Clean Slate Creativity is a 4 week, step-by-step guide to help you wipe your creative slate clean and start fresh. Up in Week 4 is figuring out next steps. Let’s get to it!
For the final week of Clean Slate Creativity, you are going to figure out your next steps using what you have learned about you + your creativity so far.
Truthfully, you already have your answer(s) for what is next for you and your creativity. Remember you are starting fresh with your creativity. So if you decided that you want to learn how to quilt, or draw, or figure skate, or use power tools – it doesn’t matter. You are a beginner and that is awesome. You most likely (unless you are a freak of nature) you are going to be bad at first – you are supposed to be. Embrace this time as a beginner. Think back to if you were 7 + 8, you sucked at drawing then but you did it anyway. You have to suck for awhile, it’s all part of the process.
Okay, so step 1 is to embrace the suck. Well, not really.
Step 1 is to look back at weeks 2 + 3 (mostly 3) and make a statement about where you want to go with your creativity next.
Fill in the blank: I want to ___________________________. Great. Now how are you going to do that?
How are you going to learn to sew? How are you going to draw? How are you going to learn to play the guitar? To take photos? To design a website?
Step 2: Gather Resources + Materials/Tools
Now that you know what you what to practice, it’s time to figure out the how.
If you are starting a new creative practice, most likely you are going to have to learn something new. Even if you are an expert knitter, but you haven’t picked up yarn and needles for the past ten years, you likely are going to need a little help brushing up your skills. Or the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe you are a complete novice and are looking to try something new – to flex your creative muscles a bit more. Either way, decide how you are going to learn: visit your local knit shop and sign up for a course, watch some Youtube videos, set-up a date with your neighbor who knits – whatever it is, make a decision about HOW you will learn.
**It’s also important to note here that you know yourself best and know what kind of learner you are. If you do not do well, or follow through, when you say you are going to learn on your own. Then don’t do it that way. Think about how you actually like to learn and how you are successful and make a plan based on that.
In addition, mostly likely you will need tools or materials of some kind. Figure out what they are (Google it, ask someone, etc.) and get them. Remember, when starting a new creative venture, it is not necessary to have every fancy tool. Just start with the basics. If you find that you enjoy this venture, you can always upgrade later. You don’t want to jump in credit card first into a new project without testing the waters first. That’s how you end up with a craft room, garage, basement, whatever full of creative projects you have started, but not followed through on. Keep it simple. You can always scale up if you enjoy it.
Number 3: Make a Plan
It’s awesome that you are starting a new creative venture, but when are you going to work on it? Just buying the tools and materials is not going to get you anywhere – except with a craft room full on projects you are “going to get to someday.”
It’s time to take action! Start living it! If you are realistically going to make a change in your life, you need to take an honest look at your days and see where you can make changes. Everyone is busy. I get it. But how busy are you with things that actually matter to you? What I mean, most likely you aren’t going to quit your job or starting ignoring your friends or kids, so where will you get the time to practice your creativity? You need to make room so you can live what you love.
What are some areas of your life you will need to minimize in order to devote quality time to your creative path? TV? Social media? What are you willing to give up – or at least cut back on? Think about when you say you are going to just watch tv for a half hour, or just look at Facebook for five minutes, how long does it really end up turning into? Is it possible that you could take some of that time and work on your creative spark for 30 minutes per day?
What areas of your life will you need to maximize in order to devote quality time to your creative path? Where can you find pockets of wasted time throughout your day? Do you have to wait while your kids are at a lesson or practice? Do you waste fifteen minutes waiting for someone to show up to a meeting or for an appointment? If you plan ahead each day, you can better utilize some of your normally wasted time.
How often can you realistically work on this new practice? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Be honest with yourself; be realistic with your time and your ability. As you are learning something new, everything is going to take longer than it will down the road. Add it to your calendar – be specific on your calendar. What time of day are you going to work on it and for how long. If you know it is going to be a stretch or even impossible for you to do it every single day, then don’t put that on your plan. Set yourself up for success, not failure.
Number 4: Start
Get started. Learn it. Make it. Create it. Design it. Build it. Whatever you are planning, do it. Start.
**One tip, tell people about it. It’s a good way to hold yourself accountable
Number 5: Reflect
After you have tried out your new creative venture, it is vital that you stop and reflect.
Are you enjoying yourself? Do you want to learn more/increase your skills? Is there a better way to spend your free time?
If you are enjoying yourself and happy, keep going with it! If you are not, do not be afraid to quit and try something new.
Remember, it’s going to be ugly at first.
Well that’s it folks. You made it through all 4 weeks of Clean Slate Creativity. If you need any help along the way, please email me at greensandbluesco AT gmail.com.
**If you are interested in joining the Clean Slate Creativity Facebook group, you can click here. It’s a great place for reminders to practice your creativity, inspiration + motivation.