As a creative, channeling inspiration into my work is important. Finding environments that are conducive to creating while keeping me focused is just as important. I’ve learned through trial and error over the years that each project sometimes calls for different environments. For instance, some of my favorite poems were written in the back seat of cars, in airplanes, or furiously typed under the covers using my phone. I love how short and simple that process is.
Writing longer pieces like my blog posts or other writing projects call for a bit more structure and typically call for some of the same basic things. Wi-Fi. Mild temperature. Music. Pen/paper/laptop/charger. And, of course, something to sip on. Basically what I’m trying to say is, my favorite place to create is in a coffee shop.
I love sitting in a public space surrounded by strangers but not feeling forced to interact with them. I can choose to people watch and shamelessly listen in on conversations around me or I can throw my focus into the paper or screen in front of me. A public space also means that other distractions like my television, bed, and refrigerator aren’t around to tempt me when I need a break. It took a bit of adjusting but I have finally learned what works for me.
Here are five tips I’ve used to own my creative process. Note: These tips aren’t only applicable to creating works of art. They can be used for studying; exercising, reading, etc. so get creative with it!
Identify The Spaces That Inspire You And Help You Create
Whether it’s a room in your home, coffee shop, studio, bookstore, or park – identifying places that naturally allow you to get work done is essential (unless you’re like the rare specimen that can create anywhere and everywhere). These places may change over time and that’s okay!
Eliminate Distractions As Needed
Sometimes I need a brief diversion to get me through the writing process but major distractions are the worst! Don’t fall for distraction disguised as multi-tasking either. Distractions will have you leaving a creating session wondering where all of your time went. Sometimes I need to leave my phone in my purse, sit in a silent room, purposely avoid connecting to Wi-Fi, listen to music through headphones, or face a wall to avoid eyeing others around me to dodge distractions. It really depends on how focused I am and what mood I’m in.
Recognize The Type of Creating Mood You’re In
Do you have a deadline you need to reach or are you creating just for fun? Are you filled to the brim with inspiration or are you actively seeking it? Are you genuinely in the mood to create or are you trudging through a period where things just aren’t flowing? Identifying your mood before you even set out to create will hopefully help save you lots of time when picking where/when to create.
Don’t Be Afraid To Express Your Needs
It can be difficult to explain to your family/friends that you need a block of time to be left alone or that you need to go to that concert/art show/park/coffee shop to help you feel creative or get work done but it’s necessary. No one knows your needs better than you so don’t be afraid to share them with the people in your life.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff But Enjoy The Process
Writing, poetry specifically, used to come so easy to me when I was in my teens/early twenties. Now I often create a piece, read it a few times, then come back to it a second or third time to edit. That used to discourage and frustrate me but I’m learning to enjoy the process of creating even when it appears to take too long. I’m giving myself a nice dose of patience and learning to appreciate my creative process and all its fruits.
Now it’s your turn. What does your creative process look like to you? What tips would you add to the list? Sharing is caring!
These lovely, detailed shots were taken by Harbor Grace Photography.