Got a creative block? I’ve got help! In this episode I share my 10 Rules for the Creative Sandbox, the fool-proof tips that have never failed to get me back into creative flow whenever I’m stuck.
Because the Creative Sandbox, and the 10 rules, are such foundational concepts for living a full-color creative life, I decided to go ahead and publish this on Friday, rather than waiting until next week. 🙂
I start with a brief look at my sad story of falling (multiple times!) into long stretches of creative stuckness, hitting bottom when my business tanked in 2008, the realization that something had to change, and the moment in the shower in 2010 that got me back to creating. Then discovering (argh) that I was stuck once again, and how a vision of my 3-year-old (redheaded!) nephew changed everything for me.
Then I dive deeply into each of my 10 Rules for the Creative Sandbox (click here to download my hand-lettered poster!):
1. There is no wrong.
2. Think process, not product.
3. Think quantity, not quality.
(3b. Or don’t think quantity.)
4. Think tiny & daily.
5. Just start. Anywhere!
6. Ask, “What if..?”
7. Take the riskier path.
8. Dismiss all gremlins.
9. Spring the Comparison Trap.
10. Treat yourself with compassion.
Get the Poster!
It’s a colorful, hand-lettered version of my Creative Sandbox Manifesto, combined with my Imperfectionist Manifesto, so you get two posters in one!
It’s ready for printing and posting on your wall where you can consult it daily (I sure do!) Just click the link to download:
Quotables from this episode (click each link to tweet):
As long as you’re not being sloppy, if you take care of the quantity, the quality will take care of itself.
You can’t intellectualize your way to creativity, you’ve got to do something.
In art the only real rule is: Whatever works is right.
Canvas is only wasted when it stays in the wrapping.
Paint is only wasted when it stays in the tube.
Paper is only wasted when it stays in the drawer.
Remember: the most important practice is just getting back on the wagon. (And it’s a very good thing to make sure it’s a very short wagon!)
Stumbling is not an excuse to beat yourself up, it’s an opportunity to practice self-compassion.
My Golden Formula: self-awareness + self-compassion = the key to everything good.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
Artist Laureen Marchand, from whom I got the phrase, “Any amount counts.”
Women’s leadership expert Tara Mohr (aff), who talks about the inner critic as the guard at the edge of your comfort zone.
The “Donut Study” — one of many studies that prove how effective self-compassion is in achieving goals and countering the “What the Hell” Effect.
The original “Irresistible Woman” artwork:
Another from the same series:
And one more:
Three of my Irresistible Yogini line:
(These designs, and other similar ones, are available as prints, cards, T-shirts, and more here.)
My tiny and daily year-long writing project, 3x5x365.
And the poster I created of my Creative Sandbox Rules!
Thanks for Listening!
Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
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Now go get creating!
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!
Want a copy of my Keys to Creative Flow poster? Just subscribe to my Insiders’ Newsletter right here and I’ll send you a link to download a printable copy of your own:
Would LOVE to listen . . . but even with the volume maxed on your recording and my computer, I can barely hear you. Any suggestions?
Melissa Dinwiddie says
Thanks for the feedback, Ardie! FYI, I’m working on updating all my episodes to increase the volume. In the meantime, you might try listening on iTunes, where I think it may work better for you. I’ll let you know when the new file is uploaded! 🙂