Be Creative By Cynthia Morris You yearn for that week-long rendezvous with your Muse, the one where they (the mysterious, powerful and there-to-serve-you they) leave a basket filled with lunch goodies on your cabin doorstep. Where you have no laundry, no carpooling duties, no meetings to endure and no one else to attend to but your creative genius. Or that day-long writing session where you do nothing but sip your cup of perfectly brewed green tea and express your creative passion in your studio. Truth is, we’re pulled in so many directions that long stretches of time to immerse ourselves in our creativity are rare indeed. If you’re not getting the time you need with your Muse, perhaps it’s time to consider the Creative Quickie. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes, thirty minutes to get in, get your creative juju on, and go on with the rest of your obligations. I can hear you protesting now, “But Cynthia, I need at least thirty minutes just to get into my creative flow.” That may be true, and I suspect it takes longer when you know you have hours ahead of you. Our creative energy will take as much space as we give it. Let me repeat that: Our creative energy will take as much space as we give it. So give it more with regular creative quickies. Try Creative Quickies The creative quickie works to help you stay connected to your Muse when life threatens to break the two of you up. As I’ve seen with my clients, there are always more demands on our time than seem manageable. When you slip in Creative Quickies on a regular basis you will: Dispel the notion that you need tons of time to ‘get into the flow’. You can learn shortcuts that will allow you to slip in and out of your zone more easily. Keep a thread of connection to your work. Short, consistent sessions with your project will keep it at the top of your mind. New ideas and strategies will be incubated while you go about the rest of your life. Gain energy for the rest of your day. When you have even a brief encounter with your project, it can fuel you for your other work. Build self-confidence. When you blow off your creative projects because you think you don’t have the time or energy, you drain your confidence. Grabbing short sessions will boost your self-esteem by showing you that you do respect your creative urges. Finish your projects more easily. With ongoing connection and steady commitment, you shed the struggle and have more energy for creating. Be more inclined to schedule and enjoy longer periods of creativity. Soon, these quickies will entice you to make more time for creative work. You’ll feel the benefits and will re-structure your priorities to ensure studio time is on the calendar. And guess what – you’re going to be happier. Honoring your creative impulses instead of struggling against them will help you feel lighter, more energetic and satisfied. And who doesn’t want that? Simplify your process If you’re not getting as much time as you’d like with your art, commit to spending fifteen minutes once or twice this week with your art or writing project. No goals other than hanging out with it. This could look like: Opening your notes for your book project and reviewing them. Chances are this will generate more ideas, so have a notebook handy to capture new insights. Opening the last chapter you were writing and making notes for revision. Revisiting previous drafts shows you what changes need to be made. This process also teaches you about your strengths and weaknesses. Going into the studio and stretching a canvas or watercolor paper. Depending on your medium, there are multiple steps in the creative process, many which can be done in fifteen minutes or less. Consider dividing your projects into fifteen-minute chunks; it could change the way you create forever. Doing a free write to generate ideas for next steps. Often, when we’re stuck, a quick mind dump can help us identify best actions to take. Try a creative quickie or two this week. See how it works for you and what impact it has on your creative work. I once read about a woman who completed her novel in five minutes a day. That’s quick! What might you be able to achieve in short bursts of time? In fact, grab a quickie now and then leave a comment letting us know how it went.