Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How to Keep Your Creative Fire Burning Straight Through the Holiday Season

How many times have you said, “After the holidays, I’ll……”  Fill in the blank. Okay.  Now stop counting and listen up!  Try these tips to keep your creative fire burning straight through the holiday season.

PRACTICE GOOD WRITING HYGIENE. Attach your regular writing practice to a habit you do every day no matter what the season.  Think about flossing your teeth or taking your vitamins. You don’t stop just because your schedule gets busier.

LEARN CREATIVE CROSS TRAINING. What happens when you miss your morning work out at the gym?  You can always walk later in the day, while shopping, running errands or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  If you must skip your morning writing practice, use that creative energy in other ways.  Write an especially heartfelt note in a holiday card.  Or rather than just slogging through your things to do list, CONSCIOUSLY bring your creativity to the task at hand---whether it’s arranging flowers, decorating or baking cookies.

BE SATISFIED WITH LESS PROGRESS, but do something!  If you usually write for 20 minutes a day, experiment for a few weeks with a shorter writing practice.  Challenge yourself by setting a timer for a very short focused writing session.  Even 10 minutes will work. You’ll stay more connected to your writing than if you didn’t write at all.

CAPTURE IDEAS AS THEY COME. Snag ideas as they come to you even if you’re super busy. Don’t wait to have a blank page staring you in the face for that writing project due next month. Use Post-its, note cards, a paper file or computer file to drop in ideas, catchy phrases or brilliant insights the moment they occur. It will take you just seconds to capture the thought and you’ll have it for use later. 

REMEMBER YOUR ARTIST’S DATES.  If this season feels like you’re giving gifts to everyone but yourself, it’s especially important to remember to take time for your own renewal.  As you’re purchasing that bodywork gift certificate for someone else, schedule your own massage appointment while you’re at it.  Hitting the bookstore with a shopping list for others?  Plan in extra time to relax and browse for yourself.

PLAN YOUR NEXT VACATION.  Now? Right in the middle of everything?  Yep.  It may be the best time to at least block out the dates for your next vacation, get away weekend or personal day off.  Just knowing that time is already scheduled will do wonders for your energy level and mood.

KEEP THE BIG PICTURE IN MIND. Slow down.  Remember to be a human being, as well as a human doing.  Stoke your creative fire by remembering what you value most in your life and what’s most important to you. Turn these values into positive affirmations to carry you through the season and into the New Year.

Next year we’ll be covering more ways to live a richer, fuller, more creative life.  In the meantime, have a healthy, happy and safe holiday season and New Year.

Take good care, 


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