As we come closer and closer to the midterm elections, I realize that it’s been almost two years since I worked a job that really required me to be creative. My last job, at Apple, had a little bit of creativity involved, but not a lot. My new job, there’s almost no creativity at all. As a creative person, this can be crippling sometimes, which is why I’ve had to find ways to fill my creativity.
Staying Creative While You Aren’t at a Creative Job
Being creative is a gift, whether you believe in the divine or not, guess what, not everyone is creative. And not everyone is creative in the same ways you are. I think a lot about my dad in this context. I take after my dad in so many ways, but the truth is, that man has like no creativity (Actually neither of my parents do, really). Knowing that I came from two uncreative people (both whom I still love to death), in the past few months, I’ve become much more protective of my creative time.
However, when you spend 40 hours a week not being creative, it can be hard to feed that creativity in your non-work hours. Today, I want to talk about ways to ensure you’re staying creative while you aren’t at a creative job.
What makes you creative?
For me, being creative comes in two big forms, both of the writing variety. For you, it could be something else. Maybe you’re an artist and you paint (as someone with disfigured stick-figures, count me jealous). Or maybe you’re a musician and you sing in a band. Whatever it is, you need to know what it is before you can feed it.
As I said, my creativity comes in the form of writing and I’m lucky enough that I have to mediums I can expand my writing with. This blog is one of them. Laura Teagan and my crime fiction is another area.
This blog allows me to explore topics I’m interested in, to document my life. In January, this blog will be five years old, and as I’ve spent the last year updating posts, it amazes me how much of my life this blog has covered. First jobs, most of my college life, the experience of publishing my first book and all the mistakes I made with that, my goals every month, losing weight. Even the things that I mention briefly, the blog has been there to document it for me – even if it makes no sense to everyone else.
Blogging allows me to share things I’ve noticed, things I’ve learned, and it serves as a kind of portfolio where I can show people some of my social media skills.
Writing fiction is the most creative thing I on any day. I literally make people up and have them do things like have sex and murder people (two extremes, but still). Discovering my love of storytelling and writing is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I hope I spend the rest of my life fighting to keep that sacred. But making your creativity sacred also requires that you find time to be creative.Staying Creative when you aren't a creative job is hard, but doable. Click To Tweet
Finding Time to Be Creative
I’ll admit, I struggle with this one a lot. Especially lately where I’m in a lot of personal transitions, it’s hard to find time during the week to be creative. As I write this, it’s 11:30 at night and I need to go to bed, but I’m wide awake. I get like, four hours of sleep a night. I know Saturdays are my big day to be creative lately, hiding in a library or at a coffee shop.
When I wasn’t living with family, my creative time was always after work. Quick dinner followed by a few hours at my standing desk. Well, my standing desk is currently in pieces in a storage unit and my desk space is either my bed or the kitchen table. Personally, I know this really hurts my creativity, but I have to make myself find the time to stay creative.
My lunch hour is a big time I try to stay creative, too. I take my laptop and either work on social media or my book, depending on what I’m feeling that day. Whether you find the time to be creative at the same time every day or you adjust on the fly, make sure you find time to stay creative.
When you aren’t at a creative job, it’s more important to stay active in your fight for creativity. Think of it like a muscle, you need to keep stretching it to keep it loose. So stay creative, don’t let yourself go dull.