How to kick Start Your Creative Spark or How to Flick Your Creative Bic!
I overheard a conversation on Saturday as I was checking out the craft booths at Roscoe Village’s Heritage Craft and Olde Time Music Festival. A visitor was admiring an artist’s beadwork and then wistfully said, “I’ve always wanted to do something creative or crafty. I just never have. I don’t know how to start.”
How true, I thought. For Christmas my neighbor gave me a ball of purple yarn and two knitting needles. I immediately drove to the VacShack to purchase a turquoise yarn, to compliment the first. The yarn and needles are still stuck in a bag lying in my closet, waiting for a person with a creating-driven life to pick them up and loop away.
My friend promised to teach me to knit, but neither of us has called the other to say, “Now. Let’s get moving now.” (Maybe she’ll read this article and the ball of yarn will get rolling.)
I believe expressing oneself creatively invigorates a person’s spirit. Creativity can be expressed in many ways—preparing interesting meals, building a deck, writing a letter, designing a flower garden, even knitting a pair of socks. What do I mean by “invigorating a person’s spirit”? I mean that it recharges the body with energy, stimulates thinking and produces a positive outlook. Who needs this recharging? Probably anyone over the age of nine.
How do we begin incorporating creativity into our lives? Let’s see if I can come up with seven ideas.
1. Take twenty minutes to be alone in a quiet place to think. What interests you? What gives you energy when you do it? What do you admire that other people do? What kinds of creative activities do you already do?
2. Wait a couple days and then take twenty more minutes to be alone in a quiet place to think. Those couple days have allowed your subconscious to think about these questions as well. Narrow your ideas to two. One you’ll work on right away; the other, later, after you have started the first one. Now decide what you need to begin this task.
3. Grab your calendar and set a goal. Do not let that ball of yarn become another dust bunny in your life. Yes, you’ll have to give time to this project, which means you’ll have to stop doing something you already do. But most of us have the time. We just lack the discipline.
4. Tell persons you are close to about your new pursuit. They may offer encouragement and additional ideas. Also, they’ll understand what you’re up to when you’re not joining them on the couch to watch Simpsons reruns or why your house/lawn is evolving into a state of equilibrium with the forces or nature, often misnamed as chaos.
5. For those who are trying something brand new, you’ll probably need to learn more to make this a reality. Where will you find the information or get the training that you need? If you’re like my husband, you’ll go to the library and check out a book. He has learned to weave baskets, build furniture and care for bees, all from books. A second option is to find someone else that knows more than you do and learn from him/her. (I’ll be getting hold of my friend, Sara, as soon as I finish this article.) Building on this idea, one of the easiest ways to learn is by joining a group. I spoke to members of the Coshocton Art Guild during this same festival and many said that they had joined the Guild to learn from each other. They inspire each other and teach each other along the way.
6. Reward yourself. Grab a glass of wine, eat a brownie, or take a walk in the park. You’re girding your loins for the most difficult step…number 7.
7. Do it. Don’t seek perfection or affirmation from others. If you enjoy it, you’re doing it right.
A seven-step approach to energizing your life by kick-starting your creative spark—Hey, me first!