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5 Ways Your Creative Flow Can Kick Butt

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5 Ways Your Creative Flow Can Kick Butt

Cheryl  Richardson
Cheryl Richardson More by this author
Sep 10, 2011 at 02:30 AM 0 comments

“The voice of our original self is often muffled, overwhelmed, even strangled, by the voices of other people’s expectations. The tongue of the original self is the language of the heart.” — Julia Cameron

As a longtime writer, I’ve become an old pro at recognizing the emotional process of creating anything new. I still face fear and self-doubt each time I put pen to paper and my anxiety level still ebbs and flows as I struggle to find my way on the page. But, the gift in having done this before is that I know these feelings are a normal part of the creative process.

Writing books has taught me a lot about what it takes to protect and guide our creative dreams. This week, I thought I’d share some of these strategies with you in the hopes that it supports you in your artistic endeavors. Whether you’re painting a picture, writing a book, developing a workshop, or starting a new business, here’s what creativity needs in order to flourish: 

  1. Creativity needs safety. The beginning stage of any creative process is one of the most fragile and vulnerable periods of all. Our creative dreams are so delicate and it only takes one negative comment to throw us off track. This is why you might need to keep your idea to yourself, holding the energy in, so to speak, so you can gain clarity and allow your idea to build strength and momentum. Otherwise it’s too easy to be influenced by the fears (or expectations) of others. Too many people I know have abandoned great ideas because of someone else’s insensitivity. You need to protect your dream.
  2. Creativity needs space. When you begin working on a project you’ll need plenty of emotional and physical space. This might mean scheduling uninterrupted time to yourself, clearing out a room to work in, or letting loved ones know that you’ll be less available and asking for their understanding and support. Creating anything new not only takes physical energy, it takes emotional energy. The best creative projects are birthed from a ‘reserve of space’ not from being squeezed into a busy life. You need to make space for your dream.
  3. Creativity needs nurturing. Once you’re ready to share your ideas with others it’s extremely important to choose those people who will be positive and supportive. This doesn’t mean that they have to agree with you, but it does mean that they need to play by your rules. In other words, be sure to let people know how you’d like to receive feedback and what kind of feedback would be most helpful. It’s not fair to expect colleagues or loved ones to automatically know what you need to keep your dream alive. Take responsibility for the kind of support you receive. You need to nurture your dream.
  4. Creativity needs a strong advocate. There’s a good chance that you’ll doubt your idea, question your direction, or wonder whether or not you have what it takes to follow through. When this happens you’ll need a strong advocate to keep you on course. My first three books would never have been written had I not had someone in place who reminded me of my strengths and challenged me to keep putting one foot in front of the other. The completion of a creative project takes perseverance and commitment. You need a strong advocate to help you get to the finish line.
  5. Creativity needs love. Like a flower that requires plenty of sunlight to fully blossom, your creative project will need to be nourished with lots of love. Who supports your creative dreams? Who keeps encouraging you to take the first step? Where will you get the sustenance you need to follow through? As you continue with the creative process, surround yourself with people who can love you through your fear, self-doubt or exhaustion. Sometimes you’ll need a gentle reminder to take a break. Other times you’ll need someone to listen carefully as you talk through an idea. The love you need will also come from you in the form of extra sleep, healthy food, or time spent doing something fun and completely unrelated to your project. Love will always be the most important fuel you need to drive your dreams. You need to nourish your creative idea with love.

Take Action Challenge

Give your creative dreams a fighting chance. Print out the following affirmations and keep them nearby as a reminder of what you need to bring your unique gifts to the world:

I protect my dream.

I make space for my dream.

I nurture my dream.

I have a strong advocate to help me get to the finish line.

I nourish my creative idea with love

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