I'd written too much on my to do-list, as usual. In my heart, I knew it was more than I could handle and I went with it anyway.
I worked with stress as my companion. I flipped from moment to moment, never stopping. Dragging my creativity behind me, trying to force it to speed up.
My creativity whining, me not listening.
The weekend ending with an unfinished to do-list, a tired mind and a stressed body. This has been my creative weekends too many times.
It's not what I want my creative days to be like, and I'm ready to take responsibility for how I live them.
I want my days to follow the stream of my creativity
I want to start my creative days slowly, with breakfast at the desk, getting familiar with where I'm at. Making a cup of tea, taking out the camera.
I like to start my days with taking photos. The light is nice, the cats are usually around. My creative mind slowly waking up. Observing the world around me, staying, looking, moving things around.
Drinking tea, petting the cats, walking around in the apartment. A soft focus on what I'm doing, letting my mind wander in a vaguely focused way. Warming it up for more intense creative work.
My creativity doing its job silently. Thoughts tumble and twist like a stream trickling forward.
I add a tad of inspiration, a few puzzle pieces guiding my creativity forward. They're like stones in the stream, changing the direction of the flow.
I let my creativity rumble around, waiting and watching for bright ideas, fragments of thoughts that pique my interest.
Sometimes this part of the day is quick, sometimes it stretches out for most of the day. I let be, I follow more than I steer.
But then the stream of my creativity starts going faster. It splashes and jumps, an idea is taking shape, a mindset settling down.
I forget my tea and it goes cold. By now my fingers are on the keyboard, channeling what I've been working up during the day. Letting the stream flow out, telling what it wants to tell. Time goes remote.
After an hour or a couple, the stream quiets down again. I let it dwindle, finish up, yawn. I let my creativity go to sleep, cleaning up after it. Closing the door on my creative projects for the day, sure that they'll percolate in the back of my mind.
Ending my day by going outside, breathing deeply and letting my focus shift back to the world around me.
The reality won't always be the ideal
Some days are like the one I just described - thoughtful, reflective, slow, creative. Working towards my dream while being entirely wrapped up in the creative moment.
Other days I won't be able to get there. I'll be stressed about something, or distracted, or tired, or unfocused. Life can't and won't always be ideal.
That doesn't mean we can't have an ideal day to strive for.
I know that I can just as easily push and force my creativity, as let it develop naturally during the day. The latter is just an overall better, more pleasant way to live, a way I can choose to create.
It won't always work the way I want it to. Some days I'll have another ideal, a more upbeat, sparkling creativity bubbling out and on those days I will wholeheartedly embrace it. But on the whole, slow is the way I want to create and the choice of trying to get there will make a difference, I'm sure.
So I will intentionally work to try to make my days closer to that ideal.
What would your ideal creative day look like?
Take a moment to think. How do you create today?
When do you sit down to create? How does the process look, when you start, work and stop for the day? How do you feel?
And then, shift to how you would like to create. What's different?
How would you feel, on a day when you're creating like you want to?
Where are you? What time is it? How long time do you spend? How do you get started? Do you take breaks? What is your approach to creativity?
It's okay if it's idealistic and far off, but try to catch the things that you can influence, the choices that are within your control.
What small and big changes can you make, so you'll get closer to your ideal creative day? What would make a difference for you, and for your creative life? How can you implement those changes?
How you live your creative life matters
When you set out on a creative journey, be it big or small, you decide what your working process will look like. That's one of the brilliant aspects of creativity, isn't it? That it's our own and we get to make our own rules.
The way you live your creative life, intentionally designed or not, affects both what you create, how you feel and who you are as a creative.
For me, it's to slow down and let my creative flow at its own pace. For you, it might be something entirely different. The important thing is to figure out how you want to spend your creative days and ask yourself why you're not living that way.