Move the Damn Desk (And Other Thoughts on Creativity)
Nov 7, 2018 | By: Amy Conry Davis
The reinvention of daily life means marching off the edge of our maps. (Bob Black)
Some days, I'm giddy with the excitement of a new idea and chomping at the bit to get started. Other days, I'm lazy, restless or overdoing it on the cake at my own pity-party-of-one.
For the latter, I have to make a point to remember a most important rule. Reinvention. I try to live by this on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Keep it changing, keep it different. If you're in a rut, of any kind, it's Life telling you to change it up. Change. It. Up.
So, when the artsy-bus is running on fumes I come back to this list:
1. Move the damn desk.
My personal spaces have a lot to do with my mental mojo. I can't always focus if my surroundings look (or feel) a mess. If cleaning or organization doesn't do the trick, I rearrange the furniture. A few years back I was in a major writing rut. I'd sit down at my desk but I was NOT feeling it. At all. In a fit of desperation (and procrastination) I moved my desk - which was facing a wall - to a window. My view was now trees and birds and sunshine and blue sky. One small difference was all it took.
2. Find your tribe. And NOT your tribe.
This is HUGE for me. I cannot stress this one enough. Making art doesn't have to be isolating. Seek out the people who are as obsessed with art as you are. The creative energy that kicks up will astound you. On the flip side, seek out people and places that AREN'T in your tribe too. It gets you thinking in different ways and exploring fresh ideas.
3. Mix up your media.
If you're a writer, try sketching. If you're a musician, pick up a paint brush. It doesn't matter if you're good at it. I can barely draw a stick figure but when I sketch some dusty, cobweb-y parts of my brain wake up and help me later in photography.
4. Get a checkup.
Sometimes that brain fatigue isn't a lack of imagination. Make sure you're taking care of yourself and feeling as Tip-Top as possible. The mind and body need each other in-sync so if something feels off chances are it is.
Waste time. Daydream. Stare at clouds. Goof off. There must always be time for this.
6. Go do the thing already.
Don't overthink it. Don't read a book about how to do it better. Don't clean your house. Don't surf the web for adorable animal videos. Go do the thing. Enough time will pass, you'll get in your zone and something pretty and productive will come from it.