Thursday, March 19, 2015

10 Tips for Finding and Using Your Creativity, Part 1

Sometimes as moms (or other busy ladies) it's hard to find time to nurture or express our creativity. This is actually something that's gotten easier as I've had more kids and I think I know why. I started recognizing the value of small moments and showing up to the do the work consistently, even if it's not every day. Here are a few ideas of how to develop creativity in busy seasons of life. 

1. Put in- You will never come up with anything inspiring if you don't put the right materials into your brain and life. Fill up with heaping doses of the Bible. You need your brain working on God's channel; that's the only way to get anywhere in life (Joshua 1:9) Then read good books. Yes, you can find time! I've read two Jane Austen novels and Great Expectations since the first of the year. All I've done is read for the few minutes I'm feeding the baby right before bed. The boys are watching Curious George and I read. Try it. I haven't read fiction in forever and I love the classics. I'm actually getting much more out of them now that I'm older. 

Then put in other good things: art, music. Find what you love and see it/ hear it often. Play music as you work through the day. There are tons of printable art you can put around your home. Save your money and order beautiful things for your walls. Start a pinterest board of things that inspire you. Follow people on Instagram that have beautiful feeds. You can't pour out of an empty vessel. 

2. Investigate. What do you love? What are you interested in doing? What's available for cheap or free? I know that I hate crafts that involve glue, tape, or scissors. I break out in hives just thinking about them. No, really, scrapbooking is just not my thing. Know yourself. What do you have on hand? You can draw with a mechanical pencil and an actual pencil set can be gotten for fairly cheap. What do you just love doing? You can start a blog or Instagram account for free and document your progress. My Instagram account is where I keep up with #52for2015. 

Learn what you like and don't try to force yourself into someone else's mold, no matter how cool they may seem. You'll never be comfortable growing when you are squishing yourself into a place you don't fit. Creativity is expressed in many different ways. What makes yours different is what makes you unique. 

3. Commit. Set aside the time to do the work. This will vary for each person and it doesn't have to be hours. This is what killed me for years. I thought if I couldn't devote an hour or more to it every single day there was no point in doing it. That's not true! Maybe you are a morning person and can get up and write for thirty minutes before your babies are up. Maybe you can work in photoshop for forty-five minutes after the kids are in bed. Maybe you can paint or take pictures for half an hour during nap time. Whatever your thing is, find a spot- at least once a week- and do it at that time every week. I have some things that I do every day (like writing) and I have other things that I only try to do once a week. You can't do all the things, but you can do some of them. Pick one and start there. 

4. Let go of guilt. You are not a bad mom for taking time to develop your talents/express your creativity/grow as an individual. I would argue that you are a better mom if you keep it in perspective. Obviously you can't quit mothering and quilt for five hours a day. But the reason you aren't doing these things is because you don't want them to take over. So let go of your guilt. Enjoy the time you spend on these things. You are going to be a better mom when you use the talents God gave you and you are showing your children an important lesson in being a steward of your talents. 

5. Remember seasons. You may just be laying the groundwork now. If you are busy with several small children (or grad school work or caring for a sick parent, etc, etc) this may not be the time to start a small business or start developing new skills. Pick one thing and do it consistently. Learn something every day. Grow. Develop. Whatever season of life you are in, it's short. The baby will start sleeping. You will finish school. One day the children will be grown. Don't put unrealistic expectations on yourself. 

Live where God put you. Ruth Simons said on Instagram that "you don't have to be blooming to be growing." You can be learning new things and developing new skills and no one else see the fruit for years. 

I'll be sharing a few more ideas next week but what can you start now? How do you work this out in your life?

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