I don't know about you, but my life is too cluttered with things I never use that get underfoot.
Part of the problem is I try and see the usefulness in everything; it seems rude to say to the cardboard packing case my wonderful new computer came in: You are no longer useful to me, begone! I mean, with the right tablecloth, perhaps a few flowers, it could be a fashionable side-table. Maybe. (Sometimes creativity can really come back to bite one in the posterior.)
The following tips for decluttering your life and channeling your energy in creative yet productive ways are from Sara Rauch.
1. Say no.To invitations and purchases, to guilt about disappointing others and items you don’t need. We all have our weaknesses—mine is shoes, my partner’s is helping people—but learning to say no, is really the first step in simplifying your way back to creativity. It isn’t selfish to honor your creative self; it’s self-care.
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3. Keep the editor away.The editor has her place in creative “work”—like when I write book reviews or polish stories for publication—but she has no place in the creative sphere. Figure out a way to keep her busy or send her packing, and only call on her when her not-picky voice might actually be useful.
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5. Expect and embrace imperfection.Perfection is creativity’s enemy.
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8. Keep it simple.Don’t run out and buy anything you think you need to be creative. Creativity isn’t about items—though you may need brushes or a pencil or paper—it’s about the act. Start small, start with what you have.
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10. Make it a routine.This might sound anathema to creativity—it’s all about inspiration right?—but it’s actually the key. The grass doesn’t get green from the occasional heavy watering. It gets green from regular tending.
Creativity is the same: Attend to it everyday—the results are worth the effort.
I don't want to list all of Sara Rauch's tips so I've only given 5 here, the rest are listed in her excellent blog post: 10 Tips to Nurture Your Creative Life: Making Time and Space. Thanks to C.G. Cameron for the tip!
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Photo credit: Rebeca Stovall