One of the most common reasons why many of us don’t start a creative outlet during our adult lives is quite simple really. We are too busy. Or, at least, we think that we are. The working week takes over, then the weekend arrives and it’s family commitments, socialising, binge-watching Netflix series, etc. There is, of course, nothing wrong with this!
However, a potential problem can arise. As we enter yet another Monday to Friday slog, we find ourselves going through the motions, feeling uninspired and perhaps even mentally drained from the working days. This is where a creative outlet comes to the rescue for our mental wellbeing.
Why tapping into your creative genius is a great thing
By tapping into what I like to call our “Creative Genius” we can achieve a sense of balance with our working lives and stimulate our senses by doing something that we are passionate about. Creativity gives us the freedom to express ourselves and follow our intuition, in a way that typical day jobs do not.
That is why I have written this short article, to help you begin your creative journey in a way that is easy and feels good for you, maybe even natural. Here are three ways you can tap into your creative genius, even when you are super busy.
1. Make it as easy as possible
Say you’re interested in writing, for example, creating your own platform for a blog (such as a website) can feel overwhelming. Maybe even to the point where you simply have no idea where to begin. Then what happens? You never start, because it just feels too damn difficult!
This is when existing platforms are particularly useful — if you’re just starting out then utilise what is already out there! So you are not quite ready to start your own blog, but writing on Medium could be a great alternative place to begin.
Medium is basically “done for you” in terms of the functions available when you publish a post, and this means that you can get started right away. It is so simple to access and insert stock photos, change the font size and add links.
Of course, there is less opportunity for customisation but that actually removes the distractions that so many can get fixated on at the start of their creative journey. I, like many, fell into the trap of becoming obsessed with my brand colours, logo, and basically how my website looked.
Focus on the substance, not the style, as your content is such a valuable asset that can open so many doors. Style can be tweaked whenever you like — and trust me, your branding will change a lot over time.
Speaking from personal experience as someone who started a WordPress Blog first, I do wonder if writing on Medium would have been a better alternative at that stage. It is such a clean, easy-to-use interface that just gives you the space to just W-R-I-T-E.
This simplistic, “readymade” approach also applies to other types of creative outlets. If you are interested in photography, working with images, or even creating your own art, then why not try sharing on social media platforms such as Instagram? Many creatives choose to showcase their work on Instagram in the first instance, then further down the line invest in creating their own space on an external site.
2. Don’t fight resistance
Hands up if you have ever tried to learn something new and it just didn’t feel right? Maybe you were subconsciously avoiding the activity at all costs and procrastinating to the max. This can be a sign that this particular task is not for you, or at least for the time being (obviously this is not always the case)
Tapping into your creative genius does not have to be filled with resistance and feel like a hardship. Listen to your intuition and go with the flow — have some fun with it! There is nothing worse than pushing through a hobby that you’re not enjoying, just because you feel as though you must.
One of the key things to acknowledge is that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to start a creative outlet, it will take little steps and lots of tiny experiments to figure out what you like doing best. Trust me, we have all been there!
3. Start small and allow yourself to grow
Continuing on from the example of someone hoping to start writing for fun, it’s important not to overstretch yourself at first. Start writing in short spurts of say, 500 words to help you get accustomed to your writing flow and style. Basically, just adopt an approach that feels comfortable for you!
It is, of course, a great idea to start writing on a “done for you” platform such as Medium with short and thought-provoking pieces to ease yourself into. Keeping a journal of your article topic ideas works efficiently and takes the pressure off when you are feeling uninspired, wondering what to write about.
Finally, and taking a small side-step… I find that the phrase “being creative” can be a little misleading. This is because many people still view creativity in a very traditional sense, consisting of activities such as drawing or writing. Therefore, some will dismiss the idea that can be creative if they do not have such skills. However, this is simply not true! There are SO many creative outlets to be explored — I actually believe that there is something out there for everyone.
Just to paint a picture of where I trace back my recent creative origins, the first remotely “creative” thing I started doing a few years ago was buying a colouring-in book (they’re really popular now) and felt tip pens. Then, I would get excited about choosing which colours to pair together for a particular pattern. Or, I would take photos using my smartphone and play around with different edits on VSCO. To be honest, I didn’t even think about these activities being “creative outlets” as such.
But — these small steps turned into bigger ones, and now I’m indulging in a whole range of creative passions. Everyone starts somewhere, and it’s never (ever, ever) from exactly the same place. Remember to be patient with yourself and refrain from comparing your creative journey to anyone else’s.