THE NO. 1 CREATIVITY HABIT
In a word: solitude.
Creativity flourishes in solitude. With quiet, you can hear your thoughts, you can reach deep within yourself, you can focus.
Of course, there are lots of ways to find this solitude. Let’s listen to a few of the creative people I talked to or researched:
I was thrilled when she replied to my email asking about her creative habits. 1 of the things she said: “make sure to be creative first thing in the morning, before doing anything for the outside world, really sets the day up for me. It makes it feel that CREATING is my job, not answering emails.
Ali Edwards – an author, designer and leading authority on scrapbooking.
I was honored with a response from Ali as well. 1 of her top habits wasn’t exactly solitude, but is related: “Do nothing. I have a habit of welcoming time away from my creative work. For me this is serious life-recharging time where my only responsibility is to just be Mom and Wife and Me. Doing nothing has a way of synthesizing what is really important in my life and in my work and inspires me beyond measure. When I come back to work I am better equipped to weed out the non-essential stuff and focus on the things I most want to express creatively.
Chase Jarvis – an award-winning photographer.
Chase also kindly responded with several of his key creativity habits — see more great ones at the bottom of this post. But here’s 1 that I loved: “Find Quiet. Creativity sometimes washes over me during times of intense focus and craziness of work, but more often I get whacked by the creative stick when I’ve got time in my schedule. And since my schedule is a crazy one and almost always fills up if I’m just “living”, I tend to carve out little retreats for myself. I get some good thinking and re-charge time during vacations, or on airplanes, but the retreats are more focused on thinking about creative problems that I’m wanting to solve. That’s why I intentionally carve time out. I make room for creativity. Intentionally. The best example of what I mean by a retreat is a weekend at my family’s cabin. It’s a 90-minute drive from my house on the coast. There are few distractions. Just a rocky beach and a cabin from the 60′s with wood paneling and shag carpet. I go for walks, hikes, naps. I read. I did get an Internet signal put in there to stay connected if I need it. But the gist is QUIET. Let there be space for creativity to fill your brain.”
Maciej Cegłowski – painter, programmer, excellent writer.
Maciej is one of my favorite bloggers, and responded to my email with a classically short answer that to me, embodies a beautiful way to find solitude.
What habit helps his creativity?
Maciej replied: “Running up hills!”
Rayyan Islam: OK, I wasn’t going to talk about myself in this post, but I thought I should share some of my previous thoughts.
The best art is created in solitude, for good reason: it’s only when we are alone that we can reach into ourselves and find truth, beauty and soul. Some of the most famous philosophers took daily walks, and it was on these walks that they found their deepest thoughts.
My best writing, and in fact the best of anything I’ve done, was created and produced in solitude
Just a few of the benefits I’ve found from solitude:
- Time for thought
- In being alone, we get to know ourselves
- We face our demons, and deal with them
- Space to create
- Space to unwind, and find peace
- Time to reflect on what we’ve done, and learn from it
- Isolation from the influences of others helps us to find our own voice
- Quiet helps us to appreciate the smaller things that get lost in the roar
Most importantly of all, it allows us to truly think, feel and let our thoughts wander into the unknown – to escape from the mental perimeters that living in society can often impair us with.