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Your Creative Intentions: The Monday Post ~ December 16, 2013

Red Haircrow quote

Commit to a regular creativity practice. Regularity — a daily practice, if possible — is key to staying in touch with how you make meaning.

What are your plans for creative practice this week? Given the specifics of your schedule, decide on a realistic intention or practice plan — and ink that time in your calendar. The scheduling part is important, because as you know, if you try to “fit it in” around the edges, it generally won’t happen. An intention as simple as “I will write for 20 minutes every morning after breakfast” or “I will sketch a new still life on Wednesday evening” is what it’s all about. If appropriate, use time estimates to containerize your task, which can make a daunting project feel more accessible.

Share your intentions or goals as a comment to this post, and let us know how things went with your creative plans for last week, if you posted to last week’s Monday Post. We use a broad brush in defining creativity, so don’t be shy. We also often include well-being practices that support creativity, such as exercise and journaling.

Putting your intentions on “paper” helps you get clear on what you want to do — and sharing those intentions with this community leverages the motivation of an accountability group. Join us!


If you’re an artist or writer with little ones, The Creative Mother’s Guide: Six Creative Practices for the Early Years is the essential survival guide written just for you. Concrete strategies for becoming more creative without adding stress and guilt. Filled with the wisdom of 13 insightful creative mothers; written by a certified creativity coach and mother of five. “Highly recommended.” ~Eric Maisel. 35 pages/$11.98. Available for download here.

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. aloha Miranda. i agree enthusiastically with the idea of creating daily. i know personally for me when i do not create for a day or two i begin to feel quite “off” in many ways. that can lead to a downward spiral for me. i’ve learned that and i find a way to create every day. writing, taking photographs, working with digital technology or traditional materials—it all counts for me.

    i’ve also learned that my day works best if i follow patterns. i’m not die-hard about my patterns. it’s easy to shift them on one day when needed and the evolve over time too allow me to fit in the things i need to do around my creating rather than my creating around what i need to do.

    as a pattern i find a way to work with my digital technology each day even tho i do not post every day necessarily.

    when i decide to get into the traditional materials i find that daily practice extremely important as well. sometimes i need to start out slow. 5 minute drawings. 15-30 minute paintings. after a few days to a week of this it’s hard to stop at 5 minutes or half an hour and i let my times increase as needed.

    scheduling in a time is a good way to commit yourself to a practice. although i’ve found i’m quite contrary and tend to push my times around as needed. i know if i say i will do something to myself i often do the opposite. the doing is what is important however and i find a way to do my art even if i have to stay up an extra half hour to an hour before sleeping. yes, i will work tired if that is how i have to get my time in.

    some other ways i’ve heard that work for people and i’ve tried and found fun:

    when i’m clearing the table after breakfast say, as one of my jobs, i will daily do a sketch of the breakfast table (or one item on it or any part of it) just as i’ve left it before clearing it. it’s a way for me to allow myself the time to draw. I have to draw before i do the dishes or i loose my visual. i may set a timer if i need to limit my time but the commitment to drawing that table or any part of it gives me the permission to sit and draw BEFORE i do the dishes. way fun on that. this kind of practice can be used with any task:

    shopping: draw/photograph the shopping bags before you put everything away (maybe the milk and frozen items can go in the fridge and then I draw). you can take an item or two out to draw too. still live with packages, bottles or cans or fresh veggies/fruits.

    weeding: draw/photograph the tools before you weed (after, i’m usually a bit dusty mucky).

    gardening as in watering and general: a bouquet of flowers or the veggies/fruit etc. that you pick are great subjects.
    laundry: the pile of clothes. or clothes hug up to dry. or folded.

    kid’s toys: one a day. or as they lay. or as the look put away.

    seasonal: gift wrapping: before, during or after wrapping a present.

    when it’s writing rather than drawing/painting/photos that i’m after the same practice can work. write from the moments the items suggest or the thoughts that come up while you were working. write of that moment or something those items bring up in a memory or fantasize. . . .

    I’m sure you get the idea.

    once i make creating part of my daily life it’s like any other job or chore I have to do. my day is not done until i do it.

