Tips For Building a Creative Life (Even If You Are Very Busy)

It’s a little known secret — or perhaps less emphasised in a society where creativity is largely undervalued —that we are in fact our own artists. Without having to pick up a paintbrush or pen the next bestselling novel, we can still lead a creative life simply by adding small bits of it into our daily routines. We don’t even have to carve out all that much time to be able to do so, as creative inspiration can stem from something as small as how you plate up your dinner, the way you trim your favourite plant, or simply how you go about arranging a few precious items you’ve collected over the years. In a busy modern world, it can feel like creativity has no standing, especially as it isn’t always commercially valued. Let’s chat a bit about how to build a creative life, even when life has you juggling a lot of balls at the same time.

Where Do You Find Fun?

Building a creative life for yourself requires you to start by thinking about the places you find fun in your life. Trying something new can be difficult when your schedule is already quite tight, so start by thinking about the activities and hobbies you already enjoy. It can’t hurt to explore some things you might want to try in the future, and can possibly add to your routine once things settle down a little bit. From the activities you already have in your life, consider which two or three are the most creative, or have some element of creativity incorporated in them. Even just scribbling down which activities you enjoy is an act of creativity, and you may end up wanting to add a morning journal entry to your list of creative activities. And so we’re off!

Avoid the Creative Commercial Trap

How often have we heard someone discouraging a creative career or hobby on a Hollywood film? Too often for my liking, in fact. When you’re starting to build a creative life, it’s important not to set out with commercial intentions right from the beginning. Creating something is just that, an act of creation. You are giving back to the world that has given and continues to give you so much. You are touching base with your human-ness, and the fact that we have capacity for introspection and self-awareness (which is quite miraculous if you think about it). Forget about starting a side hustle and expecting millions at the end of the line. Nurture your craft, build your creative life slowly, and be surprised by what may come up, or where there may be opportunities to take it further later.

Explore an Open Canvas

Starting a new creative activity doesn’t require you to carve out an hour at a fixed time every single day (or week). The process should be a bit less structured, and somewhat more “messy”. Going into it with a view towards perfectionism is only setting yourself up for failure. True creation requires surrender and letting go, and letting things unfold along the way. If you’ve been creatively uninspired for years, start by looking at your living space as an open canvas. See it as a creative project, and start by considering which changes you can make to the layout, where you can add new plants in, what those might be or look like, and so forth.

Exercising Your Creative Muscle

Although popular culture might communicate something else, creativity is a skill, not just a talent. Sure, some people have a natural proficiency when it comes to painting or drawing. Any creative skill is just that, a skill. It requires time and patience to build up your confidence, and the freedom to play and try something new when you feel like you hit a wall that you can’t work around. The result is living a lighter life, taking yourself less seriously, and doing something that isn’t achievement driven. Create for creation’s sake, and incorporate play into your life like you may have last done in childhood. The more you play, the easier it will get.