8 Tips to keeping a creative practice
As a new year begins, many think of starting new creative projects. Others talk of finally getting on with that old creative project. Others still, talk about reshaping their creativity into other forms of work and trying out new things. Whatever stage you're in, I gathered below some of the points I suggest you must take into account as a creative, which will allow you to better thrive.
If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, a team or business leader, these will all be relevant to thriving in your organisation.
1. Create your ecosystem- look into the people and spaces around you and where you spend most of your time. Remember you are the average of the five people you spend more time with. Who are the supporters of your creative project? Where do you work, does the environment need changing? Who are your critical and accountability partners? Who do you know who has done it before? Who can mentor and advise you?
2. Connect with cause- as the winter progresses feeling motivated to do the work can be hard. Your duvet might become more appealing than ever and with another lockdown in sight, if we allow pleasure to be a motivator, we are not going to get it done. So rise and shine! Sometimes doing the work isn't pleasant, you are not doing it to have fun all the time. What's your greater cause? Who are you serving? What gets you up in the morning?
3- Clarify intentions- following up from the above, set yourself specific intentions. Sure, your work might shift and change shape as you do it but this is no reason not to set intentions. Plan all the way to the end, even if the plan keeps changing. Direct your efforts, aim clearly at a target. Then shift again, and re-direct.
4- Work in progress- Of course, creative projects are not done overnight and a lot of the work in a creative practice feels invisible. Look out for sustained execution and incremental progress instead of outcomes. Have you done some practice today? Great, you're winning then.
5- Habits- Look at all the actions your ideal self would do daily, weekly, monthly- set a daily habit, weekly habit and monthly habit. For example, I do meditation daily, yoga weekly and a newsletter monthly. What habits will you commit to this year? Remember habits fuel your creative practice- they are not THE PRACTICE.
6- Material- allow all your experiences and feelings be part of your practice. It is in the wreckage that the best inspiration sometimes lives. Look at the reality of your life, dive deep and use all of it (good, bad and tragic) as the resources for your creative practice. If you need more material, set yourself some artistic dates, get inspired!
7- Dealing with other people's opinions- how much will you allow others to be the compass for your work? Define your partners- those who support you, those who develop you, those who challenge you. Ditch everyone else. There is no way everybody will like you. Define your people, choose your tribe. Then please, ditch other people's opinions about your practice. No other way to success. The more successful you are in your practice, the more visible you become and the more exposed you are to others opinions of you and your work. You can't make it if you care too much.
8- Passion- Be humble in your practice. Do it for the passion. Yes, money is nice too, but if some other activity brings you cash and allows you to carry on a creative practice, be ok with this. Keep your passion and you cash separate until they naturally find each other. Don't force it and don't fake it. Even Spielberg had passion projects which were unpaid. They are fuel to your creative energy.