I have been thinking about creative habits recently while I continue working on my photography project endeavor. There are some days that I feel like the finish line is very far away; and other days, I feel like I am making incremental progress; however, the project never moves as fast as I would like as there are many moving parts. This got me thinking about creative habits that I find useful. Below are some creative habits that are helping me thought my project.
Believe in your creativity – This is the first practice and probably most important. If you do not believe in your work, how can you expect to make great work? Belief in your creativity is key to any creative endeavor.
Practice mindfulness – Mindfulness is being in the present moment — not ruminating about the past, nor worrying about the future. I find the act of creating like a meditation where my sole focus is in the present moment while creating. The practice of mindfulness is to over and over notice when your mind is wandering and to bring your attention back to the present. I find when I am working on my project that I am generally able to block everything out and focus on the task at hand — creating. It is a really freeing feeling to create.
Set a work schedule/routine – Setting work schedule and routine is essential to any creative. I have a work routine and schedule, which helps keep me focused and on track. I always have Victory near me (by my feet) when I am working, which is an added source of inspiration!
Taking risks with your work – To grow and push yourself, you need to be willing to take risks and to accept that sub-par work will occur, and it is all part of the process of creating. The only really effective way to work is show up every day and to keep repeating this process daily. You have to be willing to show up, do the work, and accept that not every piece of work will be brilliant or else you will never make it to your ‘masterpiece.’
Explore and take breaks – Many times, the best ideas come seemingly out of nowhere, when you have a distraction and let your mind wander. For example, I sometimes wake up with new ideas that I have never thought of; ideas come to me while in the shower; and ideas come flowing at the gym. Additionally, a change of scenery always does a mind and soul good as it allows you the freedom and the ability to make connections that you may not have otherwise made, which also fosters creativity.
Physical exercise –Whether it lets the mind wander, improves mood, or functions as an important part of daily routine, regular physical activity has been linked to improved creative thinking. Doug and I go to the gym almost everyday, and ideas spring forth during these times that would likely not otherwise occur. Plus, your mind and body can always benefit from regular exercise!
Solitude – Being alone creates the time and mental space to reflect, which is necessary for any creative. Creating involves many stretches of time alone. I find that most of the time working alone and creating in solitude is positive because I am able to focus solely on the work; however, there are some days that it can feel somewhat isolating, and that is why it is good to have friends to converse with who are also creatives who can relate.
“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” -Rollo May