The Power of Creative Distractions (& Why you gotta have them!)

As you know I’m writing a book. Well, I’m trying to…. And I can’t wait to have it finished and released into the world.

The longer it’s taking the shinier the final outcome of a finished book is becoming. And the more important.

But ergh, it would seem there are a few “creative distractions” leading me astray from my book writing routine this month. The productive daily routine I’ve been successfully keeping since January has been hijacked… I was doing so good!

These “distractions” include refurbishing our old Oak Dining table, trying out new recipes of gluten free cookies and made-from-scratch coconut curries, painting a chair with chalk-paint, creating signs out of old pallets (this one for Mr Relish on our anniversary) and designing a handmade crochet blanket masterpiece.

cookiesThen, of course there’s my biggest creative endeavour yet – one that’s definitely taking charge and influencing a big chunk of my distraction.  The baby.

I have been really pressuring myself to get all my words out, the pages finished and chapters edited for my book, all before giving birth this July. Despite publicly declaring this and actively forcing myself to stay pinned to my chair and write (with only the occassional break to meet those pregnancy cravings and munch back half a dozen warm cookies straight outta the oven) – I’ve not had much luck.

So I gave in to my creative cravings as well.

I’ve had to succumb to the power of this freakish force, pulling me towards painting and colour, and away from the dreary grey text of a keyboard.

Writing to me is a form of creative expression, however when you apply forced due dates, daily word counts and the routine necessary to pump out a 70,000 word book in a desired time frame, it transforms itself.  Well it did for me. And I haven’t been finding it as joyful or creative as I used to.

I spent almost the entire month of March (and a big chunk of April) away from the writing. Away from the pressure. Away from the routine. And allowed my left brain to blow off some steam. Full force.

I began to think this was the end of my book writing journey and the start of another broken book promise. Baby brain and “nesting” was kicking in and perhaps I just didn’t have the chops to get this book done after all.

A bad, guilty and very unwelcome feeling crept into my gut as I continued to paint the nursery wall, upcycle the baby drawers and revamp our dining table into a shabby chic masterpiece. #I’mSupposedToBeWriting! Then, as she does, synchronicity showed herself, and this quote popped into my Instagram feed:

 

A photo posted by Angie P. Wheeler (@angiewheeler) on

Yuss! Now that made sense. (And let me off the hook!) Instead of balancing my daily routine with some prioritised creativity, I was stifling it, and accusing it of being a distraction. I had become lost, disconnected and basically all-outta-whack with my book’s message, my voice and myself. I needed the “full steam ahead” month of creative expression to reconnect to me, and make up for it.

PowerofCreativity

Giving in to my creative distractions was the best thing I could’ve done. I am more relaxed, free, in-tune and productive. I’ve finally fed the piece of me I’d left starving for weeks.. And managed to create some pretty funky pieces of art I’m really proud of in the process… Like these colourful little baby drawers I reloved with non-toxic chalkpaint for the nursery.

See on instagram
My body has relaxed, my gut has softened and the words I have been trying to force out are now silently waiting to fall out and into my book chapters. Miraculous!

Yet again I had tried to go up against one of those tidal waves from the universe, not trusting, and trying to control how much I would write, how much I would finish by when instead. I stopped listening to what my heart wanted and needed alongside all this routine writing.

I am now appreciative of my creative distractions. Grateful even. And can say I’m now enjoying them – no more guilt!

Expressing creativity keeps us sane. Keeps us fresh. Keeps us original. Keeps us US. And believe it or not, actually keeps us productive.

Heck, it’s also known to heal you too.

So my big tip this month?

Go get creative! Allow yourself to spend time doing those things you love to do. Those hobbies you never make time for. That fun class you keep putting off.
Get out there and EXPRESS YOURSELF like Madonna says.

It doesn’t matter how you do it or what you do, just make sure you do something creative for you.
Even if you “think” it’s just a distraction to start with, creativity is a powerful force and will transform you, and your work. become more productive for it.

Your creativity is a powerful ally you have the choice to take the reins of and create any dream you dare to.
So go for it!
You will get so much more than just a distraction!

I’d love to hear about or see any of your own “creative distractions” so please share them in the comments below

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