If you’re having trouble developing a creative practice that works for you, consider your creative space, how you use your time, what support you have, and your commitment to your creative expression.
You need space to create. Whether that’s your own studio space, a shared studio, a writing room, or a coffee shop, depends on your needs and resources.
What is your creative space like? Are you able to spread out if you need to? Do you have the right stimulation to support your creative process? How is the lighting? Sometimes we adapt to circumstances that we can easily change. Are there any changes you need to make?
Of course, dedicated space is more than just the area needed to create your art: it includes your inner space. Your mind needs to be uncluttered, without distractions.
To help focus, some artists develop rituals. A thoughtful ritual can turn your attention from the every-day world to the sacred space where you connect to your creative muse. It grounds and centers you in the creative work you are about to do.
For example, I like to light a candle before I write. A lit candle is a beautiful metaphor for the creative spark and a visual reminder that I am doing my creative practice.
If you don’t have a ritual, what can you do to focus on the present, and not on your to-do list?
Consider playing with this. Just do whatever works for you!
Time; it seems like there’s never enough, yet it’s all we have.
We experience time differently depending on how we focus on it. When you’re busy, time seems to move quickly because you’re focused on what you’re doing. But when you don’t have much to do, time can seem to stretch out like taffy.
You don’t really have more time or less time, depending on how busy you are. It’s really about prioritizing what you do in the time you have.
So if you’re not painting, or singing, or making pottery as much as you want, why aren’t you? What priority do you give your creative expression? What are you doing instead that you can put lower on your list, at least some of the time?
We all need some kind of support, such as:
- Inspiration—The invisible breath of life that pours into you, filling you with energy and ideas.
- Encouragement—Allies who champion your efforts.
- Accountability—Allies who hold you accountable for deadlines you promise to meet.
- Routines—Daily habits that form the architecture of your days that include creative time.
- Self-care—What you need to do for yourself, to refill your own well.
What support are you lacking? Do you ask for help when you need it? How can you get the support you need?
You can have the ideal space, time, and support to do creative work, but if you don’t pick up the brush, or the pen, or the guitar, nothing happens. You have to show up and do the work.
(And if you “can’t find” the space, you “don’t have” the time, or you “need more” support, take a deeper look at your commitment to express your creative gifts. Commitment drives you to make the changes necessary to create the space, reprioritize, and ask for help.)
To create—in some way—is a central part of being alive. So if you’re not creating, that’s a huge loss for you, and for those you would touch with your art. We need to read what you have to say, and see what you want to reveal, and experience what only your music can make us feel.
If you’re not feeling committed enough, re-focus on why you have your creative dream. Why does it matter to you? What is important about what you have to express? How will you feel if you never realize your creative dream?
Remember to simply appreciate your gifts. Be grateful for what you can bring to the world!