Creativity is a curious thing. First, you have to use it or lose it. But you also need to balance your creative life with real life. If creatives aren’t careful, two problems could arise.
Be Careful of Too Much or Too Little
- Creativity takes over: When you get consumed with creative works, your life can fall into disarray. I know this through experience. There have been short periods of time in my life where I’ve become so inspired to create, that I let everything else go. I stop exercising. I stop eating healthy. My energy all goes into my creative current project. My health, my work, and my family all suffer for it.
- Creativity fades away: If you don’t practice your creativity often enough, it can fade away. I’ve also experienced this. There have been times when I’ve stop creating. It often happens due to burnout from creating too much. Sometimes it’s distraction from media or friends. But the bottom line is simple. If you stop creating, your creativity fades away. That’s why we need to practice a little balance.
3 Ways to Maintain Your Creative Balance
- Practice two or more hobbies: I”m a musician and a writer. Having two creative endeavors helps to keep me balanced. When I get temporarily overwhelmed with one art, I simply turn to the other. I also enjoy landscaping, biking, camping, and many other activities. Rotating a variety of activities will help you to keep your creative balance.
- Take vacations from your art: I love songwriting. I love blogging. But I know what happens when I push myself too hard in either art. I get stuck. I feel like I’m saying the same things over and over. Or my melodies all feel stale. When this happens, I take a vacation from my creativity. I’ll spend a week doing something completely different. I might even try something new or travel to a new place.
- Stay active and have fun: Part of balance in life is to stay active. To keep a sharp mind, you need a healthy body and a happy spirit. This is why it’s important for us creative types to exercise. Exercise not only keeps you physically fit, but it stimulates your brain and promotes creative thinking. Doing fun activities also helps. I find that it’s my experiences that I draw my creative energy from. Fun experiences balance out the mundane and difficult experiences of life.
It’s a Simple Equation
It’s really that simple: Variety, time away, and staying active will all enhance your creativity. By keeping your balance in life, you make more room for your art. I encourage you to practice whatever it is that you do. But I also encourage you to take purposeful periods of time to refresh and renew your creative batteries.
Here’s a short Ted Talk by Nigel Marsh about work-life balance.