It can be challenging starting your creative dream. Mary Ann Evans wrote under the pen name George Eliot. Why? Because women couldn’t be authors. She said, it is never too late to be what you might have been. Mary figured out a way to live her creative dream as did many women writers of her time. Today, there are lots of women writers. But there are other things that keep us from our creative dreams. Work, children, family, friends, social engagements and television can keep us from our creative dreams.
When people reach middle age, they seem to realize time is running out. Cathy reached out to me just two days after her 50th birthday. She wanted to paint. She had wanted to paint since she was a teenager, but life got in the way. After one session with me Cathy was painting. She just needed some help getting started. What about you? Do you have a creative dream? Here are five steps that can help you get started. These are based on the four creative principles I use in my coaching practice.
Taking the time to reflect helps us create awareness. This is the first step in starting your creative dream. Ask yourself these questions:
How long have I wanted to paint (write, dance, act)?
What is stopping me?
What do I have to lose by just exploring the idea?
Exploring doesn’t cost you anything. Yes, it takes time. But exploring will help you in starting your creative dream. Cathy had been collecting art supplies for twenty-five years. What we collect is a big clue to who we are and what we like. Cathy wanted to paint. But what did Cathy want to paint? Did she want to use oil, acrylic, watercolors? Exploring can help you focus and narrow down your choices. Cathy realized she had been collecting water colors. That gave her a big clue about the type of paint she wanted to use. She explored books, websites and art museums. When she finished exploring she knew she wanted to paint country barns. Cool uh?
Connecting to others who can assist you is vital in living your creative dream. First, Cathy told her family and friends she was a painter. Her family and friends supported her creative dream. Feeling supported helps you be accountable to those supporting you. If you tell someone you are a painter and then you don’t paint you not only let yourself down but those around you. The second thing Cathy did was enroll in a water color class. It was scary but if you are gonna paint you need help and direction. It is important to find your tribe and support each other.
This is where the rubber hits the road. You actually paint (write, draw, act). Cathy was terrified to load up her paint brush and put it on the paper. That’s normal. All kinds of thoughts were rolling around her mind. Here’s the deal, it’s not going to be perfect. It might not even be “good”. And you know what? That’s just fine. Once you get started you will learn what you need to know.
Creativity is part of your soul. It is something that resides deep inside you. It needs to be nourished and feed. Find creative outlets that inspire you. If you are an artist, visit art museums. If you are a writer, read books. Just talking to like-minded creative people can feed your creativity. You can also work with a creativity coach like me.