Where do you begin your creative journey? You have decided to start introducing more creativity into your life. ‘What now’ you may ask? How do you decide what to do? Should you start dancing, painting, writing, drawing, sculpting? A million and one ideas may come to mind, but just how and where do you start?
My answer to this is Play! As children we play spontaneously. We use our imaginations and make up games. We create cakes out of mud, build cubby houses behind a group of trees, make clothes for our dolls out of coloured paper, pretend we are pirates or princesses. We don’t ask how or why, we just do it.
As adults, society expects us to have careers, become financially independent, be responsible citizens.There is nothing wrong with these things, but they often don’t allow time for play. As the term, ‘life balance’ becomes more popular, many of us are trying to include some ‘down’ time in our lives.
We go for walks in nature, have massages, meet up with friends, do meditation. These are all important. But we rarely make the time just to play. When I was a child, play was considered frivolous, something that only children did, not adults. But play is essential to stimulate our creativity. Unless we let go of the need to always be working or doing something constructive, we never achieve the pleasure of pure play.
Studies have also shown that play reduces stress. It increases our endorphins, our ‘feel good’ hormones, makes us more physically active, increases our sense of fun and well-being, improves our memory and increases the growth of our brain cells.
Play means just that. Doing something without any expectations. So what if you can’t draw or write or dance or build. Just try it out anyway. Have fun discovering what you enjoy and what you can create from your imagination.
Where do you begin your creative journey? Just think of something you enjoyed as a child or perhaps it’s something that you have always wanted to do, but never tried. Then take up some pencils, or sit in front of your laptop, or take a photo and just begin. It may not be perfect but that’s not what you’re aiming for. You’re aiming to find out what you enjoy and what feels like fun.
I had always wanted to paint, but as an adult, I had never really tried. I was given some watercolours as a gift so decided to begin. I had taken a photo of a flower in my garden and decided to use this as inspiration. I began to draw and then mixed up my paints to create my work of art.
When I was finished, I sat back and looked at it with pride. It wasn’t perfect and it certainly wasn’t a professional painting, but I had a lot of fun. During that half-hour or hour, I had completely immersed myself in play. It is something I now regularly do.
Where do you begin your creative journey? Just start. Play with your camera, write on your laptop, start moulding a piece of clay. If you enjoy it, keep doing it and if you want more guidance, do a course. So much is available now online and a lot of it is free or low cost. Just play and most of all, have fun.
As writer, Elizabeth Gilbert says, ” “A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life.”
So start creating now. I can guarantee you will feel happier for it.
Part of my creative play was writing a book. You can view it here.
References: https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-importance-of-play-for-adults#recap, https://wanderlust.com/journal/the-importance-of-play-in-adulthood/#:~:text=Play%20for%20adults%20is%20critical,growth%20of%20the%20cerebral%20cortex. Photo by Senjuti Kundu on Unsplash
Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.