How to kill creativity

I'm participating in the Cheeky Visionaries Biziversary & Launch Party! Amanda Sue Howell's business is turning 5, and she's celebrating with the launch of 30 Days of Creative Abandon. 30 Days of Creative Abandon is a 30 day course created for makers, who are looking for new ideas to set them free from artist's block!

Look, I'm going to be honest here. I had an awful time working out what to write for today. So I'm going to tell you about all the things that have been conspiring against me to stop me doing anything creative.

How to kill creativity

  • Children. I have kids. Before I had them, I loved doing crafty things. Sewing, knitting, crochet, baking - those have been my mainstays over the years. After the kids came along, I slowly let my creative hobbies drop by the wayside. I found it nearly impossible to knit with a toddler around. Harder than trying to knit with a kitten in the house! But now that they're older, that excuse is becoming less valid, and these other ones are taking over.

  • creativity and procrastination My son's birthday present, finished just hours before he officially turned two.

  • Procrastination. It's easy to want to do something, and then say 'I'll do that later.' But later never comes, does it? There's usually a deeper reason for procrastination. Figure out what it is and you just might get past it.

  • creativity and mobile games My boys in their stocking caps, made in between levels of Candy Crush.

  • Mobile games. Oh dear. Do I really want to admit to how many hours I've spent playing mobile games in the last week? Let's just say it's been excessive. It's so easy to lose track of time when you're staring at your virtual farm. Those kinds of games are fun, but I'm not sure they're helping me to be creative with anything other than extending my tablet's battery life.

  • creativity and apathy This afghan took me six years to finish, because I lost interest in it part way through.

  • Apathy. Sometimes you just don't care enough to create. Fine for a little while - everyone needs a break sometimes - but sooner or later you've got to get back on that horse. Humans are creative by nature. And there are HEAPS of ways to be creative. My husband writes computer programs. My older son builds with Lego. My younger son loves music. Find something you enjoy and start creating it!

  • creativity and insecurity I'd love to do pottery, but I'm afraid I'd mess it up!

  • Insecurity. Feeling like you're not good enough leads to procrastination and avoidance. But creativity isn't necessarily about being GOOD at something. It's about making something and having some fun.

  • creativity and duty The nappies I used to make in my handmade business. Over five years, my feelings on sewing went from love to hate.

  • Obligation. When I had my handmade business, I started out loving what I did. And then over the next five years, that love was replaced by duty. I felt like I HAD to sew my nappies so I'd have something to sell. Doing something because you have to, not because you enjoy it, is a sure fire way to kill any enjoyment that might have been there. Just think about doing the dishes. Laundry. Cleaning the toilet. Do you enjoy those? Most likely not. Because you HAVE to do them.

  • So those are my major blocks to creativity. What are yours?

    Interrogation at...Target?

    I had the most bizarre dream last night. Bizarre enough that it's brought me out of blogging retirement.

    So we were all in our lounge, just sitting around, when Caleb notices a postie out front. He asked 'Is this for me???' excitedly as if he was expecting something to be delivered. I told him we'd wait & see. The postie left his little scooter at our front door.

    Then the postie started bringing all these dark green things, in clear plastic wrapping, out of his big green tank on the road, and putting them on the ground in front of our house. This is strange, I think. Still they don't come to the door to tell us what's going on.

    Then we're in my mom's house, and the tank is out behind the house, and Darrin & Chuckie are still in bed. I asked Caleb if he'd put the bins out, because it was Tuesday morning, and he said he hadn't. So I went down the hall, through a bunch of doors, and got the bins and took them down my mom's gravel driveway to the road. Only there was temporary fencing that you see in Australia along one edge of the driveway. So I had to make sure the bins weren't too close to that, and not blocking the driveway either.

    The male postie is now a female who's come into the house to tell me that they need to take me out to the van to interrogate me, and it'll only take an hour. Okay, I thought. So I wrote a note with a red pen to leave on Darrin's computer so he'd know where I went. I was trying to rush so I had to scribble out what I started writing and start over. The woman from the van has also been picking up stuff alongside the furniture as if she's going to be bringing something on a sack truck through the room with my sleeping family.

    So then I went out to the tank-turned-van, and Caleb followed me. I got in, and Caleb was playing around the back door of the van. The guys working in the van were joking around with each other. One of them said he had $5, as in betting another guy something. We laughed. Then the woman who'd come into the house was sitting in the driver's seat (somehow she was sitting on the right-hand side to drive, but I was sitting on her right and seeing her from that direction). And the engine started to go. And then she and I were suddenly both sitting at the BACK of the van, and the van drove off. Someone asked the woman with me if Caleb had come with us. She said no, but two other kids are in the back. One of them was my friend Louise's youngest daughter.

    So...then I asked the woman where we were going, and how long would it take? She said 'Are you having a mental break?' as if to say it was stupid to even ask. But then she said 'Okay,' and as we drove up Cascade Avenue in River Falls, she started cutting spirals through a Target ad in the newspaper. So I got the hint that we were going to Target.

    We apparently got to Target, but it didn't look at all like Target. It looked more like the Salvation Army op shop in the middle of Salisbury. And Chuckie was there running around, and ran past one of the doors to the storage area, and I ran after him thinking he was going in there. But he didn't. Instead he ran up to the front, where my mom was looking around. And then Dorothy walked in (my friend Renee's mom - they've been friends almost as long as we have). And she gave me a hug and said she thought it was great that I was there (visiting my mom). And then I FINALLY combed my hair back into a ponytail because it had been bothering me for ages.

    And I was in my pajamas the whole time, wondering if I was dreaming, but thinking I couldn't possibly be.

    So then later, I was in my mom's dining room with Darrin, discussing the whole experience. He said, 'Well, it's been a week and we haven't heard from any police, so it must not have been that important.' And I found the note I'd written him on the dining room table, proving that it wasn't all a dream.

    Well we know how THAT turned out....

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