You can be creative for a lifetime. As long as there is breath in your lungs and life in your body, you can create. Don’t stop. Breathe life into those ideas bubbling in your soul. Give form to those whispers and sighs that come to you in the dark of night. Capture those rambling ideas that come to you in the middle showering and cleaning (isn’t that where great ideas are born anyway). Prepare to amaze and be amazed at how much you can do simply because you choose to make your creative practice a habit. You can develop it as a way of life.
I don’t want this to be a tell-you-how-you-need-to-creatively-live post. I want it to be more like an invitation, a gentle nudge for you to dare to live a more boldly, creative life. I don’t know what you’re creative bent is, but I can tell you it’s worth pursuing and practicing. For me I’ve been writing, singing, and baking for years. These have been my mainstay creative practices, but I’ve added on to them because I like growing, learning, and trying new things. Sometimes they stick, and sometimes they don’t. I have shared some of my new practices with you: lettering, mixed media, painting, found poetry. I’ve been keeping up with these in various ways for a couple of years now, and I am glad for these practices. I have found them infusing themselves in my life personally and professionally. That’s a good thing for problem solving, engagement, and rethinking life. Creative practice is a grace for working through challenges and difficult times allowing another way for light and hope to sneak into and break up the darkness. I like that!
Here are some ways I am taking on creative practice for life. Maybe you’ll want to try them too. Do what you can. Do what works for you. You do you. Find a way to ease into a lifetime of creative practice that breathes into you. You are worth it. So, back to how I stay engaged in my practice: I do mini challenges. I letter at home and work. I am trying sketchnotes as a new way for me to review large amounts of information from conferences or trainings I attend. I paint when I can. I choose to create margin and space for creativity because I know that it energizes me and helps me not hyper focus on any one particular activity. Below are some art/creativity challenges I participate in when I can. I can tell you that participation for me is more about engaging the practice, making time for it, and connecting in community with other creative souls. It makes it a less solitary thing. We’re in it together.
Art Everyday Month with Leah Kolidas – This was the first 30 day art challenged I ever took part in, and it was fun. I was able to connect with and learn from several diverse artists. I can’t recommend this kind of invitation enough. It’s such a wonderful way to grow yourself and refine your artistic voice.
100 Day Project with Elle Luna – If you want to really stretch your creative chops on one particular area, then this challenge is for you. You choose one thing you want to do for 100 days and do daily for, you guessed it, 100 days! It seems impossible at first, but I’ve done it three times and made to 100 days twice. I chose practices I wanted to get better at like writing affirmations and letters. This year I wanted to practice lettering, and I can tell you the progress I made has bolstered my confidence. Practice really does make progress. If you can do this challenge, do it. You won’t be sorry, at least I don’t think you’ll be sorry. You’ll summon strength and resolve you may not know you have always had.
Write 31 Days – I like to write. It’s my go to creative practice. While I journal by hand, I don’t always write digitally. Write 31 Days has been a great way for me to focus on a particular topic, flesh it out, and publish. The practice of daily writing builds my confidence and shows me that I can do this writing thing on a consistent basis. I’ve participated in this challenge for a few years now, and I am grateful for the ways I have grown as a writer. I do it for me. I don’t do it for others, and sometimes this is how we need to write – for the comforting of our own hearts. You can read my past series here. There are four different topics plus musings on Holy Week.
Create your own challenge – I sometimes choose to do my own challenges to practice a skill or technique. This past August I wanted to letter favorite bible verses using brush lettering. That was fun for me and served two purposes: help me read my bible and meditate and grow my lettering skills. You can catch that series on my blog here and on Instagram. I had a lot of fun with that one. You can keep a personal challenge to yourself, or you can invite others to join you. The main things is to keep showing up, but also give yourself grace to take breaks when you need to. It makes no sense to force yourself to participate. We are also made for rest and shalom and not the constant go-go-go. Be kind to yourself in the process.
Other things I do: Read articles from creative people or follow on social media like: Jennifer Upton, Seanwes, Caroline Kelso, Brittany Luiz, Leah Kolidas – Creative Everyday, Star Gardener, Bare Branch Blooming, Addye B, Your Creative Adventure, Lettering League, Anna K Art, the Willowing, Mystele, Yellow Rose Art. These are just a handful of the myriad artists, writers, and creatives who inspire me and help me learn. As you cultivate your gifts, you will hopefully develop a pocketful of people who inspire you too. Don’t be afraid to explore your creative depths. You have so much to offer. Let’s all keep showing up. Keep creating because it matters.
Your creative practice is worth pursuing. Tell me how you are cultivating yours. I’d love to hear your stories. If you’ve been reading all my series’ posts, thank you. That means a lot to me. Happy End of October. May November bring you grace, kindness, compassion, and gratitude.
In the month of October, I’m participating in the #Write31Days challenge. I’m focusing creative practice in the ordinary everyday mundane. Each day (or whenever I write) for the series I will post the link on my page for my #31DaysOfCreativePractice. Come along and read.