Out of all the incredibly creative people, very few actually work in creative jobs. One of the best writers I know works for an accounting firm. A singer friend of mine works in HR at an insurance corporation. I can see just how fortunate I am to work in design and actually get to pursue my passion.
Generally, if you’re not working in a creative field, you try and express your creativity after work and on weekends. Unfortunately, there are a ton of obstacles in the way, from family responsibilities to your own creative blocks.
Here are some tips to free up that creative energy.
“Reserve” your creativity
You may want to spend your free time on graphic design, and you are probably aware that you have a limited amount of energy for it. Often, a lot of other responsibilities drain that energy before you get to use it in the way you want to.
Cooking is a good example. It is a creative endeavor that you may love. But if you don’t, it is draining. To avoid this problem, you can try the best online meal delivery services. They send you kits with ingredients which have been prepared for you. Putting it together and into the oven is not going to drain your creative energy.
The same is true with other, even more mundane, concerns. All the effort you put into curating an Instagram story takes energy. Rather reserve that creative energy for what will actually bring you satisfaction.
All the creative people I know take one of two approaches to their creativity: either they hold it up as an ideal they aspire to, or they make it part of their daily schedule. Because creative expression is a passion, it’s easy to get stuck in the thinking that “if I really am creative I should just be able to create something.”
Those of us who are fortunate to work in creative fields know that this is simply not the case. One of the lessons you learn early on is that you sometimes do your best work when you least feel like doing it. It’s not a matter of inspiration, but of hard work.
You need to commit time to your creative pursuit, even if this means limiting it to specific hours. Rather than simply willing yourself to be creative in the time you have, schedule a period of time and sit and do it.
Do it for yourself
It is human nature to feel the need for validation. We want someone else to tell us that the way we have chosen to express ourselves is good. Without that, it is easy to start to wonder if you have any real talent.
However, there is no definition of what “real talent” is, and for good reason. The most successful creative people do it for themselves, expressing their inner creativity in the way that makes most sense to them. If no one looks at what they made, it doesn’t matter. They don’t need someone else to tell them that they successfully expressed themselves.
The need for validation causes us to self-sabotage. Instead of allowing ourselves to play, we’re constantly trying to create a product. We show our roughest drafts to people, and when all they see is a rough draft, we feel humiliated.
Yes, you can create a product eventually. Maybe you channel your creativity every day in your job. But you need to allow yourself time to play, especially if you only get to pursue your creativity in your spare time.