I’ve been on a mission for the last year or so to live more creatively. To find ways and times and places to include more creating & making art in my life. My main goal was just to find ways to spend more time doing the things I love doing. But a year in, I look at my life now and see that not only did I spend more time doing what I love doing, but I’ve also accomplished more of my goals than I ever thought I could in such a short timeframe. It was a totally unintended consequence.
My list of things to learn, do and make has a lot of checks next to it now. I’m now teaching photography classes. I’ve shot thousands of photos over the course of the year- way more than normal. I’ve learned how to shoot & edit videos, which is incredibly fun and satisfying. I have a new shop about to go live. I’ve had my photos published multiple times and had articles written about me (what??!!). And so much more.
For years I’ve struggled with ‘reaching my goals’ which always felt so lofty thinking about ‘trying to reach my goals’ and hard somehow when you put it that way. But when my only goal was to ‘live more creatively’ by crafting a life with space in it to do the creative things I like to do, suddenly it all became doable with far less ‘trying’. My goal was to have more fun, and stop trying to achieve so many things.
The process i used was pretty simple. I looked at my life and tried to find all the easy things I could change that would give me more bits of time to do what I want. Simple things like taking the train to work, rather than driving, opened up whole HOURS of time for me to create. I shoot photos on the walk to the train station and edit them while I’m on the train. Or sometimes I work on my 10000 sketches project instead.
I also started getting up and an hour and a half earlier and do nothing but write and create during those precious 90 minutes. Such a simple thing, but a total game changer for me. I do the stuff that’s really most important to me first thing when I wake up, before anyone else can usurp my day, or before I can give it away to other activities like happy hour with friends. I love happy hour! But now I don’t have to make a choice about getting my creative work done or going out with friends. My creative work is done well before 8am. And if I end up with hours in the evening to create more, huge bonus!
Engineering my life to make it easier to do more of what I love was really the key. I got smaller tools that could be carried with me more easily. I try to always have an idea of what I want to create next so that if I find myself with 10 minutes to kill while i’m out & about, I can start creating the next thing. I also created a little space in my tiny apartment just for writing. And another one just for editing. And another one for playing music. They’re ready to go whenever I am. So no more hunting for the right equipment, clearing space or blowing it off because I don’t feel like getting organized first.
Tiny changes. Big results. I really wish I had discovered these possibilities earlier in life. But you can’t go back, so here I am creating as much as I can now and it feels amazing.
I’d love to hear if you have any other tips or tricks for living more creatively.