People always seem surprised when they find out for the first time that I have self-published two books and have also released an album. All of these things have happened very quickly in the past three years. People who know me usually cock their heads before asking the question, "Where do you find the time?" And I always answer with, "I work on my creative projects while my son naps." That really is the truth. I guess that means I get another year or so of working on my creative projects before my son stops taking his afternoon naps. Then I'll have to carve out another time for being creative.
Being creative is not a cut and dried process. Some days feel more productive than others. Some days, I feel like the most boring person in the entire world. I go to type a plot line for a manuscript I'm working on and...nothing. I sit down to work on some lyrics to a new song and my mind and pen are dry. Other days, I wake up with an idea, a plot or a lyric swirling through my brain, just begging to get out of my head and onto paper. The truth is that I don't always feel creative, but I do it because I have to. If I go too long without exercising my creative thought, I feel like something is sorely missing from my life.
I find inspiration in different places. I have a really cool journaling Bible that I use for personal study and to flesh out new song ideas as the inspiration strikes. I keep a small notebook in my purse so if I'm out and an idea pops up, I can quickly jot it down. I use Pinterest to gather quotes and give me a jumping off point for creativity.
When it's time to actually flesh out an idea, it's time to use one of my favorite things: Post-Its! I am the self-appointed Post-It Queen and use them for everything from to-do lists, goal charts, and book chapter outlines. Just the act of getting my thoughts on those cute little colored squares of paper is very therapeutic and helps me feel much more creative.
Since I've made it a priority to dedicate time each day to being creative, it's been amazing to see certain ideas grow and blossom into songs, books, and music projects. Making time daily to practice creativity has turned into a habit, sort of like brushing my teeth. If I miss a session, something just feels off.
In conclusion, the life of a creative is anything but neat. Just like the paycheck of an entrepreneur, it comes and goes. It ebbs and flows. But if I show up around the same time every day, my creativity has a way of coming out. Showing up is after all, half the battle.
I like what Henri Matisse once said: "Creativity takes courage". Indeed.