Crush Your Inner Critic and Recover Your Creativity
February 28, 2016
Making time in my everyday routine to be creative is the single most life-giving practice I have. When I'm writing I'm a better mom, a better pastor, and a better person. Whatever your thing is - writing, drawing, dancing, making music - we are designed to be creators, not consumers! Making creative time a daily priority will enliven your spiritual life and connect you with the source of that life, our splendidly creative God who made us in His image and takes delight in the things He makes, just like us.
Maybe you were the child who loved to make up stories, but when you realized you would never become a published author you quit. Maybe you loved drawing when you were a teen, but your grown- up life seems too busy and important to make time for doodling in a sketchbook. Maybe you used to write songs in your bedroom when you were in college, but since you'll never have a career in music your guitar has been gathering dust in the closet.…
Top 4 ways to crush your inner critic and recover the life-giving practice of creativity!
Inner Critic says: "You're never going to be famous…"
Thank you Captain Obvious, that is probably true. So what? If it's good for your mental health, that's enough reason right there to practice a little daily creativity. If you believed me when I told you that you were made by a creative God, you could do it for Him as a private expression of worship or prayer.
And then you could do it for the half dozen people who know and love you best. Who cares about a thousand people clicking 'like' that you'll never meet? Your creativity is a gift you can give to the people around you - for love, not 'likes' or subscribers. What if you wrote a song for your children, or made a poem or a drawing for a loved one on their birthday?
Inner Critic says "You're not good enough to be creative…"
Two things for boring Inner Critic. One: this isn't school. No one is marking your creative work - no one even has to see it. You have permission to be messy. Make imperfect things just for the fun of it.
Two: if you do actually suck at drawing or writing or music even though doing those things makes you super happy inside - well, this could be school. You could learn how to get better at your art. Are there groups or classes or a mentor or practices that can help you hone your skills?
Inner Critic says: "You're too busy to be creative…"
Inner Critic is probably right about this one. You're going to need regular quiet time to tap into the creative life God has put inside you - 10-30 minutes daily. If you don't set this time aside and make it a priority, your very important grown up life will eat every waking minute of your day.
So make it a date and when your phone alert labelled 'Quiet Time' goes off, unplug. Phone off, music off, computer off. You need solitude to create. Probably some things in your routine would need to change to make this happen. What if you got up a little earlier in the day, or took your lunch to someplace more solitary than the office breakroom?
Inner Critic says: "You don't have time to be creative…"
Yeah, you're never going to find an entire day or an entire week or an entire year of uninterrupted time in which to write the most memorable folk album of all time, or the great Canadian novel. So do it in the less than perfect time you have. If all you have is twenty minutes before breakfast and forty minutes before bed, don't waste that time on social media or folding socks - turn off the smartphone, stuff the socks unpaired into their drawer, and use the time to plunk around on the piano, or take the camera out for a walk and shoot, or jot a few lines of poetry or a whole mess of words about your ex-partner…
And if you're serious about finding time, what if you were to ruthlessly eliminate unproductive media consumption from your life? It's possible to spend hundreds of hours each month binging on the stuff other people have made on Instagram, YouTube and Netflix. You could be spending those hours satisfying your hunger with your own creative work.
Pause for a moment...If you had 20 minutes of uninterrupted time alone with no phone and no internet access… what would you do? Just picture that, and jot down your answer for yourself.
What if you opened your calendar and pencilled that time in for tomorrow?