7 days to get Creative

Monday

Well, seven days of creativity have started. I wrote a poem today, not a great poem, just a poem. I made the task easier for myself as I decided to write it for someone, so that helped my motivation. It’s for my partner’s mother, as her birthday is coming up, so I will write it in her card. It was a really cute activity, and only took about 15 minutes in my lunch-break – I kinda feel happy about it – more than I expected. Not sure if this excitement is more to do with the whole week, or just that one activity, I guess we will see.

Yesterday I listed all the small creative activities I wanted to do over the week, and I decided on a purpose for the work – hopefully this will help.

Here is my list:

  • Monday: Poem. Reason: Joy’s birthday is coming up.
  • Tuesday: Change around bedside area. Reason: So not inspired by this corner, it really needs some change – want to add elements of comfort so I look forward to going to bed – at the moment it’s just messy.
  • Wednesday/Thursday: Photo Collage. Reason: I’m travelling for work over the next few days so decided to combine these two days, and taking photos seems like an easy thing to do while away.
  • Friday: New Recipe. Reason: I’ve been starting to expand my cooking know-how and love the creativity in it. Sooo looking forward to this! Anything with food is always a winner!
  • Saturday: Create a Card. Reason: I have an anniversary coming up and would like to give my partner something hand-made.
  • Sunday: Write a letter. Reason: I haven’t written one for so long, (so old school, I know) but I think it will be a cool thing to do. Not sure who to write it to yet – maybe my brother and sister-in-law, who live in Australia.

So as you can see, they really are bite size activities. Things I can do in my day without it impacting to the point that hinders all the other things which need to get done.

Tuesday

Change around bedside area: Probably not the easiest thing to do mid-week, and the evening before I fly out to Wellington. But, nevertheless, I did get it done, amongst packing. During the day I looked at Pinterest, which gave me a lot of ideas. Also, I knew I wasn’t going to spend any money on this so it was about finding pieces I already owned and shifting things about. It felt good to give this corner some attention, (even a clean!) A lot of books had gathered over the course of the year, and then just bits and bobs that really didn’t need to be there. The lamp I originally had, I bought years ago second-hand, and while it is nice, it is not my style. The lamp I replaced it with is not perfect, but I think it’s more my style than the other one. It took less than an hour and I’m really pleased with the result. Also, I feel inspired to change around more corners in the house. Still need a picture on that small side wall, but hopefully will find something to suite over time.

Wednesday/Thursday

Travelling to Wellington for work. Love this city, it is so compact – you can walk everywhere, and it has an edgy-creative vibe about it. This particular creative task wasn’t difficult as I usually take a few snaps on my phone while away. However, I did have to keep reminding myself, and then once I got into the groove I saw all the cool things a little differently and took time to notice details around the city I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I wasn’t doing this. Had heaps of fun, and an easy task while away.

Friday

This was an easy one. New Recipe. I’ve actually been trying out quite a few recipes from Donna Hay’s book, Fresh and Light, so the task seemed like something I would do anyway. The ‘Chocolate Fudge Cake’ was pretty simple. I did replace the flour for gluten free flour and the butter milk for yogurt, but it turned out lovely. Probably a bit darker, than I usually like, but very nice. I served it with some boysenberries and cream.  

Saturday

This activity I kept for the weekend as I knew it would take more time than perhaps the others. It’s not something I do a lot, so I was a bit sceptical that anything useable would come of it, but decided to go for it anyway. Cards are strange objects in our digital world. Most times if a birthday or special occasion comes up a Facebook post will suffice. However, occasionally I like to give one, especially to the older generations in the family. Initially I was going to just paint one, but decided to paint two while I had the paints out. So I made one for my partner and one for my partner’s mum (who I wrote the poem for – and which I will write in the card).

I actually like the results. I kept it very simple by painting colour blocks, rectangles on Joy’s card and stripes on my partners. Then with a pen I drew patterns on the dry paint. Simple and enjoyable to do.

Sunday

I haven’t written a proper letter, for ages… I can’t even remember the last time. It was an easy activity for me to do, as I enjoy writing, but I should have bought some lovely paper, I just used some refill I had. If I was to engage in this activity on a regular basis I would want to purchase some nicer paper. Writing from scratch is difficult, because it’s hard to know how to start, so writing to my brother was probably a good decision as we text regularly, so we already have a conversation going. It would be a lot harder to start with someone from scratch, but of course not impossible.

Reflection of the Week

It’s definitely been more difficult than I thought. Almost a chore, which seems crazy because I actually enjoyed all the activities once I started. I think there are a couple of reasons for this. First, I’m just not use to doing it. It’s easy to think about getting more creativity into your week, but it’s another thing actually doing it. Maybe if I continued it would become more normalised. I know that my grandmother did ‘create’ most days, whether it was gardening, baking, sewing – but also in her free time she painted landscapes and played piano. Very different times, very different generation I know, and you can’t compare lifestyles, as she lived in a time where pressures on work life were not as extreme as they are now. However, and a big, HOWEVER, some days the only thing I do outside work is look at my phone and watch Netflix. So I feel like I have to get to a place where there is a workable in-between.

Secondly, the activities were just that, activities for this particular post. I think for me to dig deep into the creative process there needs to be a bigger purpose. So rather than an exercise each day, maybe something longer in duration that has a greater purpose would keep the motivation going, and give me a growing sense of accomplishment as I see the process grow.

So to do this, I would work towards one (thing), which lasts a week or possibly a month and then reflect on that to see if there are any differences in experience of the creative process.

In saying that, if you are finding it difficult, like me, to navigate life and want to engage more in creativity I would recommend this creative week challenge, even if it is just to get you out of your routine. A huge plus was putting a ‘reason’ for the activity, it helped me focus on the task more and I enjoyed accomplishing the small goals.

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