Friday 24 October 2014

How to Get On *& Stay On* a Creative ROLL

Hello Creative Comrades
I'm currently in the midst of a *major* creative roll -- YAY!! 

I am working on several things at once, but not feeling any of the strain that I might usually while creating things that are quite big for me. I am always super excited about what I am up to, which I might usually lose part way through a big, or even little, project. I am always feeling up, up, up, even when I have been sick or other things have happened, and I have not able to create as much as I'd have liked. And the main reason I feel up is because this creative roll feels different, they all feel good but this one is super good, super sweet, super satisfying (I have had plenty to compare it to) and best of all I truly feel it is sustainable. So I have been taking note of my behaviour patterns etc to see what 'tips' I could share as to how to get on, and stay on, your own wonderful creative roller-coaster.

So you guys probably know by now that I share my creative ups and downs openly, and while I expect that at some point I may be down again, I also...don't - because I have learnt a few creative truths recently. The main one is to accept that we are ALWAYS creative, even in our down times.
I mean to really, REALLY accept that.
To understand that our down times are usually just inspiration gatherers, idea incubators or accumulated hours of neglect for our other interests/hobbies or general rest and relaxation - and to understand that these are valid parts of the creation process too. That they are in fact as much a part of the creation process as the messy-hands, frantic creativity, studio chaos times, if not more even more so because
you cannot drink water continually from the same cup, without never needing to refill it.
Your creative cup is no different.

So you may be saying 'yes, yes, Jennibellie but how does accepting that down time is helping me to refill my cup help me to get in, and stay in, a creative roll?' Because if you accept that we are always creating, even in our down time, then it removes this stop-start, stop-start mentality that we have in regards creativity. It has taken me a loooooong time to release this! In fact I have only just discovered this truth and I want you to really listen to it because my word the proof that this works is in the pudding! My creative pudding I mean, that I am currently making in this creative roll right now all because I released this mentality.
So why is it important to remove this stop-start, stop-start mentality? Because shedding this is almost like taking off the creative blinkers. It restores our understanding that our creativity is one long sinuous circle, or cycle if you want to think of it that way. It restores the understanding of our creative MOMENTUM
If there is no stop-start, then there is continuous motion, 
if there is motion then we are in action, 
if we are in action then we are in control of our own creative power.

Momentum is *p*o*w*e*r*f*u*l*
It makes you feel *good*
It makes you feel productive
It makes you feel like you are creatively flying, creatively courageous, creatively ON A ROLL

Isaac Newton's first law of motion
(also referred to as the law of inertia) is mostly surmised as:
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

In terms of our creativity that unbalanced force (sometimes also surmised as an external force) is always, always ourselves.

(A physics lesson on my artsy fartsy blog, who knew?)

and contrary to the beliefs that we often hold when we are out of motion it is not difficult to regain. I know I have previously fallen under the 'it's so hard to start now I've stopped' trap, but in truth it isn't, this is just a nontruth we tell ourselves. It's a nontruth because if we accept that even in our down times we are creating, that there is NO stop/start, then we also accept that through this continuous creation we will always have momentum working in our favour, you see?

However here are some tips for achieving that feeling of momentum just in cases you don't/can't take my word for accepting that we are always creative (I don't expect you to either, you have to feel it, and feeling can only come from experiencing, not from words, so here's some tips for feeling it)

1. Create something everyday
This is hard for some people because 'I'm too busy', 'I'm too tired', 'I'm not in the mood', 'I haven't got the time'. Guess what? These are all excuses. Truly, and we all know it. Because creating something can be a simple thought. It doesn't even need to be an action, just a simple thought of a project you want to do or are doing, it does not need to be this HUGE undertaking we commit to (which many of us, myself included, can fall into the trap of when starting a new habit). We all know the 'I must do fifty sit-ups daily', 'I must cut chocolate completely out of my diet' all-in tactics rarely work for long. Take the pressure off of this tip - doodle while on the phone, slap paint down mindlessly for 10 minutes or write down that new idea while on the bus, do something small daily, but DO something (even if it's only a thought!)

