Creative Energy - What it means to me and how I harness it.
I find myself using the words creative energy more and more these days. It's taken me 31 years to put a name to that spark of motivation that comes from nowhere. I have been thinking about it a lot after my most recent holiday. For some reason, in-between catch ups and trips to the beach, I had an urge to write and illustrate a children's book (see above image). When I was on holiday? I take a look at my peer circles, and this is no ordinary compulsion. I have narrowed it down to having a burst of creative energy. Energy to burn.
In this post, I explain my understanding of creative energy and what I do with it. For anyone else that gets it, this post is for you. Maybe you have it and you don't know what to call it? Maybe you identify with what I'm saying and have some tips to share? I wrote this post with a surge of creative energy that needed to be burned. If it doesn't resonate with any of you, at least it's out of my system, haha.
What creative energy means to me
It borders on obsession. It's a surge of excessive energy and a compulsion to create. It's the driving force that urges me to cook, take photos, paint etc. It's a need to express. It is the perfect partner for what we call a 'creative outlet'. I touch a little bit on this in the post Creative Outlet Top 20 Images from my Personal Collection. All these images are from when I had plenty of creative energy.
When do I get it?
• When I'm relaxed
• When I have a clear mind
• In nature - It clears my mind and I'm so inspired by beautiful scenery
• When I have time to kill - Long flights, times when I have to wait (hospital, airports etc.). When I'm locked in a situation where I have not much else to do but think.
How do I harness it?
When I have creative energy, I have learned that I have to use it. Coffee can be helpful to get through the surge, but not too much. Too much coffee can send me into overdrive and my thoughts race ahead of what I can achieve. When this happens, those nasty creative blockers (like self-doubt) can creep in. So coffee is a yes but in small doses.
I have to ration my creative energy. If I spent it all at once it can deplete me. There have been times when I have stayed up all night working on a project. It's great because I get it all 'out' but it's not great when I'm exhausted for the week as a result. To spread the energy load, I keep a notebook handy. I brainstorm ideas or sketch ideas and bank them for later.
How I get through periods of low creative energy
Working as a creative is difficult. I don't always have the need to create. It comes in waves and when I'm not feeling it, trying to force it can be disastrous. The work I produce is lacklustre and it sends me into a tizzy. My mind starts to bully my abilities and this is not a good place to be. I have learned to manage these low periods by doing the following:
• I complete non-creative tasks. I have a to-do list and I mentally pat myself on the back after each is complete. This allows me to focus on the creative tasks when I have a gust of creative energy.
• I clean. Cleaning is a way for me to feel productive and clear my mind. Clear mind = more creative energy
• I exercise. This is my most effective method to get through the low season. A good sweat session helps me to recollect. My mind focuses on the present and I'm sure the pumping blood helps to rejuvenate all types of energy.
Does this post resonate with you? I would love to hear thoughts. If you have ways to harness your creative energy or ways to get through the low times, I would love to hear from you!