By Jordan E. Rosenfeld
Welcome to Creativity Break, Sweatpants & Coffee’s new inspiration column. Based on the re-release of the popular guide Write Free: Attracting the Creative Life by authors Rebecca Lawton and Jordan Rosenfeld, the book and column connect the power of writing with creativity and attracting the lives we want.
Last time, we asked you to set an intention for your creative life, to determine what steps you still need to take to come closer to this intention, muse on how good it will feel when you’ve achieved it, and imagine how your intention could have a positive ripple effect on others.
This week, we want to remind you that you are your own best resource when it comes to generating more creativity.
Now we want you to narrow down your intentions into one simple step that you can take that will bring you closer to that creative intention. But before you do this, we want you to spend some time generating positive energy and emotion, and fleshing out your creative goal. The more real it is to you, the more eager you’ll be to take steps to achieve it. And the more steps you take, the more likely you are to keep at it.
- Visualize the outcome
Begin by imagining yourself in a dark room where you feel perfectly safe and brimming with positive anticipation. A seam of light appears revealing the opening of a door. As you step through that door, you are stepping into the fulfillment of your intention (to build a garden; to learn to ski; to take up painting). What do you see around you? What does it sound, smell, even taste like? What time of day is it, and where in the world are you? How is your life different now that you’ve expanded to include this creative aspect? Now, open your actual eyes and begin writing the sentence: “As the door opens, I’m so excited to…” By the end of your writing, your goal is to reach your desired intention and see it as vividly as possible
- Calendar the first step
More than writing it down, we now want you to pick a date to take this first step in your intention, and write it down on your calendar. Make a date with yourself. For example: Monday. 2pm. Sign up for watercolor class. If further steps present themselves with ease, and you want to slot them into your calendar, too, do it!
- Invite someone to hold you accountable
Tell a friend or loved one, or creative buddy about your plan, and ask them to check in with you after the date you calendared to see if you completed your step. No shame if you didn’t, but having accountability often makes you more likely to follow through.
- Connect with your positive feelings
Whenever you doubt, fear or feel anxious about having time or starting something new, come back to the freewrite you did at the beginning of this Creativity Break and remember how good it feels to let your creativity flourish.
Sometimes the idea of putting in extra energy to forge a creative life or activity can seem daunting. Yet we discovered during the writing of our book Write Free, carving out the time and space for a creative life was easier than we had imagined. Once we understood that by focusing your attention on something it grows in reality, we found that creativity was more about allowing than it was about doing. It was about tapping into the deep well of resources inside ourselves and letting it out into the world in a slow, joyous process. We didn’t force ourselves to become the next most successful writer on earth, we took small but meaningful steps and daily we envisioned ourselves in the roles we desired.
You now have the beginning of a plan to take the first (or maybe tenth) step toward one of your creative desires, which are waiting to be realized.