It’s hard to be creative. I don’t mean that some of us aren’t because absolutely all of us are. I mean it’s hard to find the time to really open up to that side of ourselves and see where imagination can take us.
For that, I need room to stretch out in a place without clocks and phones and all their demands. And most days, I just don’t have it, which is not okay with me.
I believe we should shoot for personal creativity in little ways throughout the day as a way to build a creative life when that life doesn’t have time for it. That’s easy to say, but I found myself wondering… Is it as easy to do?
I’ve been trying to find out by consciously seeking small creative moments here, there, and everywhere in ways like these:
- I sort, change, and rearrange. Might be my desk or a drawer, a tabletop or sweaters in my closet. I look for ways things could be better and adjust them.
- I refuse monotony. I take new routes to the places I go. I switch up my normal routines. I look for new ways to do the usual differently.
- I take photos. I watch for interesting faces and places, for things that catch my eye, and scenes that harmonize or contrast, and use my phone camera to go for an intentionally artful photo whenever I find them.
- I jot. You know me—I always have a notebook ready—and I’ve been filling its pages with tiny poems, stray sentences, stray words I like. Doodles. Haiku. Whatever comes when I take just a moment to let it.
- I muse. Waiting on line or riding the bus, I fill idle time with random mind-teasers. What if I was president or opened a teahouse? Why does the earth spin and the sun shine? What if they didn’t?
You’d be surprised how quickly little imagination breaks like these add up. They really can cultivate a culture of inspiration within ourselves and make for a more interesting and engaged life. And that’s exactly the kind I want to create.