Welcome to Week 4 and the final week of Flexing Your Creative Muscle. I hope you have been inspired to tinker with some of the simple, mindful, stress-free, pressure-free creative endeavors we offered up or any you might have thought of on your own. We would love to see anything you worked on. Post a picture on Facebook and tag @soulandoak or on Instagram and tag @soul.and.oak.
So I'm just going to jump right into the two new ways to start flexing your creative muscle. Here they are:
Creative Suggestion #1: Write
Writing, just as writing poetry from Week 2, can hardly feel simple, stress-free, or pressure-free. But when you write with a clear purpose and the intention of just letting ideas flow with no pressure for it to be good, this exercise can definitely get your creative juices flowing and be a very cathartic exercise.
There are many ways to write that might help you feel more comfortable with the medium:
1) Start a blog that no one knows about except you. Write about anything as you would a journal or give yourself specific topics. You could even take pictures or articles you see on the internet and curate them and discuss your reactions to these pieces. Heck, you can do all of the above. The rules are yours and yours alone. Here is a good resource for starting a blog. My suggestion is if you are not super tech savvy and are doing this for your own enjoyment, skip Wordpress as you won't want to pay for hosting and shouldn't have to.
2) Similarly you can start a journal or scrapbook in the same fashion. It's the original and analog way of blogging and this might be more appealing to some.
3) If you want to start really specific and in a very simple way, not to mention a mindful way, you could do a daily gratitude journal. Alex Ikonn's Five Minute Journal has great prompts for you but you can always make your own like I have.
4) There are other journals out there that have prompts that help you start thinking, writing, and creating conent in a simple way. One I have been wanting to check out is The 52 Lists Project by Moorea Seal.
5) A Creative Journal is another great way to start writing down all your inspiration, reflections of creative work you've done, feelings around this work, and any notes or problems you are trying to solve along your creative journey. Becca over at The Dabblist (she is awesome, definitely check her out) has been doing an #AwakenYourCreative Challenge this week that I have been taking part in. She has created a free download for the Creative Joy Journal that she created so you can even have an easy template to work off of.
Whatever way you choose to start writing, do it for you. You know that old adage, "dance as if no one is watching." Well let's write as if no one else is reading. Because in most of these cases no one is reading. And if writing then becomes a creative endeavor that you want to pursue more, start telling people about your blog and maybe even join a writing group. A small group of people who are open to giving you constructive criticism about your writing is a good jumping in point if you are a bit scared but also a lot excited to start hearing people's reactions to your writing.
Creative Suggestion #2: Do one of the creative activities you did as a kid
Children are so creative and they are not afraid of dabbling in something. There isn't the fear that their art will not be good enough and perfection is less of an issue when you are that young. Maybe, as I have mentioned in earlier posts, because there is little expectation for children to be perfect. I dabbled in so many creative endeavors as a child. Some of my favorite things to ask for for Christmas were craft kits. One year it was a bead loom, one year it was a woodworking kit with an actual saw, one year a knitting loom, etc.
We already mentioned coloring books but here I want you to dive deeper into something else creative you used to do. I used to make friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss and recently I have made a few as part of a hanging doily vase holder and I really enjoyed it. They are simple, fun, and nostalgic.
If you have any of the old kits that you had as a kid, get those out and start playing. Or go buy a kit. If you didn't work with kits but did something else like painting, paint by numbers, fiinger painting, made God's Eyes or lanyards over and over in summer camp, had fun making beaded jewelry, any of these things might be fun to try out again. They are also a great way to get your feet wet in being creative again as they are creative endeavors that are familiar. As I always say, creativity begets creativity and before you know it the simple act of finger painting will start to get you inspired and intrigued to try or do something new, within the same medium and in many cases you'll be inspired to want to try ALL the mediums. At least that's how I am. Then we need to start talking about focus and what to do when you have too many projects. But that is for another series and another month.
I hope some of these ideas have worked for you and I thank you so much for reading and following along on this series. Remember to get out there and flex that creativity muscle to make it strong.