On the fourth week of trying to transform this blog into something both you + I enjoy more, writer’s block set in. I discovered I need to be a thought leader, and then…no thoughts.
The excitement of making changes has died down and now I need to create, but I’m realizing that my creative muscles haven’t been used in a while. Yes, I write blogs and emails and lessons, I design graphics, I take photos, but those tasks are without flexibility or spontaneity. They are purposeful, they are checking boxes, and they are not enough to refill my creative tank.
Over the past couple of years, I focused so intensely on business that I completely let the creativity leach out of my life, or I pushed it out in favor of efficiency.
I stopped designing websites and started creating templates for all my graphics. I read more business books than novels. I stopped making time for things that didn’t add to my business. I donated an entire box of art and craft supplies – literally everything that didn’t have a functional purpose – because it was taking up space and I hadn’t opened it in so long.
As a kid I was always making stuff, taking dance lessons, going to music classes. But as an adult, I dislike buying supplies and making things that will end up forgotten, crammed on a shelf in the back of my closet. I haven’t done anything music-related since I was 17. And while I teach aerial silks twice/week, it always feels more like a workout than art.
I am rarely creative outside of my business, or even within my business, and now I am CRAVING IT.
I spent last week rewatching Mozart in the Jungle and thought of my grandmother who took up the violin on a whim for the first time in her 70s and now, at almost 94, still plays regularly. My dad who has played in a big band for something like 10 years now. My aunt who showed up to a family dinner with her flute, so excited for a duet with me when I started to play in 7th grade.
Not only is creativity in my bones, but my family continues to show me that it’s never too late to get back to something you loved or to learn something new.
Creating something of my own, something that serves no purpose other that exploration and pleasure, is a necessity.
(I can see my mom doing that told-ya-so nod as she has a habit of reminding me that I need to “get a hobby” pretty much every time I see her. Though I imagine my neighbors would be fairly displeased if I took up the flute again, or the clarinet – I recall that being even louder and my skills far worse.)
While I haven’t signed up for lessons or gone full Martha Stewart with the crafting and baking, I have been trying to sneak some sort of creativity into my days. I’m skipping the editorial planning and writing less structured posts instead. Thinking of my aerial practice as free-flowing movement rather than a workout. Gotten back to reading blogs that are not about blogging. Taking time to cook actual recipes. And going to events and shows and watching other people create.
In doing all of this, I’m reminding myself that baby steps are a totally fine way to get back into something. I don’t need to sign up for lessons or invest in art supplies to start feeling creative again.
How do you add creativity into your life? Any ideas for creative adult activities outside of scrapbooking and those drinking wine + painting parties? (Because the results of both of those were hideous and now hidden in the back of my closet!)