Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad

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Every day is groundhog day

None of us know what will happen. Don’t spend time worrying about it. Make the most beautiful thing you can. Try to do that every day. That’s it. Laurie Anderson

Every day is created from scratch. In art, don’t dwell on yesterday or worry about the future but do your art today.

A daily routine helps against the overwhelm of “what do I do next?“. Get out of bed and be creative. This principle reminds of Time blocking but does not need to be as rigid.

Every man can fight the battles of of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burden of those two awful eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down. Richmond Walker in Twenty-Four Hours a Day

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Constant distraction sucks creativity

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes–including you. Anne Lamott

Minimize phone time in the morning

For most, the morning is the most precious creative time. Before attending to other’s needs and notifications, attend to your creativity. Your spirituality. Connect with God first, not the news. Win the day by being a creative image bearer.

Be creative by playing

So often, our creativity can be sucked of any joy. It is a means to produce results. To keep the joy, be creative like a child playing: With lightness and detachment. Creativity is about the process, not the product. Practice for practice’s sake.

Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut assigned a group of high school students this homework: Write a poem and don’t show it to anybody. Tear it up into little pieces and throw them in the trash. “You will find you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experiencede becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you and you have made your soul grow.”

Make gifts

Some of the most amazing creative works were made as gifts:

Don’t monetize your hobby

Don’t make stuff because you want to make money–it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous–because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people–and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts. John Green

Make sure there is at least a small bit of your creative work that is off-limits from the marketplace.

”Do what you love” + low overhead = a good life. “Do what you love” + “I deserve nice things” = a time bomb. Austin Kleon

Leave things better than you found them.

Ignore the numbers

Ignore quantitative measurements (how many clicks?) and value qualitative measurements: Is this good? Do I like this? Does this faithfully represent Jesus?