1. Having the ability or power to create: Human beings are creative animals.
2. Productive; creating.
3. Characterized by originality and expressiveness; imaginative: creative writing.
Why is it worthwhile to have a creative practice? Why do something like sketch every day, write each morning or sew each day? Patti Digh, author of Creative is a Verb tells us, “If you’re alive you’re creative.” And yet frequently I meet people who assure me they are not.
Perhaps what they’re missing is something that reassures them each day that they can be creative. Take a look at that definition again. The first definition tells us just what Patti Digh tells us- we all have the capacity to create. The second definition, “Productive; creating” those are action words. When you choose to do something creative (I’m NOT saying “pretty” or “art-show worthy” or “fine art”) when you choose a little creative practice to do each day you are “productive; creating.” Haha! Take that internal-nasty-critic in your mind that blurts, “You’re not creative, you not doing something creative, you don’t know how.” Once you begin to do a creative practice each day you have a weapon against that terrible self doubt that creeps up. You can think to yourself, “This may not be perfect, and maybe it’s ugly, but I AM being creative! And I do this EVERY day, so I have PLENTY of opportunities to practice!” (And maybe it’s beautiful too, I just know that often we can’t give ourselves a break and actually *like* what we make.)
This month (and last) I challenged myself to sketch every day. Last month I was amazed at how fast that internal critic popped in to my head to tell me to stop (my post creative resistance.) I only drew on about half of the days in April so I recommitted for May and each day I’ve heard that critic in my mind, but each day I’ve gone ahead and drawn anyway. That feels good.
Having a creative practice, especially as a mother to young children, reminds me that I am indeed creative and that to be whole I need to create. We are all born with a need to express ourselves, to be creative in one way or another. As a mother so often my needs are drowned out by those of my children, but being creative is one I must make a priority. If my children are to have a vibrant and fulfilling life they need a good example. I do them no favors if I give in to that critic who tells me I have no time to create and that a creative practice is a waste of time. It isn’t!
Next week I’ll talk some more about this critic and why we wind up with such a nasty internal voice sometimes. For now, trust me (or trust yourself!) It is worth it to create each day. I assure you if you join me in choosing one small creative thing to do each day you will learn and grow. Let me know what you do to refute that voice and express your creativity!