Creativity Needs Space

Creativity Needs Space

I’ve spent a great portion of my adult life busy. Work, children, nonprofits, WordCamps, laundry… the amount of work I’ve had in my lifetime has always expanded to fill the available awake hours I’ve had. And in the case of parenting, it has filled some of the hours I should have been asleep.

I’ve always been a creative. I’ve written a book, developed countless websites, managed numerous events, painted paintings, recorded podcasts, written speeches. I can WORK. And, I can keep going. I routinely keep a Notion list of possible ideas for projects and content. I like to stay busy, and I like to create. My husband routinely says I make him tired before he’s even done anything in a day.

Looking back, the book I wrote was actually written during one of the more stressful periods of time in my life, when I went through an IRS audit. During that time of stress that I could tell was going to go on for a few months, I needed a creative outlet where I could help people positively focus their mindset so that I would be forced to remain in a positive mindset myself. The Wealth Diet was my wall, my boundary of positive creative space. I set it up to keep the stress at bay. I had 500 people participate in the Wealth Diet for 30 days, and those 500 people were my reason to set a boundary and carve out creative space no matter what was going on.

By the end, it was clearly a rough draft of a book, so I published the results. The experiment had served its purpose, and I felt complete with it, so I moved on after it was published and didn’t do a marketing push. You can still buy it on Amazon if you’re so inclined.

The lessons for me, however, live on. Even in stressful times, we owe it to ourselves to create space for creativity. It requires a degree of discipline, some boundaries, and closed doors oftentimes. It requires focus, the kind of focus that causes you to lose track of time and space, fully immersed in deep play.

That disciplined space is worth it, though. Without that space, inspired creativity doesn’t happen. Our minds tend to focus on problems, worries, what ifs, and we lose that creative freedom from which inspired flow happens. We allow other people’s whims or needs to dictate how we spend our time, and creativity loses out.

Sanity loses out.

And often, your audience loses out.

Uninspired content has that certain emptiness. As the creator, you feel it. And unconsciously, your audience feels it, too.

I’m working again on creating space in my life for creativity to happen, and it is deliciously decadent. It does mean closed doors and stronger boundaries, but the end result is a happier me. I’m working towards better content in that vein as well, and I trust I’ll find it.

How are you being creative today? How can you create space for creativity as a way to stave off stress?

This is day 6 of #ClickPublish. Featured image from Ameen Fahmy @unsplash.

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