1. Turn off the television
Not because TV is evil but because you need the quiet. Just turn it off, and the radio too, and sit in silence. Do whatever you are doing around the house, in the office, in the car – in silence…you will hear a voice (HINT – it’s yours)
2. Stop measuring
Stop asking yourself what is the point of your creative endeavour, stop wondering if it will make you money, if it will further your career, if you will make friends, if you will be good at it, if you will be famous for doing it…JUST STOP! Don’t try to measure or quantify the value or worth of your daring to step into creativity – it cannot be easily quantified and the lack of obvious value will scare you back into smallness. Creativity and having wings is about living and playing – it’s not about plotting the next move or building a career or an empire or impressing others, it’s about soothing a deep ache and lifting a heaviness off your back, it’s about being able to skip down the corridor instead of dragging your tired and sore body.
3. Think about stocking up on food
There’s nothing more disruptive to creative flow than having to go to the supermarket for food…unless you have a good talk to yourself along the way
4. Talk to yourself
NOTE – you can only do step 4 if you have first mastered steps 1 and 2.
Talk to yourself in your head…at first your lips might move as you do this, so pay attention to your face in public and try to limit lip movements – it scares people if they think you are talking to yourself out loud. When I say talk, I mean talk to yourself in a particular way…that’s step 5.
5. Treat yourself like a child
When talking to yourself remember to do so in a way that you might talk to a young person of maybe 6-10 years old. These kinds of young people are amazingly curious and attentive to the moments of the world – they are insightful and intuitive but they are also sensitive and easily dissuaded from questioning and creating. Be kind to the little person in you, when you talk to yourself. Leave the logical adult critic behind and try to be a supportive encouraging parent type (yes, to yourself). How to do this???? Listen to parents or adults talk to 6-10 year olds – you can do this easily by spying on them in the supermarket or restaurants or in parks (again like step 4 above, if this is done without due care it can really freak people out). Some adults will be dismissive and sound like they know it all – this tone and words are immediately apparent and you will pick it up instantly…this is how NOT to talk to yourself. Other rarer adults will support the child’s curiosity, will join in the game of questioning and will imagine and create new worlds and answers together with the child. These adults will encourage the child and acknowledge the unique value and contribution of the child’s thoughts and presence in the world…this is how to DO talk to yourself.
6. Open your eyes
This is simple…look around, notice, take in, pay attention, see.
7. Don’t edit…at first
Creativity is a process, most of which happens off stage. You need to allow yourself to have a messy process and to try out lots of ways of creating without prematurely editing or over thinking things. This blog is a record of creative process, it is not a creative output or end piece in itself…hence it has lots of typos and spelling mistakes…I am busy creating not polishing (for the moment-polishing comes later)
8. Be honest
At least to yourself at first, and then you HAVE to find a way to be honest to those you live with and love. This blog is anonymous because I have no idea what exactly I want to say yet and I do not know if I want to share what I have to say with everyone in my life. For example, I love my husband but he regularly drives me mad (apparently the feeling is mutual). Also he regularly interferes with my creative process because he is a person with his own unique process and it seldom fits nicely with my own. I want the creative freedom to be over the top and unfair in my criticisms without having to censor my thoughts for the real man who I know and love and do not want to hurt. I enjoy exaggerating and telling a good yarn and sometimes he is the butt of these stories…I need to find a way to not make fun of him but I also need to find a way to help him see that I mock him on one hand but have a heart full of love on the other. Life and creativity will be easier for me if I can find a way to be honest with my husband and not vent crazily about him. For other people you will have someone else who you need to be honest with – a boss, a friend, a parent, a sibling, a partner, a minister. Who do you censor your thoughts for? How can you find a way to live more congruently without hurting that person?