s self-care.

2. Have fun.

Creativity is about creation, and creation is fun. It should be enjoyable. If it doesn’t appeal to you, don’t force yourself to do it—because “should” is very different than “want.”

3. Keep the editor away.

The editor has her place in creative “work”—like when I write book reviews or polish stories for publication—but she has no place in the creative sphere. Figure out a way to keep her busy or send her packing, and only call on her when her not-picky voice might actually be useful.

4. Be curious.

Embrace your curiosity as a natural state. Curiosity is key. Without it, creativity can’t thrive.

5. Expect and embrace imperfection.

Perfection is creativity’s enemy.

6.  Toot your horn.

I’m terrible at this but I’m learning. People love to talk about creative endeavors—and it is inspiring to see how and what others are doing. Don’t be afraid to say, Hey, I painted that orHey, I wrote a poem.

7. But don’t compare.

The grass is not greener anywhere else. You’re just looking at it from a different angle, and perception can be deceiving.

8. Keep it simple.

Don’t run out and buy anything you think you need to be creative. Creativity isn’t about items—though you may need brushes or a pencil or paper—it’s about the act. Start small, start with what you have.

9. Allow space and time.

Creativity really only needs space and time, two of the hardest gifts to give yourself. Clear a corner in your home, forgo a night out with friends, and begin.

10. Make it a routine.

This might sound anathema to creativity—it’s all about inspiration right?—but it’s actually the key. The grass doesn’t get green from the occasional heavy watering. It gets green from regular tending.
Creativity is the same: Attend to it everyday—the results are worth the effort.

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