As I explore life as an almost creative professional, I realize every day the power and force behind creativity and how to dive deep into the creative process. It’s a whole other world: finding how you can make art and live creatively with your life. Many of us have made New Year’s resolutions to pursue creativity more often this year, whether that means doing DIY projects, trying new recipes, expanding our skills or finding a brand new creative outlet. But if you are stuck with trying to figure out how to pursue creativity in your free time, I’ve put together some ideas to get you started.
1. Start a scrapbook.
One of my favorite ways to be creative and unwind is to gather photos, stickers and quotes and put them together in a scrapbook. Try looking around your house for knickknacks and pictures so that you can reflect on your memories and turn them into something special.
2. Begin a “one-sentence-a-day” journal.
Limit yourself to one sentence a day when you buy a new journal at Target or Barnes & Noble. Limits force us to be creative, so try to sum up your entire day into one sentence. Or maybe one word.
3. Take a photography walk around your neighborhood.
Take a step outdoors and grab your camera and/or phone, and explore your neighborhood through your lens. In the years to come, you would love to look back and remember the places around your town.
4. Go to a coffee shop or a park and only bring a notebook.
If you are a true daredevil, leave your phone at home. Spend some time with your thoughts and truly get to know what your creative mind is thinking, feeling and doing. You may start the beginning of a great story, or write down blog ideas or quotes. There’s always something magical that happens when you put pen to paper.
5. Take a road trip, and leave your GPS at home.
Use this time to get creative on a road trip. Use a real map and let the journey lead you. Sing your favorite songs out loud. Share stories with friends. Plan on getting lost.
6. Go someplace you’ve never been before.
Immersing yourself into something new is one of the best ways to uncover your creative calling and discover your abilities to make a difference in the world. Talk to new people. Visit a new culture. Study abroad. Take some time to refresh your thinking and be open to everything around you. Look at your own life in a new way.
7. Try out one new recipe a month.
I love diving into the realm of cooking and seeing it as an art. Try to find new foods you may enjoy and see how the recipes come together to make a delectable dish.
8. Watch a video tutorial of a skill you’ve always wanted to try.
Whether it’s painting, waterskiing, or photoshop, do some research online for a skill you’ve been wanting to try since you were little. Double points if it’s unrelated to your field or your work.
9. Maintain a book of inspiration, ideas, sketches and strokes of genius to inspire you.
Being creative is all about the inspiration and motivation, so give yourself more opportunities to be inspired by keeping track of items that fuel you creatively. Song lyrics, photos, blog post ideas, letters, video links, lines from movies. Keep them in a notebook, on a bulletin board or in another practical space.
10. Write letters to your friends and family throughout the year giving them updates and encouragement.
Pursuing creativity, I’ve learned, is also about pursuing community. Foster the relationships you have with your family, friends and co-workers by leaving them encouraging notes during the day or surprising them with something fun in the mail. Sometimes we find letter writing to be hard and unnatural, but practice your writing and be bold with your words so that it becomes like second nature. Building each other up is always a wonderful way to share our creative and adventurous spirits with one another.
Bonus! Change your perspective. Be unpractical.
Even though most of these are practical ways to pursue creativity. Creativity ultimately lies in the unpractical. It lies in the uncertain. It takes so much practice and so much work to rally against ourselves and push past walls that fight our creativity–criticism, lack of confidence, fear, etc. Let’s acknowledge those and realize that it’s not about being practical all the time. It’s about taking a leap of faith and believing that you are living a creative life full of possibility and opportunity to be discovered. I think it can all be summed up in this one quote:
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainty.
— Erich Fromm
How would you like to pursue creativity this year?