Let’s talk creative habits. Whether you consider yourself an artist, a writer or you simply want to read more, forming habits is key to moving from TALKING about it to DOING it.
Think about it. We set New Year resolutions, we go a little too deep into them right away, then we are exhausted and forget about it. This is because we never bothered to create a habit. It takes 21 days to form a habit!
– start small
– be kind to ourselves
– do it every day
… if we want to form a habit.
Want to be a painter? Do something connected to painting every day. That could be:
– selecting a colour palette you like
– sketching, even rough sketches that are blobs with notes that say “red here!” and “this will be a lilac!” count
– reading about painting
– watching videos on painting
– looking for inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
Want to be a writer? Do something connected to writing every day. That could be:
– writing in a journal
– making lists
– listing out potential projects or ideas
– sketching characters or settings
– making Pinterest boards of characters and settings and writing prompts
– working on a short writing prompt (you can google “writing prompts”)
– developing a story
– reading about writing
– reading for pleasure
– listening to a podcast about the craft of writing
Want to be a reader?
– Read. 10-15 minutes a day!
If you set aside 15 minutes a day for 21 days, you will be 5 hours and 15 minutes deeper into your dream/goal/resolution than you were before you started.
Can you commit to 30 minutes a day? Maybe that means 15 in the morning and 15 before bed. Maybe it’s all at once. It will give you 10.5 hours of practice, and that’s 10.5 hours that you haven’t done yet!
I try to work for 60-90 minutes per day on something creative. I am working to find harmony between my writing, business work, illustration work and fine art. It’s a lot of creative stuff to juggle, but they all fuel and fulfil me. As a result, it’s 60-90 minutes per day. Most days, I average out to 75 minutes.
That means, in one week I am finding 8 hours and 45 minutes for my creative work. In most offices, that’s a bit more than a work day, especially if you add in breaks and lunches! AND, I don’t stay up late. Most days, I’m in bed by 9.
I work a full-time job as a teacher, which means I also have things like report card writing, assessment and evaluation, planning and the day-to-day administrative and student-focused work that happens outside of the classroom. I’m not a superhero – I have formed a habit. I wake up early! I get stuff done. As a result, I am happier.
I’m no longer just sitting around talking about my dreams. I’m making those dreams reality by actually DOING them.
One day, and I hope that day is soon, the DOING them will look exponentially different. I am hoping that I will be able to build this business to a high degree of success, by filling more commissions, selling more prints and products, offering workshops and retreats, publishing book after book, speaking and entertaining at live events and at schools, and basically spreading the word that creativity is attainable by everyone, no matter what you believed before. If I want that to happen, for real, then I can’t just talk about it. I have to DO it. So I am doing it, from 4:30-6am every day. I’m painting, I’m writing, I’m submitting to agents, I’m sketching, I’m revising, I’m marketing, I’m updating my website and creating business systems.
Because it’s not good enough to talk about something.
We must DO the things we think will make us happy, if we really want to be happy.
So go out there, form your habits, and prosper!