What is a Creative Life?
Creative living. It sounds like a section in a fancy lamp store. Creative living is about light and design, so maybe the lamp store idea is not too far off.
A creative life is dynamic, purposeful, energized, connected, expressive, and open. To begin a creative life just turn on the lamp, let the light shine on who you are and who you want to be, for at its core a creative life is about you. It is about a deep sense of self and an understanding of purpose.
For the last year my daily writing has focused on reconnecting with myself, on reinvigorating my creative life. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind, to get lost in a pile of major projects, or to lose sight of why we started to write.
For three years I pushed myself to do fabulous things. Between 2008 and 2011, I wrote and directed two plays, wrote two drafts of a Young Adult novel, started and finished a Master of Arts degree and my Prinicipal’s Qualifications, opened up an indie publishing company by publishing our first title, moved towns, and changed jobs twice–all while working full time and trying to maintain relationships.
I got caught up in more than the daily grind. I was swooped away into a creative wonderland, a chocolate factory of imagination, a writer’s toyland of books and theatre and ideas and creative play.
Since July I have given myself permission to pause, to play quietly, to rest. I still write everyday, but the pressure to create a polished piece of writing is on hold. It feels marvellous! As writers we feel guilty when we are not writing, we feel embarrased when we do not have a recent writing credit to share at writing meetings or with friends, we feel compelled to always have a major work-in-progress at our fingertips to respond to inquiring minds.
We start writing because we have something to say, or because we love sliding words around on a page, or because someone told us it would be a good idea. In the creative life we need to connect to our values and to our purpose. We need to ask why we are writing this piece and for whom we are writing it. We can let go of expectations to publish or to stick to one genre. I read somewhere that “we write who we are.”
If we write who we are then we need to build in time to connect to our deepest selves. We travel there via solitude. Julia Cameron uses Morning Pages, daily freefall about whatever comes to mind. Natalie Goldberg uses meditation. Steven King goes for long walks.
In the quiet we find our voice. In solitude our creative life begins.