Be Creative for Yourself, Not Just for Your Work

My job allows me to be creative every single day. I’m very grateful for that, but I’ve recently realized that it’s inadvertently caused a major problem for me: I realized I wasn’t being creative for myself.

At the end of 2018, as I was trying to decide on a resolution for 2019, I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I drew something. I had never finished the last painting I had started. I hadn’t even written anything that wasn’t for a client in years. That’s when it hit me: I was allowing work to get all of my creativity.

Now I absolutely love my job. I love what I get to do, who I get to do it for, and who I get to do it with. I don’t want to change anything about my job. But I started thinking, what would it look like if I was more creative for myself outside of work? What if I drew more, painted more, and even tried some new things I had never done before like gardening and pottery?

So my goal for 2019 is to create 12 new things. I know that I’ll hate some of them, and some of them will really push me out of my comfort zone. But here I am a few months in, and I can already tell you that it’s helping me become a better person (read, a less-stressed person) as well as a better worker. It is absolutely helping me be more creative in my work here at Syrup.

What are you depriving yourself of without even knowing it? When is the last time you did something for yourself rather than for your work? When is the last time you read something that had nothing to do with your business, or wrote something just for fun? I would hope you could answer those questions better than I could at the end of 2018, but if not, then now is the time to make some goals like I did.

I’m not going to list out the top 5 secrets to do this, because I think there’s really only one tip that I could give you: just get started.

Just get started.

That’s really it. Set a goal to create, write, read, whatever it is that you’re missing in your life. Whether you set your goal to do this once a week, once a month, or even once a year, set a goal and just get started on it. And when your first painting isn’t as good as the ones you did years ago, don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t get frustrated when it takes you way longer to finish a fiction book than it ever takes you to skim through an article online. Just get started.

Klaire Maxwell