I live in Houston where the heat will make you do creative things to stay cool. Some times that is as creative as it gets at my house. I know that not everyone who reads this has this problem but I am guessing you might be affected by the change of season as I am. You may just now be experiencing the exhilaration of springtime and what it feels like to finally leave your house after hibernation.
When summer arrives, the kids are out of school, graduation parties, reunions and other events require your attention and hopefully there is a vacation to plan and enjoy. Where does your creative work enter in?
You already know what to expect with each passing season. How can we continue to pursue our creative projects without getting caught up in the every day commitments of having a great spring or summer?
Here are some tips to keep you motivated and off the hook from your internal critic that will chastise you for not keeping up.
Become conscious: You have to become aware that we are indeed creatures of the planet and even though we have forced ourselves into the constraints of busy twenty-four-seven living, our bodies still respond to the seasons. Awareness that you may be fighting nature for your own attention can help you to give yourself a break when you feel compelled to walk barefoot outside rather than hold hot piles of wool knitting in your lap.
Make an alternate plan: Instead of waking up in a hammock mid-July and beating yourself up because you haven’t written a word on the great American novel since the snow melted, why not decide now that you are on a summer writing schedule. Make it easy to follow. Allow yourself to do “research.” Put away some of the most taxing parts of your work that you absolutely know you won’t do.
Pick something easy to do: If the kids are around or nature is calling, doing the repetitive parts of your craft may help you to at least accomplish something, especially if these are tasks that must be done anyway. Why not do those tasks when distractions are likely and even welcomed?
Don’t make promises to your creativity you won’t keep: Creative ambition is good, but don’t give your internal critic ammunition to berate you into avoiding your creative plans altogether. If you make a plan to cut out paper dolls, make sure you do it. There is no reason you can’t do it poolside or while a movie is playing. Sometime a change of location can be inspiring.
Make peace with doing nothing: Creativity is a part of you and like you needs renewal. Building sand castles on the beach is a valuable way to spend the day. Not thinking about what you need to do next on your creative project while letting your mind rest allows the creative pot to simmer for the next time you really need something to bubble up.
Have experiences: Life should be full of meaningful experiences and being with loved ones doing nothing or doing everything is a good place to start. If you can’t get anything done on building your ship in a bottle, just know that the meaningful experiences you have instead will enrich you and your creativity anyway.
Have a happy spring and summer!