Do you have a hobby or creative outlet? If not, you need one — and here’s exactly why you must discover and develop a creative outlet for living an intentional life and for reaching your goals.
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First of all, don’t try to tell me you’re not a creative person, because I truly believe that everyone is creative in some way.
Or, maybe you used to do something creative, but you left it behind when ‘real life’ took over every bit of your brain and moment of your day. Perhaps you moved or had children or got a different job, and eventually your hobby or creative outlet somehow faded into the background.
That’s where I was a short time ago. In fact, one day I noticed just how long it had been since I did my daily writing, so I made myself sit down and write. This is what came out:
I haven’t written anything REAL in about six weeks. It’s scheduled on my Google calendar from 5:00-5:30 a.m. every morning – it’s even highlighted in the pretty turquoise color. Because… you know that gorgeous turquoise will make me much more likely to drag my butt out of bed and write. 😉 But I’ve been ignoring that first thing on my schedule. When I get to my computer at 7:00, I scroll the calendar page just enough so I don’t have to see it for the rest of the day. I don’t care to be mocked, or reminded of my failures.
And I’ve been out of sorts. This morning I went back and re-read my “500 Words” post from January. I kinda sorta remember how great I felt when I wrote that post, but not really. Instead, I feel stressed, unsettled, scattered. Occasionally throwing a few thoughts and ideas into Google Keep isn’t quite the same as letting my mind release words and phrases and completely random story ideas or scenes, filling a page so quickly that my fingers can barely keep up.
After I wrote that, I realized what was wrong. I had lost my creativity. Even though I KNOW better, I was spending my days on tasks that did not nourish my soul. I wasn’t free-writing, I wasn’t reading books… nothing! So I started to think about creativity, and why women in particular NEED to be creative.
Why Are Creative Outlets Important?
Women’s lives are busy. Sure, there are a few who have managed to clear out all of the extra life clutter and have streamlined, incredibly relaxed lives. (Someday that will be me! 🙂 ) But the vast majority of women are under a crazy amount of pressure.
We are usually the keeper of the home, budget, and family schedules. We deal with family issues and relationships. We often work outside the home AND are sometimes enrolled in college or other training. All too often, we put ourselves at the very end of the to-do list.
To be brutally honest, we often don’t even MAKE the list.
When you stop to think about it, that is so sad! We are hurting ourselves, and by extension those around us. It’s something we need to change!
But… does everyone need a creative outlet? I absolutely believe the answer is YES!
We can’t pour from an empty vessel… and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do by not making creativity a priority.
Giving yourself permission to pursue a creative outlet is crucial to your overall health and self-esteem.
What Does Creative Outlet Mean?
Collins Dictionary says, ‘If someone has an outlet for their feelings or ideas, they have a means of expressing and releasing them.’
So really, you’re finding a way to express and vent instead of holding all.the.things tightly inside your overwhelmed mind and body.
I would add that a creative outlet doesn’t simply get things out, but it also builds you up.
Benefits of Creativity
Clearer/calmer mind – Keeping everything you’re thinking inside your mind is impossible. No matter how hard you try, the jumble of thoughts and feelings will fight to be released.
Less stress – As those thoughts and feelings fight for release, you suffer. Eventually, everything will come out… either as ugly words, mental or physical illness, or as a complete breakdown. A creative outlet will help relieve the stress and allow you to relax.
More self-confidence – Do you have a fear that you might not be good at something? That’s all the more reason you SHOULD try it!
Possibly a more beautiful living environment – Depending on what form of creativity you choose to pursue, you may end up with a more beautiful or comfortable home due to your efforts. Art, photography, DIY, needlework — any of it is beautiful and should be displayed and enjoyed.
More peaceful environment – Less stress, potential ugly words redirected into something positive, a calmer mind… it all works together.
Possible income – Some people find their creativity sparks a business opportunity. Be open to the possibilities.
