How To Be Creative # 10: Recognize You Are A Creative
Creative people are wired differently. They’re often described as quirky or weird, and while that does seem to hold true, it’s not completely universal. There are a lot of creative people out there that aren’t comfortable labeling themselves that, but it’s pretty easy to tell by reactions to idle time. Does the slightest twinge of boredom send you fleeing to your smartphone in search of entertainment and instant gratification? Or does it spark your imagination? If letting your imagination reign free is something you enjoy, but you’re not doing it as often as you’d like, start recognizing that and making the time for it.
Background photo by Slinkachu
It’s really difficult – I know. There are so many distractions and endless opportunities to consume music, video, anything else on the internet or socialize, but I know when a creative person consistently puts consumption first, he or she is rejecting the very person they are. If you’ve already recognized yourself as a creative, start acknowledging that time for these pursuits is a basic need for you just like food, shelter and sex, even if it’s a bit lower on Mr. Maslow’s hierarchy. Time for creation is something you might need in order to feel good, so don’t ignore it.
For me, it’s a simple litmus test. If I allow myself an hour a day to create, how does it make me feel? Regardless of whether anyone sees what I’m making or whether anyone likes it, it brings me joy so I know it’s a part of my life I need to address.
Not everyone in your life is going to understand this. I’m certain some of my friends think it’s really strange I’d sometimes rather spend a Friday night with a notebook or a Sunday wandering down streets I’ve never been before. But give yourself permission to be different than others. Don’t be influenced by what most people think you should be doing. Make time to do what you crave because no one can do that for you. Giving yourself the opportunity to be creative is the only way you will be.
If you have to block out a time for yourself to work on what you love, Nike that. If you pour 100% of your effort into it, it may take much less time than you thought. And even if it does take forever, does that even matter so long as you’re enjoying it? Forget about other obligations or what would be a more “productive” use of time. That word is used incorrectly sometimes because doing what you love is the most productive thing ever. Work on projects for no other reason than that they make you smile and never forget these things are a crucial part of you being happy.
Need more reminders? View the entire How To Be Creative series here.