One of the biggest elements in my ‘begin again’ has been a focus on creativity. I’ve discovered my creativity is a crucial piece of me. It needs continual nourishment to keep me alive. By alive, I mean balanced, happy and functional. Creativity is my passion and life force.
So how do you keep your passion alive when you are forced to work at a forty hour a week job that sucks the life out of you? For me, it’s about fifteen minutes a day devoted exclusively to my creativity. I know it sounds absurd, but I was astounded by how much I can accomplish in fifteen minutes a day.
Last year, I did a six month experiment. Every morning, right after I showered, I sat down at the dining room table, set a timer for 15 minutes, opened a notebook and wrote non-stop until the timer rang. I used a bunch of prompts that I had typed up, cut up and put in an envelope. Each morning, I pulled out a slip of paper from the envelope and began to write. I was working on a novel, so I wrote in the voice of my protagonist and occasionally in the voice of the supporting cast. Longhand, free writing without edit, I was able to write two and a half to three pages a morning. Granted, most of it wasn’t particularly good, but there were some great nuggets I was able to use and expand. The photo here is evidence of what can be accomplished in 15 minutes a day for six months. It gives me a real sense of what I can do when I set my mind (and alarm clock).
In another exercise I developed, every workday morning, I post a photo to my Facebook page. 99% of the time, the photo has been subjected to my tweaks and twists. It began as an experiment, a way to push myself to find beauty in the everyday. As I began to post the photos, I got great feedback. People loved them and wanted to know where they could buy prints. From that process, AcidArtByLJ was born. I loved how it forced me to seek out new angles, new images, and new beauty from the same walk I made daily. It’s become a highlight of my day and helps me start out my work day in a good state of mind.
These are just two of the ways I’ve found to add creativity to my everyday life. Think about how you can find a way to embrace your passion. It’s within reach.
LJ Walter is a writer, artist and photographer. She resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, creating novels, poetry and artwork. Her artwork can be found at www.acidartbylj.com, on Instagram at AcidArtByLJ and on Facebook. She’s also a certified mediator and licensed attorney who enjoys solving problems in a non-adversarial manner.