Help! I don’t know when I’m going to feel like creating…

Sheila Chandra - Monday, April 03, 2017


It’s a strange and often scary fact – but creative people constantly make promises, or even sign contracts promising to supply things that don’t even exist yet. To deliver projects for which the main idea isn’t even formed. For freelance creative people just starting out in their careers, that can be a terrifying prospect. What if inspiration doesn’t strike? What if they don’t feel like creating? What if they get creatively blocked? Here are some secrets from veteran artists who know how to make themselves feel like creating.


You don’t have to feel like creating to create good work

It’s a common myth that inspiration has to strike before anything you create will be good. While it’s true that your best ideas probably come when you’re feeling creative, the work you create when you just turn up and start will generally be almost as good. So the tip that most veteran artists give is, just make a start. Wake up at the usual time, sit down at your desk/easel/work table/sound desk/piano and begin. Put the hours in. It helps remind your subconscious mind – the part of you that comes up with all the best ideas – what you’re aiming to achieve.


Keep a creativity diary to track when you feel like creating

It’s likely that you don’t simply feel like creating by pure chance. Other factors in your environment are highly likely to be affecting your attitude. So if you’re new to a professional creative career it can be very helpful to keep a creative diary. Note down when you created well and what seemed to help – or simply what you did beforehand. Were you well rested? Had you just had a meal or a cup of coffee? Were you excited about working with a collaborator, a new piece of equipment, or a snippet of melody you’d dreamed up? Finding out what consistently puts you in the mood to create will help you gain confidence that you can come up with the goods when you need to.


Understand that being creative doesn’t always feel good

Even when you’re good at what you do, creating can feel like hard work. I used to be a singer that explored the frontiers of the voice. Consequently I had to write my own material. But I’m not a natural songwriter and it never ever felt good. I simply had to grit my teeth when I decided to write an album. It meant months of simply getting up and doggedly sitting with paper, pen and tape machine until the work was accomplished. So you may be able to create good work even though you don’t ever feel like creating.


Feeling creatively confident may take years

I have to confess though, that there did come a point where, although I didn’t particularly like songwriting, I could promise to deliver a project with confidence. That confidence came after what I realise now, was probably 10,000 hours of practice. Anders Ericsson, professor at the University of Colorado wrote a paper in 1993 about the role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. He concluded that 10,000 of practice is what it takes (in a talented individual) for them to attain true competence in their craft.

So do keep going. If you’re nervous about your creative process now, it probably will get better if you soldier on, despite the fact that you probably don’t feel like creating just at this moment. You’ll rack up your 10,000 hours before you know it, and you’ll never look back.

If you want to understand more about how to nurture your inner creator try chapter 10 of ‘Organizing for Creative People’ where you’ll find tips and tricks for remaining creative and innovative over the whole course of your creative career.


Emmaline commented on 06-May-2017 09:04 PM
Your article has useful knowledge that means its a delicious read for industry workers, as well as people who love good food. We can build up your following across your social media pages, in order to lead more readers to your blog. We use a sophisticated, intuitive method that gains REAL audience growth. Learn what this client thinks about us and head to Brandbuilders today, to read more about us and sign up for your completely free trial!

Post a Comment

Captcha Image


Recent Posts


much better friend business-like buying youth precious memories domestic life social media networking network procrastination under-confidence buying wealth fall of innocence visualising self promotion why organise pop culture well organized artist mentors clean desk workspaces being tripped up ‘creativity’ branding hotel room great art organisation home life loss artist theft proposals work efficiently jealousy emotionally secure artist proposal writing VIPs popular culture hoarding nurturing creative work efficient work patterns nipping things in the bud card morning routines professional mentors clutter addict artist goals clearing successful artist parent creative confidence getting ready for work myth too busy loving your audience temperament buying stardust living mess free emotional balance clarity of thought effortlessly tidy tidy desk creative ambitions clear desk creativity staying in control creative magic vocation guilty purchases arrogance nascent artists clearing in short bursts career strategy productivity quality warm down work trips working class artists business grief artists critical acclaim letting go slow and steady stay on top of email hijacking creativity clutter saving time concentrated creative time home care stay tidy automatically cleaning your desk bulk buy : clothes criteria for letting go of stuff absences streamlining routines storage smart artists professional creative career symptoms of creativity crowdfunding creative culture missed opportunities creative spark making decisions innocence dynamic spaces email bankruptcy inspiration celebrity endorsed products friendships artist workspaces confident in clothes clearing clutter artistic chaos emotional support feel like creatiing creative person time clutter artistry creative organising long-term artistic development social media business interface to creative businesses organizing for creative people artist mentoring lifetimes living clutter free how to save time mornings new year organise appointments professional encouragement tidy people introverts overwork artistic conviction low maintenance wind down spree normality double standard resentment fine art friends too many commitments peer-to-peer networks email overload subconscious mind hobbies binge working class culture peacefulness lazy green room great artists 2018 goals diagnosis home organising how to work efficiently tidiness in living spaces clear outs platform inconvenience creativity diary imagination emotional resilience tidier creative identity motivation display items copyright brilliant creator childhood nurture creativity networking effectively creative people brands tidy work priorities the void email vulnerability exhaustion mess partners feeling creative cupboard of shame trope tips for clearing sacrifice minimalists sheila chandra coaching chaotic tension goals car writing funding campaigns commitment creative wellbeing buying happiness artist materials pop music culture good art work Sheila Chandra author multiple lifetimes creative commissions touring buy fewer clothes options compulsion focus static spaces disorganization business-speak to do list diary low maintenance strategies stop hoarding stuff tortoise and hare work/home life balance being organized wardrobe slim-line wardrobe anxiety good creative habits cleaning work life hostile clutter just in case mature artists stardust buying hope control creative career clearing as you go stop cluttering magic well curated closet networking good friend collections funding how to be naturally tidy elevator pitch ‘stories’ about your possessions cry creative career coaching housework much quicker boredom