This week in a creative circle session, one of the topics we were discussing was perfectionism, an issue that most of us (all of us) creators deal with at some point or another.

I shared this video of a short story I used to read to my high school creative writing students. It’s one of my favs.

This story inspired another member of the circle to share another children’s story which led to a rich discussion about the power of a seemingly simple form designed for kiddos to convey really important and beautiful messages to adults.

The next morning, I got up, sat my butt in the corner of the couch where I sit each morning, wrote my soul pages, and a children’s story came pouring out onto the page.

What?

A children’s story?

I don’t write those…but then I did. Where the heck did that come from? 

Happily, I can tell you. It came from…

  1. the research, reading, and exploration I’ve been doing over the past few months on getting creative work done
  2. the reading and research I’ve been doing on play over the past fifteen months and the relationship between play and our creative work
  3. the children’s story I shared with the group
  4. the story one of the members shared
  5. our discussion around the power of stories combined with illustrations
  6. taking time each morning with my soul pages to “clear the decks” and allow for ideas to come forth
  7. creating a morning writing habit that signaled to my brain that it’s time to write and create

All of the ideas I’ve been reading, developing, and researching have been “incubating” or “composting.” The children’s stories were the spark. Actually sitting down to write and fanning that spark allowed for the story.

In this week’s podcast, I shared how important routine is for getting creative work done. Even this newsletter comes from this habit. I wrote it in the morning, on paper, in my cozy couch corner before bringing it to my laptop.

My first three novels came from the habit of getting up early before work and writing.

It’s like we tell our brains, “Okay, brain. Here we go. It’s time to do this thing,” and our brain responds.

In the podcast, I discussed setting up a routine which is the container for the creative work and the inspiration to happen. 

The routine is the invitation. I know. It sounds boring and mundane. A “creative routine” sounds like an oxymoron. 

It’s not.

We think of creativity as a strike of inspiration, a “Eureka” moment, but I’d argue that the moment of inspiration happens because you’ve allowed for it and created the space for it.

Your own “Eureka” moment will happen after you’ve filled your creative well with disparate ideas that don’t “seem” to fit together, after they’ve sat a bit and incubated, after you’ve done the research, AND after you’ve habitually put your butt in the chair or gone into your studio so it can happen.

I invite you to imagine what that creative container, that routine and habit, might look like for you.

To start, ask yourself these questions:

  • When will you put your butt in the chair (or studio) to begin exploring what you want to create? Morning? Afternoon? Evening?
  • Where will you do this? Your desk? The couch? Your studio? The kitchen table?
  • How will you commit to it and hold yourself accountable?

If you’ve answered these questions and have a plan, email me at amy@amyisaman.com with the subject line “My Creative Routine.” And I’ll check in with you next week to see how it’s going.

To your own Eureka moment,

xo,

Amy

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