“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”
~ Pablo Picasso
2018 is a fabulous year for all forms of creativity.
Creativity. NOT productivity.
Go back and read that sentence again if you have to!
Productivity is the act of producing something. The dictionary defines productivity as ‘the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input’. Think widgets, or burning through your to-do list. It is often not a joyful task, or one that requires your best work or your best self to turn up. Yes, you can still be productive this year, but that’s not what the energies of 2018 are all about.
2018 is a fabulous year for all forms of creativity. Creativity is defined as the use of imagination or original ideas to create something. Creativity is a wild beast. It’s a tender young seedling that will grow into a blooming bush or an incredible tree. Creativity is the act of making something that is fuelled by your own life force and shaped by your imagination and heartsong.
After so many years of sitting in ‘productive’ energy, getting back to that wild space of creativity can feel uncomfortable and odd. It can make us anxious if we don’t get an instant result, a perfect first creation or a super-productive outcome. And worse, trying to be ‘productive’ with our creativity makes that flow of imagination and inventiveness slow to a trickle or stop altogether. Remember: once you have your creative outcome you can work from a place of productivity, but not before.
Here are my top ten suggestions for reconnecting to and feeding your creative energy this year:
- Listen to music. Range widely and try new styles and genres.
- Read books. Libraries and bookshops have a world of inspiration just waiting for you to explore.
- Watch movies. Change it up and look at things that are not your usual choices.
- Go for long walks in nature. Camping can also be good. Use this as unplugged time and leave your phone and laptop at home or turned off.
- Sit in a cafe with a hot or cold beverage. People watch, or write in your journal. Sit in a space of awareness. Use your whole self as an antenna.
- Move your body. Dancing is good. Or a yoga class. Surfing or playing with your dog or your kids (or borrow the dog or kids of a friend!). Movement gets you into flow!
- Watch a live performance. Or give one.
- Visit the local art gallery or museum.
- Take a road trip. Go around the corner or around the world. Travel has direct links to the imagination switch in your brain.
- Sign up to some kind of creative hands-on course. Try ceramics or drum making, decorative cookies or welding. It doesn’t need to be in the field where you want to shine. Anything that gets you making something with your hands will do. Can’t access a course? Bake something or go dig in the garden and grow things.
- Got a project idea? Just start. Work it out as you go. Don’t need it to be perfect or all planned out in advance.
- Dedicate some regular time and space for your creative projects. No, this won’t kill creativity. Turning up and creating a routine supports sustainable creative flow.
- Let yourself be a beginner.
- Try collaborating with others and sharing knowledge and skills.
- Enjoy regular down-time. Working and needing to be productive every waking moment leaves no space for new ideas to form or bubble to the surface. Rest and play are your friends this year!
I can’t wait to see what magic you create in 2018, or how living more creatively and playfully helps you heal and re-energise in all kinds of places in your life. Drop me a line and keep me posted!
Much love, Nicole ❤ xx