Last week I had some technical difficulties so I apologize for missing our guest post, so today I bring you a extra special guest post. The lovely Christine Hennebury who is a member of my writing group and just a seriously cool lady.
It’s the patented Christine smirk 😉
More Creativity for Everyone…Please!
Creativity doesn’t have to be a big deal.
I know, that’s kind of a weird thing for a writer/storyteller/creative life coach to say. After all, my life is pretty much woven from creativity. However, while creativity is important, I think we make too much fuss about it. And once we start making a fuss about something, it starts to seem hard to do. It starts to seem like you need special training or like only experts can do it.
I think that’s why my clients worry about it so much. They worry that they aren’t creative enough* and so they think that they have to be doing some HUGE artistic project before they can think of themselves as creative.
I’m not buying it.
Creativity isn’t just about having a big project. It isn’t about being weird. It isn’t about spending your days awaiting the muse. Creativity is about finding joy and fun in your approach to life. Often, that involves finding small ways to include artistic expression, but it doesn’t have to. You can be creative in your problem solving, in your professional life, or in the way you organize your home.
If you want to approach your life in a more creative fashion, here are three ways for you to get started.
Find a Wiggly Spot
Sure, I know that most of us have a lot of fixed routines in our lives. You might have a specific schedule at work or the kids have to get to school at a certain time, maybe you have weekly commitments, or there’s an external schedule you have to follow. However, in the midst of all that stability, most people have a few wiggly spots** – places where there is a little flexibility in what you do or when and how you do it.
How can you add a little fun in there? A little creativity?
If you have to wait a while in the pick-up line at school, can you listen to a podcast? Can you do some drawing? If your wiggly spot is bigger, can you add something even more elaborate, like a dance session in the living room or some art journalling? Ask yourself what kinds of things you find fun and then google them with the word ‘prompt’ and see what bounces back at you.
It doesn’t have to involve a lot of time, but you will probably need to give it a little thought in advance so you can be ready when you have a wiggly spot.
Ask ‘What if…?’
Writers, storytellers, scientists and inventors use ‘What if…?’ to dream up new projects all the time. ‘What if…?’ is a gateway question, it opens all kinds of possibilities and it gets you thinking about things in a new way.
If you are interested in a creative project or practice, you can use ‘What if…’ to get you started. ‘‘What if I kept a notebook by the phone and practiced doodling while I chatted?’ ‘What if I took a dance break before I make supper?’ ‘What if I wrote one line of a story every night before bed?’
If you just want to shake things up a little, you can use ‘What if…?’ to create new approaches to things that you do all the time. ‘What if I drive to work a different way?’ ‘What if I eat dessert first?’ ‘What if I stopped frowning every time I looked in the mirror?’
One of my favourite mental hobbies is to compare different areas of my life and see how the lessons of one activity apply to another. That’s how I know how learning taekwon-do has made me a better writer, and why I use storytelling motifs to help my life coaching clients.
It’s kind of like identifying transferable skills but, in this context, I refer to it as ‘cross-pollinating’ – encouraging growth by introducing outside elements. Finding the connections between the different aspects of your life is a creative practice in itself but consciously choosing to grow your skills in one area by borrowing from another is a whole other level of creativity.
How can you apply your cooking skills to your report writing? How can you take what you know about encouraging a toddler to nap and apply it to learning how to do computer programming? How can you use the skills you’ve learned for running to help you build a better patio?
While, on the surface, these things may not have a lot in common, when you think broadly and creatively, you’ll find a lot of useful intersections.
Ease into Creativity
While creativity can be about writing a novel, painting a masterpiece, or, playing a concerto, it doesn’t have to be. Adding more creativity can just be about adding more fun to your life – whether that means adding artistic activities or just finding new ways of thinking about things you already do.
You don’t need to take on a huge project to be creative, you can just ease into your creativity and find your own level of fun.
*If I could banish the words ‘not…enough’ from people’s vocabularies, I would do it in a heartbeat. Can we limit its use to describing when our cake supplies are inadequate? Please?
**A wiggly spot is like a wiggly tooth – you know, like when your tooth gets loose – most of your teeth are stable but there’s that one wiggly one that you can’t help touching?
And just a little bit about her: Christine Hennebury is a writer, storyteller, and, creative life coach/professional encourager who lives in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. She’s all about stories – writing them, telling them, and helping people shape their internal monologues. You can find her at christinehennebury.com, or on Facebook and twitter.