How to Live Creatively Right Where You Are
written by regular contributor, emily scott
As a fantasy reader and writer, I'm guilty of romanticizing the invisible: the mystic world that seems to lay just beyond my reach, but lately, Wilde's words have given me a wake-up call.
There is mystery and romance in what I see every day.
I like to think of creative living as taking the ordinary and creating something extraordinary out of it by changing one’s point of view: What could be a boring trip to the grocery store becomes an adventure when you decide to shop at different store, or pretend your grocery list is a scavenger hunt. And let’s be honest, whip cream and cinnamon instantly makes hot cocoa more fun (and fancy).
Creative living doesn't need to be complicated. Really, it shouldn't be complicated.
A common mistake we make is assuming creative lives are filled to the brim with huge strikes of inspiration every day; assuming masterpieces are being created every week; and assuming “Jane Doe” is so talented, the world will never be the same. I mean, we can’t all be J.K. Rowling.
If I thought I had to be Rowling, I’d never want to write. If I thought I had to be Monet, I would give up painting.
I'd be too afraid trying to live up to a fictional image of the “perfect creative” instead of celebrating my own creativity and my own version of a creative life. And sure, as much I wanted my Hogwarts letter to arrive when I was eleven (okay, fine, I’m still want it to show up), the lives we are all living right now aren't fiction. And that's okay.
The invisible is appealing, and maybe living in Paris and painting every day is your dream. Maybe writing by the seaside or playing for posh parties every other night would be a wish come true. But those are not the only ways to live a creative life.
The visible life you are living right now is a creative life too.
Yes, even with school, work, children, dating, job searching—all of it.
How to Appreciate the “Visible”:
- Take advantage of your phone’s camera and snap a picture whenever something catches your eye: a tree in bloom, that random purple house on the corner of your street, or a new sculpture at the town’s park.
- Write a poem or short story about your neighborhood or city. Focus on what makes this place “beautiful.”
- Open your awareness by driving a new route school, taking a new mode of transportation to work, visiting a local museum, or exploring a neighboring town.
- Turn the TV off while you eat dinner and let your mind focus entirely on the food you’re eating. Better yet, make that meal yourself and try using familiar ingredients in as many unexpected ways as you can.
- Pick up a novel or movie in a genre you usually don’t reach for.
- If you listen to music during the day, listening to some unexpected. This could be a different genre, an artist you’ve never heard of, or a new radio station.
- Spend an hour (or day) thinking like a private eye: treat everything happening around you like a clue.
- Write in a daily gratitude journal. Be thankful for those everyday moments and things you usually take for granted.
Let’s be real here: you have a busy life. You don’t have time to switch up your entire day so you can be more creative. BUT you still deserve creative living.
You shouldn’t feel that you can only be creative on your day off or on the weekends. There are moments all day long where creativity can sneak in—where you can spice up your day. Do this often enough, and you’re going to be living a creative life without even trying.
I’m making a deal with myself to stop living in the “invisible” and start appreciating the “visible.”
And I bet you’d be surprised by what you’ll find if you live for the visible too.
Emily Scott is an author, artist, and literature nerd. She writes paranormal fantasy fiction featuring rebellious protagonists dedicated to knocking down their boundaries. Like any good California girl, she loves the beach and believe she should have been born a mermaid.