Sustaining A Creative Practice

I crashed. Hard. It's funny how I can know what I need to do, having been successful at integrating healthy habits into my daily creative practice, and one day I simply decide to skip it without reason. Thus begins the descent into the unconscious, expired patterns that keep me away from the blank page for ages.

Well, it's not funny, is it? It's disappointing.

Here is what goes on inside my head:

(Angel, sitting lightly over my right shoulder) "I know I'm a good writer and artist when I devote myself to a daily creative practice. I'm often surprised at the words that string together, turning into essays and blog posts and poems. My daily doodles become whatever wanted to be born -- through me rather than of me. I love not knowing what it will be until after I'm finished."

(Inner Critic, rooted firmly over my left shoulder) "Nobody reads what I write. I have nothing new to add to all the noise. I don't know what to say. My thinking is always expiring. I never had formal training, and I don't want to look incompetent. I'm not a real artist, and nobody expects me to produce art. I can't draw anyway."

Sound familiar? Fill in the blanks, and it's the same crappy self-talk taking up valuable real estate inside most of us. My objective is to listen more often to the angel's voice than that of the inner critic. And to remember that the voices that drag me down don't define me unless I allow them to do so.

The whole point is to create anyway. To create anything worthy, I must exercise discipline for the practice. Letting go of attachments to the quality of the piece helps too. I remember how accomplished I feel when I complete something daily. I want that again.

Today I'm renewing my commitment to practicing creativity daily, not because I should but because I want the results. The body of work that comes from my choices is worth something if only to uphold one of my core values: Be Creative.

Would you like to join me? I've created a free Facebook group, called 'Becoming a Creative'. You're invited to participate in your creative practice along with other members of the community. Together, we'll share our work, encourage each other along our path, and be inspired -- automatically creating a bit of accountability.

I'm making a new promise to myself, and invite you to do the same.