Get creative with life. Why? Because it’s fun!

If I am not actively creating something then I am probably actively destroying something: myself, my relationship, my own peace of mind.’

-Liz Gilbert, Big Magic

I’m a recovering overthinker, and there have been times over the years when I’ve wondered if my busy brain was a product of too much time on my hands.  Proverbs like ‘the devil makes work for idle hands’ feed the notion that if you’re not keeping busy, that pesky train of thought will take you down some dark tunnels.

It’s true, in a sense.  Ask someone who’s ever retired with no notion what they like to do in their spare time, or people forced out of work suddenly due to illness or an injury, and they may very well tell you that the adjustment period is hard.  One’s own mind can be a very cruel place if not adequately tamed. 

So many people fill their days to capacity with appointments and meetings, clubs, socialising, television, social media, exercise…and the beast behaves, for the most part. 

Yet if being busy were all it took to make people happy then the Western World would be like Disneyland on steroids.  We’d all be so full of joy that the self-help section at the bookstore would be a distant memory.

Photo by Ben Cheung on

So, if being busy isn’t the answer to quieting the monkey mind, what is?

I believe (even more so after just finishing Big Magic by Liz Gilbert) that what we’re missing is the magic of creativity.  I’m not just talking about paintbrushes and fountain pens, but general creativity in our day to day lives.  The magic that comes from having a go at something new or finding a different way to do the same old thing, being willing to allow a little play into our lives. 

For years I didn’t pursue avenues I might have found interesting in case it didn’t work out.  I was so serious about everything.  What if I was no good at it?  What if I spent years on it but then didn’t want to do it anymore?  Best not to even start, best to never find out. 

What happened?

I got so BORED! And my mind got so NOISY! I couldn’t stand to be with myself in my own head anymore.  I began trying things, committing to things, and kept reminding myself that if it didn’t work out, so what?  I gave it a go.  If I liked it, I could carry on, if I didn’t, I could quit. 

Now I help out at my kids Scout group, I do a shift at the local community shop, I go to a poetry group, I have a (relatively new) job, I meditate regularly (this one really helps quiet that monkey mind too) and best of all, I have a blog where I can experiment with different types of writing.  None of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t given myself permission to get creative with my life and try new things, and I gave myself permission because I allowed for the fact that I can stop, anytime I want.

I think we need to give ourselves this permission in order to make things. I love writing, but sometimes I can get a bit too serious about it. I might spend days on a blog post and still not be happy with it, or wonder what’s the point of writing rhyming stories that even my own children won’t read…and yet, the playful side of me flushes in delight when an idea for a new poem comes to me, I’ll feel a sense of satisfaction when a line I’ve been stuck on resolves itself when I’m shampooing my hair and hours can melt away when I get lost in a story or a blog post; the process of writing itself brings joy, and it also quietens my mind.

Care less about other people

One thing that often blocks us from being more creative with our lives is what other people will think. What will the neighbours think if I paint my front door pink? What will my husband think if get my nose pierced? What will my friends think if I quit my banking job to become a circus performer? (Actually I think true friends would be fully supportive of this one, as long as they can get discounted tickets).

Often, to give ourselves permission to get creative with our lives, we need to care less what other people think about us. Being raised in a social system where we’re conditioned to care what Aunty Marge, Uncle John and Gladys down the road think of us doesn’t make this easy, but baby steps in this area are easy to take and often give satisfying results. Try experimenting with a new way of dressing, do your hair a little differently, say no to that lunch invitation because you’ve got an appointment with a tarot reader. I myself have been experimenting with colourful trousers over the past year with great results: no one much cares, I’ve had no insults and many compliments. True some of those compliments could be judgement in disguise, but if I don’t know and don’t much care then it doesn’t detract from the joy of my orange patterned trousers (thank you SIL for knowing me so well as to buy me these), and that makes me feel bold. What’s next?

Easy come, easy go

My daughter is a perfect example of someone who embraces the joy of creativity with no thought to its purpose.  She’s always trying out new ways of making things: painting, drawing, crochet, clay modelling, miniature painting, collaging, flower pressing, writing.  She might start something and never finish it, or finish something and never use that medium again.  She’ll paint something and keep it around for a while, but then she’ll throw it away and paint something else.  She’s not precious about the things she makes.  She doesn’t want to sell them or exhibit them or have anyone lavish praise on her for them, she makes things because she enjoys it, and THAT is what I think so many of us are missing. We attach so much to the outcome of things (what’s it for?) that we lose the joy of creating in the moment, and isn’t that what it’s for? 

Contary to all the ‘reach your full potential’ self-help literature, I feel I’ve reached the place I’m meant to be when I’m content with who I am in this moment.  That doesn’t mean I won’t write another poem or post another blog, on the contrary; it makes me want to write more, because there’s no weight attached to it.  When creativity serves its own purpose, when we don’t overthink it, when we can try that new cookbook without wanting to be the next Jamie Oliver, or take that ice skating class without wanting to become a champion figure skater, then it frees us up for all kinds of good feelings, and good feelings lead to good thoughts, and good thoughts lead to good things.

When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

Lao Tzu
Photo by Matthew Baysantos on

Where do you get creative in your life?

15 thoughts on “Get creative with life. Why? Because it’s fun!

  1. You are right we do attach alot of what we may or may not choose to do based on the possible outcome. It would be wonderful if we could try new things as freely as your daughter does. It seems the older you get less you pick up new things to try out, just for the fun of it. Everyday we should endeavor to do something just for the fun of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re so right that it happens as we age, I think we learn to care more what others think or we judge ourselves too harshly and it can block us from giving it a go.

      I think doing something for the fun of it every day is a great prescription for a life well lived.

      Thanks for your comment 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m halfway through Big Magic so all this resonates like monastery bells! I love your take on it! Thanks for encouraging me, and all your readers, to live every day more creatively, more freely, with more risk and fun and, ultimately, more satisfaction and joy. Makes me want to go get a tattoo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah I hope you’re enjoying it! You’re more than welcome, thanks for your lovely comments.

      I get you with the tattoo, it makes me want to get my nose pierced.

      Maybe we should go for it 😘


    • Thanks Ally. Boom indeed 💥 I think it’s the same with anything you’re trying to do or make, as soon as you let those pressurised thoughts creep in the task at hand becomes 100 times harder 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It helps me a lot to remember the person who judges me the most and harshest is usually the voice in my own head! That doesn’t help the thoughts go away really, but it does help me let them go easier and try something new out and really feel more of that simple joy from creativity and learning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great way to look at things, we can be our own harshest critic can’t we? But it’s great that you can challenge that voice in your head and get on with the important business of creating and learning anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Lori the Parrot | Rae Cod’s Writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s