There are two major reasons why we don’t think we’re very creative.
First, we don’t stop to remember, and to gather up the evidence of all the creative projects we’ve worked on in the last week, month, and year.
Second, we have such strict rules about what creativity and being creative is, we discount so much of what we do that is highly creative.
These two reasons combined mean we go through our lives feeling we’re not very creative people, and so we’re less likely to commit to more time creating.
We don’t feel it’s worth showing up to create, because we’ve got nothing to offer when we get there.
And so the cycle continues – we don’t remember how much we do create, so we don’t believe we’re creative, so we don’t try to create more.
We get stuck, feeling we’ve drifted into some kind of creative wasteland, where all around us is barren tundra with the occasional tumbleweed. Whereas if we looked more closely and more kindly on our creative lives, we’d see our surroundings were in fact more akin to a tropical rainforest absolutely alive with life.
There are two steps we can take to help break this cycle, leave the dry and desolate creative landscape behind, and get a far more realistic view of our abundant creativity.
The first stage is to regularly note down how much you create.
When I say regularly, I don’t mean every 10 minutes. Every day, or every few days is a great start.
Remember in this gathering of your creative conquests to not only include what you consider a creative or art project. For example a painting, or a sketch, or a poem, or a quilt, or a collection of photographs.
Most definitely include these projects, but also remember all the other ways your creativity comes to the fore and peeps it curious little wet nose into your day to day life.
Preparing meals, organising social gatherings, gardening, choosing outfits and supporting other people’s work, are just a few.
Don’t forget also, possibly the most creative act any of us can engage in – building and maintaining relationships.
A relationship is about two people, and each of you need to be present to play your part in creating an ongoing collection of experiences and emotions between you that enrich your lives. Friend to friend, mother to daughter, lover to lover, colleague to colleague, we have a chance with each relationship we’re in to be present and create the best relationship we can.
So, each day or few days, take five minutes to just go back through the events of the day and jot down the different ways your creativity has been put to use.
The second step is actually similar to the first, but at a wider, higher level.
Doing the first step alone will give you a wonderful boost in confidence in how much you create, and in what a wide range of different areas of your life.
In addition to this, set aside a little time at the end of each month to go back over your daily notes, and see how much you’ve done.
There are three questions you could ask to help in this mini monthly review –
1. What have I been most proud of creating this past month?
2. What patterns have emerged and evolved in my creativity?
3. What’s been surprising about how much, and how variedly I’ve been creative this month?
Now you could do step two on its own, and just ask these three questions at the end of each month, and it would no doubt be of significant benefit in reminding you how creative you are.
But combine this with the daily notes and it becomes so much more powerful.
You actually have the evidence there in black and white of all you’ve created.
If we don’t write things down, however good we think our memories are, we forget and overlook a great many acts of creativity if we only stop to count them once a month.
Plus, by having this daily record, we can far more readily see the patterns that have developed on what, when and how we’ve created. Meaning for the next month, we can focus on what’s been working, let go of some of the things that haven’t been working, and more clearly identify some of the blocks that prevent us creating even more.
To recap how to remember how to remember how creative you are:
1. Take five minutes a day to jot down all the ways your creativity has expressed itself.
2. At the end of each month, review your daily records and notice the proudest moments, the patterns and the surprises in your creating.
A group of us having been following this kind of outline with great reward in the Thirty Days Of Creating group in our CCS community.
The added benefit of doing this publicly is we get to see other people’s daily creativity, be inspired by them, and encourage them. Plus they do the same for us. Feeling a part of a small community creating daily is even more powerful than noting it down just on your own.
If you’d like to join us, you’d be very welcome.
How can you start to remember how to remember how creative you are?
What first step can you take today?
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