Creative Habits and Gretchen Rubin’s book

I’ve been floundering in my creative resolution. I think about drawing and painting a lot more than I actually do it. Most times when I think about it, I can’t seem to take action. When I do sketch or paint, I’m not very inspired, and I don’t feel that hook. I’m not being pulled into the process. The next time around it’s still hard to get started.

I know it’s normal to go through peaks and valleys, but I was starting to wonder what was up. By chance I started reading Gretchen Rubin’s book, “Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits – to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life.”

Within a few pages, I had the answer to my problem. I had fallen out of the habit of being creative. It was harder for me to do it, because I had to make the conscious decision to do it. It no longer was just something I did without thinking. Rubin perfectly states it here,

“When we change our habits, we change our lives. We can use decision making to choose the habits we want to form, we can use willpower to get the habit started; then – and this is the best part – we can allow the extraordinary power of habit to take over. We take our hands off the wheel of decision, our foot off the gas of willpower, and rely on the cruise control of habits.”

I still have most of the book to read, and I’m eager to do so. But in the meantime – How to get back to my creative habit? When I look back on the beginning of my creative resolution in 2014, I see I quickly developed tools to help me keep my resolution. Things like “dedicating time to painting,” “five minute sketches,” and eventually “my creative weekly checklist.” These tools worked in the past, so I’m adopting them again now.

My NEW Creative Weekly Checklist:

  1. Draw in my sketchbook every morning (while waiting for kids to get ready). Use an everyday object as inspiration, to make the decision of what to draw easier and quicker.
  2. Post twice a week on my blog. The blog is how I hold myself accountable.
  3. Start the day with a painting – every Wednesday. Flip the priority of the day by starting it with creativity, instead of work. When I do this, even when I work later, my mindset for the day is different. I find myself going back to the paints throughout the day.

And something else I want to keep foremost in my mind – Share what I create, don’t create to share.

How do you keep your creative habits?

10 thoughts on “Creative Habits and Gretchen Rubin’s book

  1. Good luck! I like your scissors.
    I think it’s the time of year to be out of sorts with life.
    But the blog is really a spur for me to do work. I would do much much less without it. It can be time-consuming in itself, but I think it’s worth it. (K)

  2. Eileen, your blog is wonderful. Life changes and we sometimes need to just ride the wave. While it can be frustrating to loose that creative motivation, you will get it back 🙂 There are seasons to your art. Maybe spring will inspire you and I can’t wait to see what comes next. I’m coming out of a bit of a block myself, so thanks for sharing. Nice to know other artists face the same challenges. Xo

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