Creativity for survival

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I can’t survive without being creative. Not writing isn’t an option for me. When I stop, due to work or other commitments, I can feel the need building up inside me. It’s like an itch that I can only scratch by putting words on a page. And no time in my life has this been more necessary than right now. There’s a lot going on in the world that makes me feel unsafe and makes the world feel less stable. There’s no better way to forget about that stuff, or work it out than getting into cahoots with my muse and making some creative magic.

The trouble with writing, especially long form, such as novels, stage plays or screenplays, is that they take sooooooooooo long. And sometimes (like at the moment) I get stuck in a plot point and need a distraction until I can figure out what to do next.

Fortunately, just because you want to be a writer doesn’t mean that the only creative activity you can pursue is writing. If you want to feed your creativity and keep it sharp while you’re working on that more sticky period of forging your novel, why not try your hand at something else creative.

As well as writing I also enjoy art, craft and music. I used to draw, and still do portraits from time to time, but at the moment I’m trying mixed media and art journalling. I also do a bit of scrapbooking, crochet and textile crafts. Finally, although I am no musician and a bit remedial when it comes to playing instruments, I love to sing. What you do is essentially irrelevant. Whether or not you’re done it before is also not important. The act of creation and expression is what counts.

The most difficult step to being creative is the first one. It’s natural when you do something new that you worry about whether your efforts are good enough. We all strive in one way or another for our own vision of perfection and we all compare ourselves to others. Inevitably, trying something for the first time it’s never going to be as good as we’d like or as good as whatever we compare it to. Knowing that can sometimes put us off trying it in the first place. If the first step is the most difficult, it’s also the most important. But the good news is that all the steps you take afterwards, no matter what the results, are victories, because every step brings you closer to your goal, or whatever your vision of perfection.

So today, I’m encouraging you to take a pause from your writing and go try some other creative outlet. It doesn’t have to be art or singing, you could bake some bread or do some flower arranging or even work in your garden. Whatever it is make it an act of expression and celebrate your first step, or second or how ever many steps along you are.

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