Daily Creativity (re-inspired by Julia Cameron)

May 17, 2010

The Daily Creativity thing is something I’ve been trying to do consistently for a long time now… probably a good couple of years. I get on stretches of consistent work, but my work suffers because I begin to do it last minute. I usually end up with a post-it doodle or five in a row and while some of them are pretty cool (to me), most of them aren’t.

Being creative is key to my personal well-being as I’m sure it is to many of you out there. I believe that everyone is creative, whether or not you’re an artist or a lawyer. Even if you’re not creative in the form of art, you’re creative in what you do. Lawyers need to be creative with their arguments, doctors need to be creative to find solutions to serious health problems… everyone is creative.

Personally, I love to be creative in many ways. Art (painting, drawing, crafting), writing (blogs, essays, poetry), businesses, design, fashion, photography… you name it. If it’s creative and requires me to create something, I love it. What I’ve always loved is creating art, just for the sake of creating art. Playing. Exploring.

I’ve recently been reading Julia Cameron’s book Floor Sample: A Creative Memoir and I LOVE it. Reading biographies and memoirs of people you admire is highly recommended. Julia Cameron is the author and creator of The Artist’s Way. It is a 12-week “program” to unblocking your creative self. I’ve read through it before, but I’ve never actually practiced it. I intend to and began this week. More on that later.

In her memoir, Julia talks about how she unblocked herself as a writer. At the encouragement of her mentors, she placed a sign in her writing space that read something along the lines of “God is in charge of quality. I am in charge of quantity.” I am one of those artists that believes creativity and ideas come to us from some other place. Whether it’s a God, the universe, a higher power, even from some deep place within… it comes to us and through us not from us. This idea (and the sign) helped free Julia from her own ego. She limited herself to three pages of writing a day, no more and no less. She did now allow herself to judge the work, believing that it was not hers, she was just in charge of writing the three pages. This freed her up immensely and she began writing with ease and it was the beginning of creating many great works for her.

This idea appeals to me.

Noticing Julia’s sudden productivity, her sister inquired about her secret. She offered her sister the same format and advice for her painting and she too began to be more productive and produce greater work. Unfortunately she doesn’t tell us what exactly she told her sister to do. If you are a writer, you can say “Great! I’ll write three pages each day.” But the artists might not necessarily understand how that translates over to painting, drawing or crafting. So I’ve come up with my own take on it.

30 minutes a day. No more. No less. I will sit with my collection of goodies, supplies and materials and I will just create. I will not judge the work, I will just let it be. Even if you don’t believe in the art coming through you, at least try not to judge it!

What areas are you creative in?

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