Getting Perspective on Creative Outlets
Creativity and the ways in which we express or vent our thoughts and feelings look different for everyone.
I have a friend who does the.most.amazing beadwork I have ever seen. Seriously. Each of her projects can contain upwards of 80,000 teeny-tiny beads, with each bead individually threaded and attached to fabric. (You read that right — Eighty. Thousand.)
Some of her projects are so intricate, they look like photographs until you get up close — at which point your jaw drops when you realize what you’re seeing.
Whenever I see one of her projects, my first thoughts are usually along the lines of, ‘Wow, that is so awesome! But how in the heck could anyone stand to spend months at a time working with itty-bitty beads during every spare moment?’
Then I look at my friend, ask her if she’s decided on her next project, and watch her face begin to GLOW with the excitement of knowing she will get to do this all over again. No matter what craziness life throws at her, creativity helps her get through it.
That is EXACTLY what finding a creative outlet is all about.
Although I have ZERO desire to work with itty-bitty beads, I realized that the process is sort of the same with writing (my preferred outlet). The individual keyboard characters I put together become words, sentences, paragraphs, pages, articles, stories…
A painter may make 80,000 brushstrokes to create a painting. A photographer and designer may make 80,000 shutter clicks and mouse clicks to edit the perfect set of photos. A writer may type 80,000 words to complete a novel.
What examples can you think of that would fit?No matter what craziness life throws at us, creativity helps us get through it. #motivation Click To Tweet
How to Find Your Creative Outlet
Don’t think you have a creative bone in your body? Trust me, you do! You just have to find it and strengthen it. There are so many creative outlets for non-creatives and potential creatives.
Examples of creative outlets:
- Playing an instrument or creating music
- Product development (yes, it takes creativity)
- Cooking & creating recipes
Those are just a few things that popped into my head. There are truly endless options.
Give yourself 15 minutes TODAY to do something creative.
Outline a story idea. Start a blog. (Here is my favorite — and free — ‘how to get started blogging’ course.) Sign up for a dance or painting class. Buy an adult coloring book and colored pencils. Dig out a blank notebook and draw something or start journaling.
If the first thing you try isn’t for you, don’t give up and go back to thinking you don’t need a creative outlet. Exercise those creative muscles! Believe me, your mind, body, and family will notice the difference!
Is Reading a Creative Outlet?
Well… technically it’s probably not. I mean, it doesn’t actually require you to DO anything, right?
But, well… I love reading. LOL. So while it might not be a ‘creative’ activity on its own, I must say that I often get inspired to do creative things when I take time to read.
So, don’t toss reading aside as an option! You can always think of it as a creative springboard. 😉
Should You Turn Your Creative Outlet Into Cash?
While I mainly advocate having a creative outlet to get the negativity out of your mind, many women find a way to profit from their creativity. There are pros and cons to that.
- The whole thing could start to feel like work & create MORE stress — not ideal at all.
- It’s possible to lose control over the creative process or the end product, especially if you’re trying to please many different customers.
- Depending on the project, you might have to ask a higher price than anyone is willing to pay just to cover your time and expenses.
- New adventures are ALWAYS good for your brain.
- If there’s a market for what you’re doing and you love your creative outlet, why not?
- You could end up with the perfect-for-you career. (This is exactly what happened for me!)
More Inspiration for Creativity and Intentional Living
Concluding Thoughts on Creativity
Have I convinced you to find and develop a creative outlet? (Can a blog post really do that?)
If you’re already feeling even MORE overwhelmed at the thought of trying to fit one.more.thing into your day, think of it like this:
By taking care of yourself and letting loose of the negative emotions in a healthy way, you’re actually making MORE space in your life.
You’re increasing your ability to handle the basics of life with more grace and less stress. Eventually, you can add in the extras as you increase your personal capacity.
Find your creativity. Build Your Best Life.
You’ve got this!
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Updated April 18, 2021