Thanks to my friend Susan for this question.
Which, as with many things, got me thinking.
The short answer is, I don’t.
I know that daily practice helps many people in their creative life. For me “making myself” do almost anything is a quick way to kill it. It is in my mindset to turn most things into a stick to beat myself with so I chose a while ago not to do this with my passions.
That said creating a structure which holds me accountable has been helpful.
For me, at present, this is mostly through social media. I am restructuring some accounts at present to encompass this further. With Tea Break Tarot School it was a Facebook group. I set out to write a free tarot school blog, I set up a group for anyone who wanted to join in. The group then became a way of being accountable for finishing the work.
With current creative projects it is my Patreon supporters who are my accountability buddies. They might not know this is their role but by sharing that I will do or complete something with others I then see it through.
I believe there are as many ways to be creative and exercise our creativity as there are human beings alive on the planet. For me creativity is an ebb and flow. During a busy few years caring for a family member, with limited time or physical space, I found creativity was crammed into the 6 a.m. half hour before anyone else was awake, or the 3 a.m. slot when I wasn’t sleeping. Now, adjusting to a return to the virtual office, creativity is often something I engage with after the evening meal. I need to make time for other practices too to ensure this is possible. My physical health means that long hours at a desk are not an option, and my day job is desk based, so it may be that some days I cannot spend time writing because my body won’t permit it. In this case a walk, some stretching, are as crucial as words on the page.
Creativity is a wholistic practice, it encompasses all of who I am and how I am.
On a day when I haven’t had sleep then I’m unlikely to be effective, but staring at the squirrels in the trees outside or buying a bunch of flowers, can feed my imagination and nurture my soul, providing fertilizer for the top soil in which creative seeds can sprout and thrive.
I am not a fan of rigid structures. I find that life shifts, alters, reshapes itself regularly. This requires my practice to evolve as I do. A flexible container works for me, guidelines, or suggestions, gentle prompts.
If I was going to offer any of these they would be:
- listen to your life
- tend to your wellbeing – body, mind and spirit
- create micro spaces for creative play
- feed your imagination
- find accountabiilty buddies (friendly ones!)
- do what brings you joy
This, for today, then, is how my practice is; purposeful, playful, full of potential.
Tomorrow it may be different; for me this is the way.