A little over a year ago I made the commitment to put the story that had been buzzing around my head for a while down on to paper – and now I’m a millionaire. That’s a joke, I’m probably poorer – I certainly haven’t made any money from my writing yet – although one day I hope I’ll be able to.
But, I have written the book I wanted to. In fact, gone further – I’ve written it into a series and I’m now working on the third.
What’s great though – I’ve totally enjoyed the time dedicated to being creative. Time spent playing with my characters, with language and incorporating some of my favourite places into stories.
Making creativity a daily ritual has affected me in a number of surprising, delightful and empowering ways.
Since dedicating the time to writing I’ve definitely become more observant of the things around me. This could be the smell of cardamon and garlic in Indian takeaway or the way the South African man on the train pronounces the word “also”.
Inspiration for stories and the details that bring them to life could come from anywhere – since starting to write I’ve found I’m always been looking around for it. Ten minutes waiting for a train isn’t a waste of time anymore – it’s research, listening, watching, thinking about what’s around me and how it could become part of my writing.
Working on something incrementally, nearly every day, for a whole year has certainly improved my patience. It’s helped my ability to recognize little victories and give myself a break when I’m tired or the going’s hard.
I’ve always loved reading – that’s part of wanting to write. But, it’s given me a reason to do it, a reason to enjoy it and different perspective on stories and their construction. I read, or listen to audio books every day and value that time more than ever.
Prioritizing the things I care about
Prioritizing my creativity has made me much more efficient with my time. Unless I’m taking a much-needed rest, I won’t waste time with non-essential TV watching, when I’d rather get an early night to energize for my writing in the morning. It’s made me ask what is essential, am I going to enjoy this? What will it achieve? Do I need to do it?
I’ve got to know myself
Spending that focused time writing has got me in tune with how my body and mind works – certainly more than I was before. I now know what the impact a heavy meal, too much sugar, a late night or a lunchtime beer will have on my focus. It’s not made me stop doing any of these things – just aware of how they’ll affect me. I now know the times of day I work best and when I just need to rest.
I would totally recommend making the commitment to do something creative every day – whether that’s writing, music, painting, or dance – see if it makes the same changes to your life.
How does your creative habit affect your life?
Has being creative changed the way you see yourself?