Creativity is a muscle
Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash
I’ve been reading a lot about creativity lately. I tend to obsess over things I don’t fully understand, so I can get better at them. Usually, I get ideas at very inconvenient times: when I’m cooking, walking to the supermarket, taking a shower… or like right now, while in class.
Ok, this is not the most stimulating class in the world, but I still have to pretend that I’m super engaged taking notes.
Enter this blog post.
Don’t you feel like it’s easier to do things you’ve been procrastinating when new and worse things you want to procrastinate come into play?
Until a few months ago, I used to see creativity as this Picasso-type thing. I noticed that I was getting these creative bursts in the middle of the night, right before falling asleep… my brain was like a little rebel that used creativity as a way to avoid doing the things that SHOULD have been doing.
Then I read somewhere (I don’t remember exactly where because I’ve read a thousand books and articles about it) that creativity is another muscle, and that you strengthen it by exercising it, by creating consistently. And it makes perfect sense!
If you want to get really good at dancing, you have to dance every day. If you want to get really good at acting, you have to practice your reading, voice and intentions every day. So it makes sense that if you want to CREATE something, you have to move to consistency-town and create daily.
I mean, it’s okay if you want to use drawing as a way to cope with stress, or if you are taking a new tap class just as a fun hobby. But if you’re truly committed to being more creative, and having your brain obey you and not the other way around, you have to practice your craft EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
Yes, I know that it can be overwhelming. It’s not like it’s 1920 when women were sitting on their pelt chairs all day trying to find something to do. I know. We have a million things going on. And all of them are important (hey, who am I to say that that episode of Vanderpump Rules is not important? We all need our hourly distractions).
If you wanna see results, you have to put in the work. Just like with exercise: if you want to shed excess body fat and get abs by the summer, you better start cutting down on that 4 pm cookie break, and start hitting the gym at least four times a week. There’s no way around it. And there are going to be days when you’re just TOO tired, or someone eats your favorite dessert in front of you (any other banana bread lovers out there?). But you have to suck it up and think long term.
Improving creativity isn’t different than achieving a “summer-body”. And it usually can be practiced anywhere, any time. You can just block 30 minutes every day to do something creative. Let me be clear with what I mean by “something creative”: using your brain and imagination to produce something unique or with a unique approach.
I will give you some specific ideas to strengthen your creativity in a future post, but for right now, I just want you to think of that first thing that comes to your mind; that little thing that you know wouldn’t be a huge sacrifice but may have a big impact.
For example, I’m committed to start writing again. I may be a little rusty, but how on earth am I going to get back on track, if I don’t start somewhere?
And continuing with the Picasso thing, yesterday a good friend sent me this quote from him:
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working”
I feel that it’s very on-brand with this blog. (I’ve talked about the importance of work before).
So please share with me any activity that you find gets your creative juices flowing. I want to do a post on things that have worked for me, and include some other things that you find useful.