Creativity is hampered by a too-hectic environment that does not provide quiet time for reflection and introspection. It is also hampered by:
- a sterile environment that does not feed the senses
- demands for quick production of results, both tangible and intangible
- harsh words from ourselves as well as from others
- stress, which steals energy from our creative selves and damages our health
- routine, which limits our range of responses available, makes us automatons
Space to call your own is very important, because this allows you to create a sensory stimulating environment. Virginia Woolf wrote an entire book about it: A Room of Her Own. So did Anne Morrow Lindbergh in Gift From the Sea.
Of course, not everyone has an entire room they can claim as their own. But isn’t there a corner of a room you can claim as your private creative space? The size of the space isn’t what is important. It’s having a nook where you can be free to write, to draw, to make sculptures or collages or whatever it is you want to do.
My own creative space is tiny—only four feet wide by about ten feet long. In my space I have my desk and computer for writing, and a bookshelf with books on art and writing. I’ve got boxes of clay, paint, markers, bits of wire, scraps of pretty paper—anything and everything I find that might some day work its way into an art project.
I also have a toy box. Full of toys. Not cast-offs from my children—these are my own toys. And yes, I play with them, especially when I’m creatively blocked. Why? Who are the most creative creatures on the planet? Kids, of course! That is, before we adults drum their creative imaginations into submission. Playing with toys—being childlike (as opposed to childish), stimulates creativity.
Yes, my creative space is very, very crowded (especially when my 84-pound dog and two cats decide to sprawl out and squabble over what little floor space there is). But it is mine. And wondrous things are created there.
Smoky Trudeau is the author of the newly released Observations of an Earth Mage, a collection of photos, essays, and poems celebrating our beautiful planet earth. She is also the author of two novels, Redeeming Grace and The Cabin, as well as two books for writers, Front-Word, Back-Word, Insight Out: Lessons on Writing the Novel Lurking Inside Your From Start to Finish, and Left Brained, Write Brained: 366 Writing Prompts and Exercises, all from Vanilla Heart Publishing. You can learn more about Smoky at www.smokytrudeau.com, www.TheEarthMage.com, or at her blog on Xanga, http://authorsmokytrudeau.xanga.com. You can also look her up on Facebook.