Adjust Your Focus
It’s been a minute.
Over the past few months I’ve been going through a transition in my job, work/life balance, and just the overall rhythm of life.
At first it was hard to admit that I was putting things like this (my blog) on the back burner. To be honest, keeping tabs on social media, e-mail, and content creation is exhausting---especially when you strive to make each intricate piece of those mechanics meaningful and worthwhile. It's tempting to fall into a trap of complacency, which is one of the many reasons there was a prolonged gap in my blogging schedule. Thankfully, that gap has pushed me to make some changes.
However intentional or unintentional it might be, change is healthy. Refinery is essential to growth—I’ve been experiencing quite a bit of both, lately.
Change brings an entirely new array of doubts, decisions, and consequences. Throughout the entire process, I’ve been trying to answer a question:
“What do you do to stay creative?”
Creativity gives you the freedom to dream, but also the adaptability to move forward with any given endeavor. Perhaps the end product might look different, but the consistent rhythm of creating remains.
The question above is one I’ve passed on to a few of my voice students, hoping to grab ahold of some of that excitement that comes with the newness of making things such as songs, poems, and music.
It’s awe-inspiring to see their eyes light up as I run through creative qualities, habits, and beliefs that they resonate with so deeply.
Remember what it was like to finally make something you were proud of? Whether you stayed up every night after school to keep writing, painting, or read past a designated chapter in a book.
Creativity is captivating and contagious. Throughout any season of change, it continues to inspire and motivate.
In an attempt to boost my own muse, I wanted to take a moment to relay a few of those answers my students gave me.
Give value to your perspective.
Everyone has their own unique experience to speak to, and that can translate differently through various mediums. A single voice can relate so many stories to the listener, and as a listener, we thrive on personal stories.
Your creative voice serves as a translator to that unique perspective, in a way others can find relatable.
For example, when you're listening to any given song the "I" in the lyric, "I gave up on you", instantly becomes you and the "you" becomes the ex-girlfriend, best friend, or any given person from your own personal experience. We put ourselves in our own movie, and a song instantly becomes a part of our own story. Perspective is a powerful tool.
Don’t sugarcoat your creativity by giving the world a watered-down vision—embrace the honesty and raw emotion that a creative work can capture.
It's important to be vulnerable, but more importantly to stay vulnerable in situations where it might be easy to close a door on your emotions. Transparency gives depth to a creative work, and gives light to the things that need to be said.
Be intentional about your time.
Be intentional about being around people, places, and experiences that inspire you. If you place yourself in a situation that will encourage and motivate you to grow—it could spark a new idea.
If you need to hash out those extra hours sitting in front of a blank page writing with an endless stream of consciousness, find that time and set it aside with the intention of creating.
Show up to create.
And show up continually to an environment that grows your creativity.
I'm hoping these answers motivate you--I know as I was reading over my notes from lessons, I felt a sudden sense of conviction. I want to be held accountable to these creative attributes, in that day-to-day continuous stream of never-ending to-do's, obligations, and ever-changing schedules.
I want to give life to the things that inspire me to create, and I hope you do, too.
As I wrap up, I'm excited to pass on some news....
This next month I'll be playing my first SoFar show in Indianapolis! SoFar Sounds is an incredible company that puts on an intimate, stripped-down concert experience at secret locations in every major city. I'm really looking forward to the show, you can find details and apply for tickets right here.
So what do you do to stay creative? Is their an essential part of your daily creative routine that you feel needs to be shared? I would love hear your thoughts--you can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I appreciate that you took a minute to visit the blog. Thanks for reading, friend!