9 Principles for Healthy Creatives

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.   Maya Angelou

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.   Maya Angelou

Back in 2013, I gave a presentation at a Close To My Heart event. I was asked to speak about how to maintain a healthy, vibrant creativity. In other words, how do we sustain the energy and insight required by a commitment to any ongoing creative pursuit—especially if that commitment is your job. What if you're a creative professional and your job depends on YOU being and feeling creative ALL THE TIME. I thought long and hard about this and ended up focusing on principles that might not initially feel connected to creative output, but that which I believe truly are. A few weeks prior to my speaking engagement, I received a Compendium book in the mail and its message was so relevant to my preparation that I gave the Gods credit for essentially dropping it into my lap. The book is called, Fight On! and you can purchase it HERE.  This book is full of inspiring quotes and encouragement to keep going in the face of opposition, self-doubt, immobilizing comparisons and the everyday time-sucking obligations that often block the free flow of ideas we need to survive. Quotes like this one ...

You’re doing it. Right now, you are doing it. Despite all the background noise, and the challenges, and the distractions, and the doubts that tell you otherwise, you are doing it. You are creating your beautiful life. You are traveling in the right direction. Set aside your doubts. Quiet the thoughts that say you aren’t good enough, important enough, capable enough to begin. Tell them you can’t listen because today you trust yourself. Today, you believe in your heart. Today, you tell the small voice inside you’re giving it a chance. Today, be bold. be strong. Fight on.
— Fight On, published by Compendium, Inc.

A few months ago, I was cleaning up files on my desktop and came across this 2013 presentation. I opened it up, scrolled through the slides + notes and thought, "Dang. This is good stuff!" I wondered if I could some how share it again, with the hope that as I did so, I would be motivated to remember and revisit these principles for myself. I have recently begun building an Instagram community @storybystacy — which I will be talking more about in the coming weeks. I was curious: What if I created a mini class on Instagram ... an Insta-class? Why not! I introduced the idea and the response was positive, so I did it. I shared one of my presentation slides/principles each day for about 10 days, and I invited interaction. It was FUN and I loved the chance to learn from the comments of others. If you're on Instagram, you can now experience the whole class by clicking here and scrolling back to the image here. 

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I mentioned on Instagram that I would create a little download of some kind when the class was over and I finally did.  You can download and print it by clicking HERE.   You could print it on white cardstock and hang it in your workspace or print it as a 4x6 photo and use it on a scrapbook page or simply tuck it in your journal—that's what I'm going to do! When we see it, we'll remember that it takes effort to be creative and it's not necessarily the effort to print pictures and pull out the pretty paper, or paint or whatever your medium is. The real work is in crafting a lifestyle that nurtures your heart and mind, for those are the sources of original thought and curiosity which lead to problem solving and unique personal expression.

I have found that when I apply and practice these principles I can be consistently productive, if not on occasion absolutely brilliant. 

Have at it and Fight On!