2. Journal your momentum.
I wrote a top tip once in this blogpost all about how to evapourate the rubbish feelings of unproductivity. It's simple, all you do on days when you feel yucky, like creative momentum has long since been lost, is list out ALL those things you did do that day. This could take a while, because until you do this exercise you do not realise HOW many things we do do everyday. If you have had some creative thoughts as mentioned in tip 1. write those down too. Seriously this seems so simple that it could never actually work but it really really does. Even on your least productive days this exercise will make you realise how much you have actually been ON IT with all those little things we never give ourselves credit for doing. Then breathe in deep as that feeling of momentum is restored.
PS the last item on your list can be 'I wrote this list' =)

3. Understand Mircomovements
Here I am quoting SARK's book Make Your Creative Dreams Real, which I picked up yesterday. It is all about recognising that big projects happen through little iddy bitty movements - which any project manager, mother or anyone who ever created anything ever, all of us basically - can understand and get to grips with if we want to. SARK gives the timeframe of 5 seconds to 5 minutes for each one, only having one days read of it I cannot give too much else away but it is exactly the same as the principle I shared in last weeks 'Dirty Water' post:
'constant dripping hollows the stone,
no matter what little creativity you think you are putting in
...every drop of effort counts'
So plan out your big projects, break up your creative desires into iddy bitty little pieces and then use tip 1. to do them, and tip 2. to track your progress, until you have produced wonderful creative projects faster than what you could ever have imagined. 
Until you feel 100% in and on your fabulous creative roll =)

Thanks for reading,
Happy, joyful, momentous creating =)


  1. Thank you! I have many days where I don't feel good, but I have to remember that I'm still "working" , because I'm always thinking of the next step. I like the letting go of the stop-start thinking!

  2. I really hear you - did a blogpost a while ago about how to find time to create that references Sark :
    Great to have this reminder and extra tips :-) Happy creating

  3. Spot on! I'm leaving this pity party of one! I'm creative everyday and here I thought it was a matter of output. I need to count all the times I'm experimenting with an idea. And let me tell ya, it's more of that then a finished project ready for sale.

  4. Jenni, I SO needed this blogpost today!

    I have 2 huge projects coming up and I really need to stay on a creative roll to accomplish them. 1 is a mini album in a style that I have never done before for a Christmas gift, and the other one is an album of memories for my oldest granddaughter's graduation in 7 months. I wrote all of the information down so I can refer to it as I go along.

    Thank you so much. Much Love!

  5. Since my own last blog post was about loosing my mojo but I then listed everything I did last weekend, this does ring true!!

  6. Great ramble! I feel positive and optimistic! Thanks!

  7. Loved your explanations AND... they made sense. Always enjoy hearing what you have to say.

  8. What a great post ... thank you so much! It's funny, if I just doodled or did a couple of quick small sketches, I never counted them 'cuz I wasn't "getting a page done" but regardless, I guess I "was" creating regardless, wasn't I? : )



  9. Hi Jennibellie, I haven't art journal in a while, but after reading your posts you always manage to get me back of track 😊 thanks for sharing your knowledge, love reading them 😌

  10. Thanks for the realistic ramble, Jenny. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is just sitting down at the craft desk! Once I am there it is easy to slip into doing one of many projects just laying on my work surfaces. Love you back, Michele

  11. Where's my comment now? Just wanted to thank you. :-)

  12. Very eloquently and creatively put, and all true. At my age I get tired physically but my creative mind never ceases to roll on :-)

    Pauline ♥

  13. To help overcome my stop-start mentality I copied the majority of what you said into my journal changing the pronoun to me, "I am always creating even in the down time". Of course I had to do a pudding running down my face & removing my creative blinkers pics. Thank you for being here. I appreciate you.

  14. Great post. I appreciate your line of thinking.

  15. Good gosh. I really really really really needed this. Thank you Jenny!

  16. thanks for this post : ) - ive printed it out to read and highlight!

  17. Great thoughts and tips! I was motivated but had no time so I ran across ICAD. Index card a day. I had a bunch of old index cards so I can carry a bunch with a rubber band around them in my bag. Sometimes I just do a little journaling of the day and sometimes arty things. This is probably what I will do for my prompts and ideas as a go to. Just thought of that! Thanks!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...