Friday, April 24, 2020

Ways to Nurture Your Creative Spirit

We all started writing because, well, we love to write. In a larger sense, most authors love to create. The problem is, sometimes life takes over and flips off that creative switch, at least temporarily. Maybe we're under immense stress or just dealing with the daily grind. Maybe we're sick or simply exhausted.

Maybe (and here's the big one), maybe we've turned our inspiring, creative writing outlet into a business with deadlines and commitments to readers, publishers, or both. Or maybe it's just self-imposed writing times and targets. I'm not saying these aren't useful. Goals are good. Habits are helpful. Schedule and structure can prompt inspiration.

But if writing has become a task on the to-do list or an obligation hanging over you, your creative spirit may need a little extra nourishing. Read on to discover some ways to rekindle your creative spark and feed that energy back into your true love--writing. You might just discover other loves along the way!

Know what inspires you

Start out by making a list of all the activities that nurture your creative spirit. Here's some of mine, to get you started. You'll notice some provide quick bursts of serenity and creativity while others require more of a time commitment.

Play a musical instrument: piano, guitar, harmonica.

I don't play all of these well. Piano is probably my best, but I've noticed when I try something I'm not so great at I experience a different surge in creativity. I also feel a stronger desire to create, possibly because my ability to create with that instrument is stymied by my lack of skill.

Paint or Draw

I've discovered I love to paint and draw. I feel a freeing of tension and a huge desire to create. I often explore my emotions through painting and drawing, even though I still don't really know what I've doing. Often themes from my stories creep into my art and vise versa, so the inspiration can build on itself.

Spend time in Nature

A walk, hike, bike ride, or run outdoors can do a ton to spark the creative spirit. Feel the wind rush over you. Listen for birds and for small animals scampering through crackling leaves. What do you smell? How does the sun feel on your skin? Try canoeing or swimming, too. Swing like you did when you were young. All these things can fill your spirit and feed your ability to be creative. Not to mention getting your heart pumping, which will sharpen your mind.

Mini meditation

Sometimes we don't have time for all the creative activities we need. Here's a quick meditation technique designed to relieve stress and fill your spirit. Pause, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and imagine what you would paint if you were painting. Feel the brush in your hand. Imagine it tracing across a huge canvas, filling in flowers or sky, whatever would be next in the creation. 

The important things is the deep, freeing focus of this meditation. Picture the painting in your mind. Imagine the changes unfolding as you make them mentally. Even if you don't have an active painting going in real life, this brief meditation can be an effective way to soothe your spirit and spark your desire to create.

Make Time for Nurturing Your Creativity 

It's easy to set your own needs on the back burner when there's so much going on in the world at large and so much to take care of in your own small corner. But you will have more energy and peace of mind if you take care of yourself. For many people, creating is an essential part of wellness.There's something exhilarating, freeing and balancing about expressing yourself through the arts. 

Make time for it. Pencil it in like you would a vital appointment with your doctor. Show up. It matters. Keep commitments to yourself. When you show up, inspiration will strike.

How do you nurture your creative spirit?


Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I enjoyed this post. I related, too, to the idea that writing has become more goal oriented since I started being published. Every now and then I miss the old days when I do think I was more creative. (But maybe not.) Right now, I haven't been as motivated to finish my current W.I.P. Instead I've been gardening, reading, and walking. I'm going with that, for now, though. With all the concerns about the coronavirus and taking good precautions, I don't want any additional stress. "Idling my motor" seems to be the way to go right now.

Elizabeth said...

Love this! Creativity is so important.