Words By Mae

content creator / mental health advocate / your friend

A Little Grace: On Managing & Sustaining Creativity

I’m a creative.

I never really called myself that until the past couple of years, but it’s true. I have always felt called to create, whether that’s writing for myself or others, making music and singing songs, taking photos, or even making artwork. God instilled this creative bone in me that I can’t get rid of, nor do I wish to.

But sometimes creating can be hard. Sometimes I feel pressured to create, like producing weekly blog posts or keeping up with social media content. Sometimes I put that pressure on myself, sometimes I feel that pressure from others (that usually isn’t even there…hello, comparison!!).

Sometimes I whip out my laptop and can’t find the words I want to capture what I’d like to say. Or sometimes I don’t even know what to say at all. I end up staring at a blank screen for far too long, then I give up in frustration toward myself and toward my lack of creativity. I shut the laptop and huff off. Disappointed and let down.

Constant creativity can be hard, but I’m learning how to manage.

Whether I feel pressure or not, whether I want to or not, I am learning how to manage my creativity and establish structure in my life to keep that inspiration flowing. Let me share some things that have helped me stay creative:

  • Journaling— I didn’t journal much until quarantine, but I have noticed that when I journal daily or at least regularly, I am nourishing that creative mindset. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be for anyone else to see, just letting my thoughts flow onto paper is good for me.
  • Working ahead— when I do feel those extra creative juices flowing, I like to start as many blog posts as possible, save those drafts, and then revisit them later to complete them. Or, if I’m not near my computer, I make a note on my phone that includes the general idea and inspiration behind the post, then I can refer back to it later.
  • Surrounding myself with like-minded creatives— meeting and getting to know other bloggers, writers, and creatives has been so helpful to me. It is nice to share ideas and feed off those from others. It is a source of encouragement when creating can seem hard or burdensome.
  • Giving myself grace— when I do find myself lacking and can’t create at all, it is good for me to remember that I don’t always have to create, even if I want to. I need to give myself grace and remember I’m only human, and that instead of over-exhausting myself, I can take a breath, step away from the laptop, and come back another day.

Even if you don’t identify as a creative but would like to create more, these little tips and tricks are a great way to get you started. If you feel lost or alone in your desire to create, don’t hesitate to reach out to a creative friend (like me!) or creatives in your community to learn about the process.

And if you are a creative and you’re struggling, remember it is perfectly fine to take a breather and come back to a project another day. Give yourself a little grace, pick yourself back up, and keep on keeping on!!

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