If you haven’t guessed it – this month’s theme is creativity. One of the most frequent questions people ask me is: “How do you optimize your space for creativity?” That’s not always and easy answer because I feel like I’m still experimenting with my own creative space. Some days, I don’t want to work in my creative space at all just because I need a change of scenery. But I’ll try to answer this question by suggesting 5 ideas to help you get more from your creative space. Feel free to post your ideas in the comments!
- Make sure your creative space is free from clutter. I am THE WORST OFFENDER for this. Old manuscripts pile up on the floor. Books are never returned to their shelves and start piling up. Boxes from purchases start multiplying in a corner. I do find that when I declutter, I can think more clearly. Every 4-6 months I have to give my office a good cleaning in order to create more freely. So if you’re feeling a creative block – clean up your space and see if it helps.
- Decorate your space with things that make you feel happy. If you’re like so many creatives, any emotional compromise makes it really difficult to create. (I’m sure there are exceptions). I just know that when I’m angry and hurt – writing is almost impossible. I can work with sadness and grief — even depression and anxiety. I can work when I’m happy. But if my feelings are hurt or I’m really pissed off – nope. However, I can recover faster if I’m surrounded by things that make me happy.
- White boards and flip charts!! Your creative space should give you room to visualize your ideas. White boards and flip charts (with lots of different colored markers) give you plenty of room to draw out, outline, and color code!
- Include a corner to lounge and relax. Sometimes creative ideas need to percolate and we just need to be in our quiet, creative place with our thoughts.
- Books make a space more inviting. Add books, even if it’s just a small shelf.
- Only use the space for your creative work. I know this can be hard if you live in a small apartment or house. However, if you use a specific corner of the living room for creating – always use that corner for creating. Just like you should never use your bedroom for anything but sleeping. Human psychology is an interesting thing. For example, doing work in the bedroom may lead to insomnia. I slept in my living room for years because I kept a desk in the bedroom, the bedroom was cluttered, and the bedroom screamed WORK every time I entered it. However, if you just use the bedroom for sleep – your mind and body will equate that room with relaxation and respond accordingly. The same goes with your creative space. If you don’t have a dedicated corner, or space — you are more likely to suffer creative blocks. Whereas if you have a creative space that you only use for creating, when you go into that space – it puts you in the right frame of mind to work on the creative thing.
So those are a few ideas that have helped me over the years. I hope they can help you, too!