Part of what makes us happier human beings is the creative process. Having an outlet for our thoughts, our emotions, our creativity, puts new meaning into life and keeps things “juicy”. However, it’s really easy to think you don’t have time or even that you don’t have enough talent. I beg to differ.
Twyla Tharp, the great choreographer, points out in her book The Creative Habit that “Nobody worked harder than Mozart”. True, he was a genius, but he also spent countless hours perfecting his gift. All of us have some kind of natural creative talent—maybe it’s writing, maybe it’s painting, maybe it’s cooking or coaxing plants to bloom, or a penchant for public speaking. Whatever it is, that talent needs time and nurturing. And a lot of practice.
So in our already busy lives, where does this time come from? First thing to do here is take stock of how you spend your day: where are your distractions? Is it TV, or shopping, or constant texting, or reading blogs like this one? Whatever it is, if you really want to make time to be creative, you can probably find 30 minutes or more every few days to be by yourself, doing whatever it is that makes your creative juices flow.
If you think you don’t have any talent, start by being a copy-cat. Yep, I mean that. Copy the writing style of someone you admire. Copy a recipe from a chef you love. Try to paint your favorite piece of art. As you copy a master, you learn skill as you go, and it can jump-start your own abilities.
It’s also important to know that there is a direct link between creativity and movement. When you move your body, it stimulates your mind. If you’re feeling stuck in your writing, go take a walk. If you like the idea of doing something fun but don’t know where to start, begin by taking a gym class or making a work out date with a friend–it’ll get your brain moving. Study after study has shown that in order to keep our brains at peak performance, we need to work our bodies hard.
Why am I even concerned about creativity? It’s what makes us feel alive. Otherwise, we simply get through our days, feeding the kids, commuting to work, dealing with our bosses, paying our bills. Where’s the fun in that? I’m much more interested in being able to look back and say “look what I did to make the world a more interesting place”. Even if I never show my creation to another soul! Try it, you might be surprised at how it makes you feel.