Tips for Creatives

It is important to carve out time to be creative.  You may need to give yourself permission to set aside time for your creative side, whatever form that takes.  People that make a living through their gifts know this. If you don’t set aside blocks of time to write, throw pottery, dream up new songs and write scores you will not be successful. 

What about the person who has a life of work, family, responsibilities, and long to-do lists?  What about them?  How do you let yourself do those things that restore your soul and make your heart sing?

My suspicion is that creative people have very busy minds.  This is what happens to me.  I will start to wash the breakfast dishes and then I will hear the dryer stop.  I unload the dryer so that the clothes won’t wrinkle, and on the 2nd trip to the dryer, I remember I need to put something in the mail.  After popping the envelopes in the mailbox, I stop to pull a few weeds.  When I finally get back in the house, I find the dryer half emptied and the dishwater is now cold while the remaining dishes wait for me to come back.

Sometimes I need to employ a little trick or two to help me stay on task. A timer is a great invention that I use on those days when I have an especially hard time.  Setting the timer, I tell myself I am to stay in the kitchen for ten minutes before I can leave.  It is amazing what one can get done in 10 minutes! (I usually need to remind myself of my own rule several times…)

Even when I am trying to be quiet before the Lord, pray, or read the Bible, my mind will dart around like a hummingbird.  Rather than getting frustrated with myself, I have learned to have a scrap of paper with me.  When I am in the middle of a verse and I suddenly think that I should call a friend, I will write it down, then continue reading.  Every time I think of something that I ‘need’ to remember, it goes on the list and I can return to my quiet time.  This helps to put my mind at ease so I can listen and pray.

When I decided that I really was serious about being an artist, I knew that I needed to help myself to accomplish that.  If I didn’t put some boundaries in place, I would always just wish I could – instead of actually doing it.  Maybe some of these will help you to let your creativity fly:

  1.       Being creative is very fulfilling and needed.  It helps the rest of your world to balance out.   We are created in the image of our Creator.  He has put these desires and gifts in you!  Ask God for ideas of how to find the time, material, monetary needs, etc.  He has the ‘ways and the means’ to help you accomplish your heart’s desires.
  2.       Give yourself permission to take time to explore and be who God created you to be.  So often we are so busy taking care of everyone else, we forget to take care of ourselves.
  3.       Set aside specific times for your creative spark.  I work in education, so during the summer, I have set aside Thursdays as my art day. I don’t make appointments on that day and try to keep that day as a priority.  If I can, I work on it during the week also, but I make sure that Thursday is free.
  4.       Study and learn from others.  Be willing to learn and you will find yourself growing.
  5.       Create a space for yourself and your tools. A closet, a card table, spare room, garage, basement, whatever you have.  Declare it as yours!
  6.       Keep the clutter out of your space.  Clutter will distract you and may cause you to turn away from your desire to create. 
  7.       The more you nourish your soul, the more creative you will be.  If your creativity is drying up, find out why.  Are you tired, hungry, overworked, never have a spare minute for yourself? Figure it out and find ways to take care of yourself and your creative juices will flow again.  A mini-retreat may be just a coffee shop away!

I hope that you have found some encouragement today and have begun to set a plan into place for you to advance in the things you want to do. I am continually challenging myself in this area and it is so exciting when I have success!

Did I just hear the dryer stop? 🙂

Editor’s Note:

I would like to introduce our guest author – Ms. Debra Shalom. Debra is an artist, author, educator, mother, wife – and the best part…my sister! She inspires me with her artistic expressions of everyday life, always showing how creative our Creator really is! She will be posting here to give us great ideas in discovering our creative side – stay “tuned!”

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