STOP! Don’t say it! Don’t say that you’re stuck in a creative rut! Noo!!!
Ok – so you’ve said it. And the meteor didn’t strike, you didn’t implode, and perhaps you are still sitting comfortably in your home. So why do we feel so awful after we look at our creative self and acknowledge that we’re creatively stuck? Not creatively empty. Just…stuck!
For me, I often feel like it’s my professional responsibility to maintain my creativity. No one told me that was an expectation, but my big-idea-brain likes to pretend it’s Buzz Lightyear (you know – “to infinity and beyond!”)! When I experience that feeling I know (deep down in my bones) that it’s time to find some creative clarity. Because being creative is really, really hard. Sometimes, being creative is just too hard. And if I feel like being creative is too hard, it also means I feel disorganized, scattered, fatigued, frustrated, unproductive, sad…you name it! So let’s stop the spiral and find our creative clarity!
Unfortunately, when I need creative clarity, I can’t seem to find it. It’s hiding, or feels packed under layers of exhaustion of all types. So how does one dig through all of that to find clarity?
I don’t have the perfect answer for you, because you and I are not the same person! But I have discovered a secret. It’s a non-secret, secret, really….
We cannot expect ourselves to be creatively successful unless we set ourselves up for success. We can very easily turn this concept around to observe the work we do as clinicians, right? Our clients can’t be successful in their music therapy treatment unless we set them up appropriately with carefully and intentionally designed goals and objectives.
So why don’t we transfer this to ourselves? Why does this only apply to our children, loved ones, and clientele?
I feel very strongly when I say to you: YOU ARE WORTH SETTING UP FOR SUCCESS. YOU are worth working for, and YOU are worth the mindful care that goes into finding creative clarity. Because if you don’t care for your creative self, who will? Yes, we gain creative energy through our work with clients or collaboration with other professionals, but it is OUR responsibility to feed our creative selves.
Great. Fantastic. But what does this look like? For me, I start with a SHORT list (three items or less), have a snack, and take a nap. However, since we’ve already determined that you and I are not the same, here’s how you can find your clarification process.
- Do a very abbreviated version of your go-to organizational technique (list making, journaling, notes, post its….) and write down the three items that are the biggest energy burners.
- Ask yourself if you have….eaten in the last three hours, gone to the bathroom, had water, or been active? Depending on your answer to any of those, make sure you do the activity or gain the sustenance, ok?!? THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! Your body can’t do what you’re asking it to do unless you’ve given it what it needs!
- Take. A. Break, and cut yourself some slack, human! Set a timer for 5, 10, 20, 30, 60, 90 minutes and WRITE DOWN, “I’m giving myself permission to….” This is where I say, “Briana – In order to be your best self, you really need a nap.” While I don’t like to admit it, especially as a grown woman – I LOVE naps. They really do make me a better person.
And if we’re being completely honest, I walk myself through all three of these steps when I need clarity! Sustaining yourself is important – do what you need to do!
After you have walked yourself through your personal take on this process, revisit your three item list and see what your creative brain is ready to conquer. Because, trust me – you’ll feel like a million bucks for giving yourself the gift of care in the name of creativity clarity. Who knows what you’ll be ready to do, and it’ll be because you made a difficult and graceful choice to care for your creative self.
Way to go, Creative!!!
Yours in awed creativity,
Steward, The Music Therapy Marketplace.