Do You Have to Be a Creative to Be Creative?
How many times have you bookmarked a recipe saying, “I’m going to try and make that”? Or what about when you see a DIY and think, “I’ll give that a go”? But there’s one problem isn’t there?
You don’t actually get round to doing them.
Believe me, I’ve been there. I’m there right now. I’ve got creative things I want to do, things I want to try and recipes I want to make that I just never get round to doing. It’s like even though you want to be more creative, you don’t really know where to start. Plus, there’s the issue of time. With everything you’ve got going on from your job to your blog, your family, and all the great box sets out there right now (hello Sons of Anarchy), it can be tempting to not do anything.
But being creative doesn't have to mean expensive accessories, an endless supply of resources and hours of your time. Some people think to be a true creative you have to have creative blood in you, but I completely disagree. You don’t need to be a ‘creative’ to do creative things. Actually, you probably already have everything you need to get started - an unused notebook, a pen, a needle and thread. Doing something creative doesn't have to mean creating a beautiful painting or stitching a masterpiece. It can be something as simple as writing in your journal or baking some biscuits.
Making room for creativity in your life has many positives. If anything, it gives you a break. It takes you away from your daily tasks, gets your mind away from your worries, and takes your eyes away from the never-ending screen too. Whether it’s the feel of a needle and thread in your hand, the smell of a yummy sauce cooking or seeing your bread rising in the oven, they’ll all help you to do one thing - appreciate the everyday moments.
Having hobbies and doing creative things helps you focus on the moment you’re in and forget everything else. This is exactly what you need to appreciate the enjoyment in every single day.
Not only does creativity give us pleasure, but it’s also great for our mind and soul. So whether or not you think you’re creative, there are creative things you can do every day. Here’s how.
Start a creative ritual
In my latest weekly letter on Monday, I talked about how there are some rituals you can have that will make a huge difference to your day. One of the ones I didn’t mention was a creative ritual. This is something that could easily slot into your daily routine already. For me, I’ve started trying out a new recipe once a week. It’s something small, but I know it’s making a difference.
You could start bringing flowers home and arrange them in a vase, lay out your dinner table nicely for every meal, knit while you listen to your favourite podcast - anything. Just because it’s a ritual doesn't mean it has to be really serious. You could start with taking a picture on your way into work every morning, or on your way home. A creative ritual isn't there to add more structure to your life - it’s to help you break away from your routine, slow down and find some joy.
Stop trying to be perfect
I’m reading a book called Make it Happen by Lara Casey, and something she talks about is how we all need to stop striving for perfection - especially when it comes to creativity. Being creative isn't about being perfect. It’s about being you. If you get something wrong first time, you get it wrong. Often those silly times are the more memorable moments rather than the times you were striving to make everything perfect. If your cakes don’t rise, your sauce doesn’t thicken, you didn’t sow in a straight line, that’s OK. Give yourself a chance for things to go wrong. Give yourself a chance to do something for yourself with any judgement, instead of thinking about what the results are going to be.
The fear of failure is around us all the time. We’re afraid of doing the wrong thing, or saying the wrong anything. Afraid of failing. But creativity shouldn't be about that. Creativity is all about the process, experimenting and being playful.
Organise your notebooks in colour, get a blackboard for your kitchen, use a whiteboard when you’re planning. It’s all about enjoyment and if you enjoy the process, then just keep going.
If there’s something that really gets my creative juices flowing, it’s nature. Going for a walk always helps me appreciate my life more and it’s so important to try and make nature a part of your day. If you can’t get out for a walk everyday, fill your home with plants. Be observant. Instead of just walking, focus on what you’re seeing. Focus on what you notice when you’re outside - the new daffodils, the way the clouds move, the different shades of the buildings you pass.
Even if you feel that you don’t connect with nature much, paying closer to attention to it will really inspire your creativity.
Don’t focus on buying - focus on making
Think about it - you rely on people to make everything that you use, eat, wear, watch, listen to - everything. Instead of relying on other people, why not make something yourself? It might be a pair of gloves that you can wear every winter, a romantic dinner for you and your other half, or jam, if that’s you’re thing. Then get other people involved. Get all your friends to bake something and share them over afternoon tea. Host a clothes swap where you can all swap clothes and accessories. Start a book club, knitting club or magazine reading club to share your favourite articles and topics of interest.
One of the best things about being creative is the relationships you make while you’re doing it. Get other people involved and share with them how much you love creativity. They might too, and then you’re both finding the joy together.
How do you fit creativity in with your life? Are there any other hobbies apart from blogging that you enjoy?