Creativity is a habit and a choice. Postcards and notes I draw out lace my work-desk. Often times people ask – what’s keeping you creative all day? I believe staying creative is deeply visceral- in the way you do things. Being able to dance or paint is just as creative as being able to plan a meal for two. As I’ve changed multiple lives, I’ve become even more entrenched in this thought. This post is an attempt to connect the dots for my own self, and learn from you.
I feel it’s like everyone is creative in the pieces they choose to put together. But it’s hard work to stay at it. In the past 5 years or so, I’ve been obsessing about ‘lists’ and I use them to trace my own creative superpowers. Here’s the list I like today…
Things That Are Keeping Me Creative All Day
1. Staying Tangible
- Using hands: There are many days when I draw things. Nothing spectacular but I like using my hands and getting away from my digital screens. It feels like a 15 minute slow-living revolution. It is relaxing and fun. It’s my absolute wish to go back to playing with mud next but I’m not sure if I am ready.
- Masks: Hair or skin masks and cremes. They somehow force you into a state of meditative acceptance. I’m obsessed with Embryolisse currently (no, they didn’t sponsor this).
- Dairies/Lists: I keep a sketch-book at my work desk and let it take over when I feel the need to express. My latest list is the DALS inspired dinner dairy. I note down what I eat each day, because food, like creativity is tangible. It’s a struggle to finish each diary that I begin with all the compartmentalization.
There’s merit to getting out of home on a #Friday evening and just ‘hanging’ at a #coffeeshop listening in to #conversation around you to get out of this random listless #summerday dormancy. 📖☕️📚 #drawing deeply #inspired by @alexkourvo’s #coffeemug ☺️ #writing now #creativity #creativezone #sketching #sketchbook #artsy #writerslife #pendrawing #feelingthecoffee #staycreative
- Feminism: It’s 2016. I am still reading and feeling the Second Shift (that deserves a separate post). Emma Watson’s ‘keeping books at the subway’ project gives me the feels. From taking my husband’s name (or not), splitting chores (or not) to women who amplify everyday sexism (or not), it’s a big range. I’m embracing what it means to not live life according to expectations based on gender. There are few other causes that I’ve felt more strongly about. As a young girl my choices seem so poorly informed on hindsight. I intend to course correct to learn more. It’s important to call people out for their blatant sexism. Especially those who sit on high horses believing themselves to be progressive.
- Presence: Sometimes I’m in a happy phase which isn’t extraordinary or special, but I feel comforted. I’m learning to embrace those moments and not poison them with people or ideas that drag me down. It’s liberating to declutter and let go.
- Sharing and ownership: I own my time and sharing choices. I’ve had to unfollow many Facebook contacts just because some of choose unkind and unfortunate words. Carelessness is not the same as being “chill.” Words or actions matter. I am not creating an echo bubble but even with disagreements, I prefer sensible arguments over ill-conceived junk.
3. Allowing for Mistakes and Dead-ends
- Projects half-done: Not all projects I start finish themselves. And that’s ok. I’ve not managed to read a few books this year. You need to be ready to finish and I often keep the doors open to come back, especially for books.
- Empathy: We’re wired to care. Empathy works for everything including my own self. I don’t beat myself over mistakes.
- Project white noise: I have days where I don’t feel like doing anything. It’s okay to allow myself that time.
4. Reading/ Finding Inspiration
- 50+ books this year: Call out to @meerasapra. When I met her in January this year, she casually told me how much she reads. I was instantly hooked to finding time too. It helps that there’s a girls’ book club that I’m a part of this year and that I have easy library access. Book lists here and here (more coming up). I’ll probably do an end of year favorite read later this year, but it’s hard to come up with a name right now.
- New blogs I love this year: Call out to @vicariouslyliving for sharing the Cup of Jo and so many others through it. I still like Mary Orton’s wit and style. I also bought subscription to the New Yorker this year, and that’s been amazing. It’s been so long since I paid for a newspaper/ journalism. I wanted to read a Jhumpa Lahiri article which was paid and then one thing led to another. I still need to identify who I like reading the most there (except Lahiri of course).
- New Podcasts I love this year: Still very much Gimlet-y. My heart broke when Starlee Kine was fired. I hope she can come back with something new soon. I’ve also been on NPR’s How I Built This and World Cafe Words and Music
- New Television Shows I love this year: Westworld , Game of Thrones and Vinyl (more) would be my favorites. They have such good production value and narratives. The Book of Mormon was a great show to watch with amazing talent.
- Clubs/ Groups/ Communities: Writer’s club, prose and poetry club (I have a decade to go before I can honestly do something with fiction), art club, women business owners club… It’s been a year of meeting very diverse and interesting folk.
- Films I liked this year: Masaan, Nil Battey Sanata, Arrival, Udta Punjab…let’s see what else I end up liking this year. I didn’t see a lot of movies this year, but I do want to change that. I’ve been obsessing about Ranbir Kapoor somehow. Also, Alia Bhatt is so natural.
- New Coffee Shops I loved: Morgan and York, RoosRoast Coffee – shops round the corner make people watching and writing so much more than just a task.
- New Travel: Less holidays and a larger country means we’re traveling significantly lesser than we did living in Europe. I miss the good energy that travel brings. Montreal was fun and I loved Portand. The sour mountains smelled green and gave me deeply tired muscles and quietness to take along.
What’s keeping you creative all day?