    And. if it’s fun, i’ll want to do it again. so i do what is fun for me. i play with line, or light, or shapes or color etc. if it’s writing i may play with writing forms, or shotgun writings, or 55 word short stories etc. way fun on that. and seasonal fun on all too. aloha.

    December 16, 2013
    • Rick, I *adore* your ideas about integrating creative work into the very furrows of daily life. Might I turn your suggestions into a blog post, with credit to you, of course?

      December 16, 2013
      • yes, I’m delighted that you consider some of my thinking valid in this way. please do use these thoughts for a post. I’d like that. thank you.

        I am passionate about creating daily. even 5 minutes count—writing, drawing or painting. 10 or 15 minutes even better. just do it tho. that’s what what is important. start. just start and do it.

        don’t think you can draw/write something in 5 minutes?? try this: set a timer for one minute. see how much you can draw (or write on) something in 1 minute. when the timer goes off click it and start on a new page again on the same thing. again when the timer goes off click it and repeat the process until you have 5 drawings (or 5 sentences or observations in words). try to push yourself to get more down each time. the light, the shape edges, the lines. now set the timer for 5 minutes and see how much you can get down. that’s a total of ten minutes, however once you understand that you actually can get the entire thing Down in some way in 5 minutes you can do this with anything and take only 5 minutes (or 10 when you have it).

        next too is observation then draw. but that’s another ramble.

        we all have hurry-up-and-wait times. the doctors office, picking up a child from school or play time, the bus stop (local and long distance), car pool, train and plane ports. bring your pencil and pad (hard back, double wired, small like 6 x 6 is my preferred—or my iPad with drawing apps) and sketch/draw/write for 5 minutes.

        sit in the car and draw before you go in to shop, hair appointments, the dentist, the visit with a friend. or even on your way to work.

        at one time I got so I’d leave 5 minutes early just so I could flip my pad open and draw. then it was 15 minutes early to any activity and half an hour to 45 mintues early to work (at a photo lab). I could stop along the way or in the parking lot finding different views even there each day. or sit on a bench or low wall on the walk into work.

        eventually I had to set a time when I stopped like this or I’d end up running over time and become late for my appointment or work—that happened once and I started the timer idea. even then I’d push the timing tho.

        it made my day to get a drawing before work and then one after work that could be untimed. after work the drawing times were often shorter because I was tired. however I felt a lot better for sitting and letting go in a drawing (or writing) for those few minutes.

        yeah, get me rambling along these lines and I reel out the thins that are fun fun for me. fun on and seasonal laughter too. aloha. Rick

        December 16, 2013
      • Fabulous, Rick. I’m going to use your ideas in a New Year post. Will link to your blogs and personal website. Thank you!

        December 18, 2013
  2. Hi! Am back but not for long! Here’s My Creative Intentions for the Week:

    December 16, 2013
    • Congratulations, Jennifer!!!! Little Liam is beautiful!! (And I’m quite partial to his name — my youngest is also a Liam, and David is my oldest son’s middle name. Great minds think alike, lol….)

      December 16, 2013
      • Thank you! Wow! What a coincidence! 🙂 I am pretty surprised. It’s not everyday that we find someone in common. I am happy to know that! 🙂

        December 16, 2013
  3. Last week was full of solid productivity, but alas, I broke my writing practice streak. I was swamped with client work and made the cardinal sin of allowing my practice window to slip to the end of the day — which for me too often means it doesn’t happen. I generally try hard not to do client work in the evenings, but last week chose to work several nights in a row — and it was my writing practice that took the hit. I’m going to take a break until after Christmas.

    I did have a lot of fun making a handmade ornament for a holiday party we go to every year — made a snowy miniature house.

    Last week’s creative/well-being intentions:
    * Daily morning centering practice w/Morning Pages & intention journaling [yes]
    * Daily reading [yes]
    * More structural work on WIP [yes]
    * Continue workday focus and output [yes]
    * Finish handmade ornament project [yes]
    * If there’s a window, Project Life session during the weekend [no]

    This week’s creative/well-being intentions:
    * Daily morning centering practice w/Morning Pages & intention journaling
    * Daily reading
    * Continue workday focus and output
    * Holiday projects and tasks
    * If there’s a window, Project Life session during the weekend

    December 16, 2013
  4. I will replace my nightly wine and cheese and facebooking, with writing!

    December 19, 2013

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