September 16, 2005 — Leave a comment

I found a great site called the Creativity Portal. Creativity Portal is an imagination inducing sanctuary for artists, writers, crafters, and creativity enthusiasts. It’s been featured in Imagine magazine, Writer’s Digest, Blogger’s Buzz, and thousands of other places Web-wide. It features free coaching articles, creative projects and printables, and quality hand-selected ‘how to’ Web resources designed to inspire your creativity.

One of the articles that caught my attention was “11 Tips to Surviving a Day Job with Your Creativity Intact.” I’ve summarized it below. For the full article, go here.

  1. Name your vision. Your vision functions much like the keel on a sailboat, cutting invisibly through the sea to keep the boat upright. If you’re working a day job and feel the urge to make art but have no larger vision, you probably find yourself scraping through the day with annoyance gnawing holes in your belly, saddled with a general sense of dissatisfaction and malaise… Visions are buoyant bubbles that lift the heart and make it sing.
  2. Set a creative goal that will keep you moving. Once you know what your vision is, you can bring it to life by setting a goal and working towards it… Many artists feel uncomfortable with speaking about their art in terms of goals, preferring to “make art for art’s sake.” But goals can be applied creatively to even the most process-oriented method… A goal that serves your vision will give your everyday activities meaning and clarity.
  3. Begin the night before. Before you go to bed, think about the three most important things to do the next day to bring you closer to your goal and write them down… By writing down your goals the night before, you’re already ahead of the game when you wake up in the morning. Choose your goals realistically, keeping in mind the time and energy required for your job. Don’t be too hard on yourself; you’re learning to balance.
  4. Get up early. Don’t laugh — those extra moments or hours can be the most productive of your day… The stillness of the early hours is a fine time to concentrate. If you use the time wisely, you’ll be miles ahead of the rest of your time zone. Not everyone functions well in the morning and you may resist this idea. But please don’t discount it until you give it a fair try. The body can adjust to almost anything, and it takes a good three weeks to assume a new habit. Give yourself a month of early rising before you go back to burning the midnight oil.
  5. Design a morning ritual and do it every day. Ritual is like the steady tick-tock of the minute hand through our lives. It keeps us on track and moving forward… A fifteen-minute ritual in the morning is all it takes to start your day with a creative act that will reverberate through all your subsequent movements and activities.
  6. Learn to do the Lifeboat Exercise. Stopping whatever you’re doing to create for ten minutes is an invaluable survival skill, and practicing drills at home can save your life out in the world.
  7. Set a theme for the day. The point is to see the day (and the day job) as a work of art rather than a series of drudgeries keeping you from your true vocation… Practice holding this truth in your awareness and you will never be bored.
  8. Practice relevance. This is the practical extension of setting a theme for the day. It’s easy to see our day jobs as intrusions on our valuable time and basically irrelevant to the important things in our lives. Practicing relevance can enhance the productivity of those hours by influencing both the day job tasks and our own art… Staying awake to what the work we’re being paid for has to offer our own creative work makes the moment richer, the time go faster, and both kinds of work qualitatively better.
  9. Put on the headphones and crank up the volume. As artists our media may appear to be stone or words or movement or music, but as creative souls our medium is energy. You cannot use energy creatively if you stop it from flowing; you won’t have any material to work with. Be its friend, invite it in, learn to dance.
  10. Surround yourself with who you are. Everyone in every job has at least two inches of workspace they can call their own. You may have a desk or a locker or an entire office to yourself. Bring your inspiration to work and don’t be shy… See working with the limitations of your workspace as an artistic challenge. Learn to see yourself and your vision for yourself reflected in your environment, wherever you are.
  11. Be grateful. Gratitude is a prosperous and productive state of mind, and absolutely essential to true creativity. Remembering to be grateful for the fact that we’re earning money at all and putting food on the table keeps us open to the positive things that come our way throughout the day… If you’re having trouble giving thanks because you can’t see past your lack of money or time or the necessities of life, try starting with air, sunshine (or rainfall), blades of grass, leaves on trees, roofs over heads. Abundance is everywhere. Once you start naming the blessings that surround you, you may not be able to stop.

Article by Jori Lynn Keyser. Jori Lynn Keyser is a prosperity coach for artists and craftspeople, with a site that offers creativity coaching for artists and budding artists of all kinds. Art in Abundance is about being more creative, generating prosperity through our art, and living a more satisfying and productive life.

Photo by Joel Sartore from Getty Images (National Geographic Collection, image #ngs35_0135).

Pat Callahan

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I'm a picker. I'm a grinner. I'm a lover. And I'm a sinner. I make my music in the sun.

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