Space to Create
“So she followed her curiosity. She ignored the voice within her that told her she was being preposterous, and self-indulgent. She just did it. And she loved it, as much as ever. She finally had the perspective to appreciate the value of her own joy. She was finally making something of herself, making something with herself.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert
I’ve talked about productivity on this blog before; about prioritizing your schedule and making time for the people and activities that are most important to you.
But what I think is so funny is what I tend to unconsciously prioritize. Of course, I know to prioritize my family and my work . . . but it’s easy to fall into regular patterns where I don’t prioritize my health or my leisure time or my creativity.
I was thinking about this the other day when I had a rare few, quiet hours to myself. There were so many things I wanted to do! So many meaningful conversations I wanted to have, so many books I wanted to read, so many creative projects I wanted to finish. I was overwhelmed with all that I wanted to do in those few hours, and I realized how little I had been making space for each of those things in my life. For reading new books and catching up with friends, yes—but also for making space for creating something new.
I love to write. And I love to paint. And I love to design.
(Just one look at my Instagram feed will show you all of this is true.)
To me, the pieces of art that are born of any creative session are magic. They are life-giving. They are elusive. They are necessary.
They are the reason Elizabeth Gilbert wrote an entire book on creativity aptly-titled . . . Big Magic!
And they are why I feel so passionately about making space for creation in my own life.
It has to be space, too—a blank space in your calendar and a blank space on a piece of paper, on a canvas, or in your mind. There’s no formula for it; no method to easily fall back on when you want to create.
But that’s the beauty of it. You make the space, and then you show up, and you never know what you’re going to get. You just know that it will change you. And, with any luck, it might change someone else, too.
And yet, we don’t tend to make room for it. It doesn’t usually find a spot on our to-do list, because it’s not pressing enough. There’s very rarely a “creative emergency” in our lives, and so, it gets pushed to the “someday” list:
Someday when I have enough time.
Someday when I finish this launch.
Someday when the kids are miraculously happy, fed, and quiet—all at the same time.
When “someday” never (or rarely) comes, neither does our opportunity to explore more creative pursuits. To see what’s been bubbling up in our heads. To explore different options. To share creative ideas.
And what a loss that is—not only for ourselves, but for our greater communities.
If you need a good excuse to make space for creation, I thought I’d share a few:
- Being creative inspires new ideas.
- Being creative provides a release from stress.
- Being creative allows you to explore new talents.
- Being creative lets you explore your thoughts and feelings.
Long story short: creativity is great. And we need more of it.
I know I love my life a whole lot more when it’s infused with it. Because honestly, I can’t be good at much anything else—running my business, taking care of my body, mothering my babies—if I haven’t made space for creativity.
So, I have worked lately to prioritize creativity, just as I prioritize my family and my work and my health. It’s necessary for me, and it’s what makes me better at everything I do.
I would venture to guess that holds true for you, too.
So I encourage you to make space for creation this week, friend—for new ideas and for innovation and for the magic it will inevitably bring. And I can’t wait to see what you create!
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Where can you make space for creation in your life? Get it on your calendar and get busy! Then go ahead and share what you created with me! 🙂
Thanks Whitney for sharing this. I get caught up in the conundrum of saying ‘one day I will…’ but I’ve learned that that one day has to be created by me first. Rarely to hardly ever does it just manifests itself in my life. There are a few things I want to do as well and will do them….
Thank you for sharing your heart on this. I often struggle with the fact my creative outlet turned into a business and sometimes business needs wars with the whole point of why I started in the first place.