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Your Creative Intentions: The Monday Post ~ September 1, 2014

Thoreau quote

Happy September! (And happy Labor Day if you’re in the US!)

A regular creative practice — a daily practice, if possible — is key to staying in touch with how you make meaning. Key to living, not postponing. (Let’s all agree to give up on “someday.”)

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!

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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.

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14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow, September 1! This week, it’s back to business. I’m in the process of working out exactly which habits I’m going to reinstate when, as trying to make a bunch of big changes at once is not a great idea. My youngest boys start school on Wednesday. I’m going to re-post here after I have my new plan on “paper.” If *you* have a rejiggered fall schedule, please share!

    September 1, 2014
  2. Hi Miranda, you are entirely correct when you privilege the creative practice: I recently went on holiday for a week, and decided to give up extra sugar for that week (to see if I could), and to write every morning, and maintain a log of what had worked and what hadn’t. To my absolute amazement, I managed to do it. Keeping a log REALLY helped me. It had several columns: I set out a task; the date; what went well/what didn’t and why; next steps; writing notes; and a sugar log. When I’d finished for the day, I set the task for the next day.

    It might be argued that at some stages of the writing process, you don’t know what task is next. But frankly, since I have been tutoring, and watching my students manage their huge workloads, getting assignment after assignment done to a deadline, I have realised that I have developed a completely ridiculous attitude to time and achievement in writing. There isn’t any such thing as writer’s block: it’s just putting off the fact that you haven’t spelt out your problem to yourself, and then broken down the problem, and then worked your way through the steps. That procedural stuff has to happen in order for the words to come. Routine, ritual, a practice, these are absolutely essential. And your idea about writing for 20 minutes is quite right — set the target low, and you’ll do it. Give yourself the whole day, as I so often used to, and you’ll get nothing done (except in the last 20 minutes).

    So, thanks to your post, I am going to get that writing/sugar log out again this week, and do my best to carry out a small writing task every day. Thank you!

    September 1, 2014
    • Love this, Ingrid! And I’d love to hear more about your writing practice and sugar log. Would you be interested in expanding on these topics for a guest post here?

      September 1, 2014
      • Hi Miranda, absolutely, I’d love to write a guest post for you! How should we talk offline?

        September 1, 2014
      • Awesome! Shoot me an e-mail at creativereality [@] live.com!

        September 2, 2014
  3. maureen #

    Hello all,
    yea back to school has set up hours for me to use wisely, or unwisely or otherwise. but a new step I took today was to buy a groupon for two months of unlimited yoga classes at a studio ten minutes down the road.so intentions this week
    get to yoga twice
    drill holes for ribbon trees in large sculpture wall piece
    now that’s it
    because the ribbon trees have been waiting all year…
    I have delayed and am so tired of delaying it. I hope ican post a celebration post next week. thanks Miranda for this wonderful site. I hope the boys make helpful new friends!

    September 1, 2014
    • Good for you on the yoga practice, Maureen! In my interviews with creatively satisfied mamas, *ALL* of them had a regular exercise routine. It seems to be an unavoidable part of living well and feeling centered in your creative work. Let us know how it goes!

      September 1, 2014
  4. Hi Miranda,
    You made me sit down and think about everything I expect myself to do this week, and wow, I’m expecting a lot! I have coursework for the two writing classes I’m taking that I want to complete this week (and I don’t like either of the assignments, which I think means I should sit down and do them). I’m also working through The Artist’s Way and need to get back into that after a long holiday. I want to write a 99-word flash piece for the prompt at Carrot Ranch. Aaaaaaand I’m trying to do a short story and slowly work on a novel! Goodness that’s a lot! OK so this week I will journal at least 2 pages every morning and do an additional 30 minutes of writing. And not beat myself up if I can’t even get that much done.

    September 1, 2014
    • Brilliant, Sarah! And yes, there’s to be no beating up of self, whatever the outcome. But do come back and let us know how it wen! 😀

      September 1, 2014
      • Thanks Miranda! I have been journaling most every morning and writing, although I haven’t been too good at tracking how much I am writing. I did sit down and prioritize what I’m working on though, so I’m not so overwhelmed!

        September 11, 2014
  5. Amber #

    I’ve signed up for a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge and my intention is to try to create each morning alongside my 1 and 3 year old kids. It’s a tall order with all the multitasking and mess making but I think that even if I end up with 5 finished works, it will be 5 more than I would have had otherwise. So I plan to keep hurling myself towards that goal.

    September 1, 2014
    • Woohoo, Amber! If you have a chance to get a photo of you and your kids in the midst of creative work, we’d love to see one! 😀

      September 1, 2014
  6. Thanks! I always find your blog posts here inspirational.

    September 3, 2014

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