A swamp or a desert.
Neither one sounds like a good place to be and yet when it comes to creating many of us are stuck in one or the other.
Let’s say your mind is brimming with ideas, you even carry a notebook around with you to jot them down wherever you are, and your excitement about each idea is sky high. But, you don’t have a creative outlet. Whether that’s due to lack of time, lack of confidence, or something else entirely doesn’t matter. What does matter is your amazing ideas are not being released. They are sitting stagnant in your mind or your notebook. They start to go stale and things become smelly. You may be frustrated, overwhelmed, and, dare I use the word, busy. If you have no creative outlet and make no time for yourself this is what can happen. Instead of allowing your unique ideas to be created and let loose in the world they are staying trapped inside. You have become a swamp creatively.
On the other end of the spectrum you may have a creative outlet freely open to let ideas out into the world. You may be a painter, a stitcher, a creative business mind, or a photographer. As a creative you may find yourself as frustrated and overwhelmed as your swampy counterpart but for very different reasons. Instead of holding your ideas in you are letting them loose, but are you being inspired? If you are not regularly taking the time to fill your mind with new ideas by getting out of your work space then your flow of inspiration will run dry and you become a desert creatively, grasping and striving for one last tiny bit.
The best place to create is somewhere in the middle of the swamp and the desert. Allow yourself to create when you have fantastic ideas stored up and fill your mind constantly with new ideas or your creative well will run dry.
How do you get out of the swamp?
Find your favorite creative outlet and use it. Even if it’s only 5 minutes a day. Allow yourself to create anything. It can be as simple as pulling out a coloring book. That may be all you need to open the floodgates for your creative flow.
How do you get out of the desert?
Give yourself freedom to stop creating and start looking for inspiration. Make a list of your favorite stores, pay attention to labels and patterns and design while you go about your daily errands. If you are completely stuck you need to walk away and find that oasis that holds your creative inspiration.
That sweet spot in between the swamp and the desert is your creative freedom. Now that you are aware of the two extremes of creative disaster, you can pursue the middle ground instead. When you find yourself in the desert, stop working and fill your mind with new images and when you can’t seem to find your way out of the swamp, make time for yourself to create.
Have you found yourself in a swamp or desert creatively? I would love to hear your escape plans.