Between classes, work, activities, and a social life it can feel impossible to devote time to hobbies, especially creative ones. Unlike other pastimes, creative pursuits can’t quite be planned out. Can you imagine how much easier life would be if we could say “between 8:00-8:30 I’ll have inspiration strike and finally write that poem I’ve been meaning to get to”?
Although scheduling creativity isn’t an option, there are certain habits that will keep you open to inspiration when it strikes, as well as help you live a more creative life in general.
- Once a day, force yourself to write/sketch/dance/whatever for 30 minutes. Don’t think about it, just do it and see what happens. Doing so will allow your creativity to come through without analysis, and you might be surprised by what new ideas you come up with.
- Read something. It could be a book, magazine article, blog post, essay, YouTube comments section – anything that makes you think. Then, think about how you would write about that topic in your own words, with your own personal spin. This habit is especially good for writers, but anyone can benefit from thinking outside the box.
- Observe, and at the end of the day write down one interesting observation you made. This activity forces you to look around and notice what’s happening around you, rather than staying comfortably glued to your phone while waiting in line for your coffee. Think of it as people watching with a purpose.
- Create a mood board. Sounds cheesy, but putting together a collection of images and phrases that inspire you can do wonders for your creativity. It doesn’t even have to be a physical “board” – I take screenshots of my favorite Instagram posts and scroll through them when I’m feeling dull. Not only does this practice give me ideas, it also motivates me to live the kind of life captured by my favorite accounts.
Everyone has the capacity to live a creative life. You don’t need to be an artist or an author to commit yourself to everyday creativity; all you need is an open mind and the motivation to set yourself up for inspiration. These small habits don’t seem like much, but done often enough they can help you develop a creative routine that is guaranteed to bring a little bit more magic into your life.
Plus, if you want to learn more about living a creative life, I’ve found these books (all written by awesome female writers) to be the kick in the ass I needed:
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, by Twyla Tharp
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron