One Small Step: Becoming Creative One Step at a Time

“Mind is loaded, chambers filled and ready to create. The problem is that my mind is locked in a safe and I forget the combination.”

Why is creativity like this?

You feel eager to create, to write, to build, to initiate. But damn, the first step can feel like a leap off of a cliff. Why does creativity feel so cliff-jumping-risky?

I think it is because when you create, you are opening new territory for your mind. You are going somewhere new and even your mind is not entirely certain of the outcome so it turns on the Firewall. Until you take the first step.

“Why does creativity feel so cliff-jumping-risky?”

Marathons begin with a step, the Moon was explored with one giant step, Toddlers change their world with their first step, you greet each day with a step. Confronting your demons, exploring a planet and changing your life will begin with one step.


The first step

Prepare by beginning

  • “Do or do not. There is no try” (Yoda). You can blow a lot of time planning to begin your project, your article or taking that course. But until you do something, you have not taken a step. Preparation and research can become a way to avoid the risky feeling of beginning. “Do or do not.” If you are not ready, be at peace with that. If you feel ready, begin small and expect it to be messy. Children begin with crayons and laughter. Mess is guaranteed, but so is joy. Once we begin the inspiration comes (Inspiration means “In Spirit.” Inspiration will only meet with you when your spirit is ready, a ready spirit is a spirit that has begun).

One day, one step

  • Once you begin, practice every day. This may mean writing five minutes a day, planning a proposal a few minutes at a time, beginning with some basic sketches. Ideas flow only when we open the tap. Working at the same time each day can build a routine, but that is only part of it. Be open to inspiration and moments of wonder in unexpected times. Walk, take photos, go camping, drink coffee, be outside. Keep track of what you see, surprises and the moments that inspire you. This will become your creativity pantry.

Children begin with crayons and laughter. Mess is guaranteed, but so is joy.”

Take a small step and spread out

  • Creating is an accomplishment, it is the Genesis 1:1 moment where you make something out of nothing. We grow when we are willing to start small and stay small for as long as we need. It may mean taking a variety of seemingly diverse courses, reading broadly, meeting a variety of contacts, writing about a number of topics or trying on various styles. Each day is the beginning of an experiment. Experiments do not need to be successful in order to be successful (think about that one). Small steps into new territory can light up energy that you never imagined.

fullsizerender-2.jpgStop moving

  • Creativity is not like a tap that turns on and off. Our “well” can run slow and sometimes it goes dry. Most people work full time and practice their arts, or build a business on the side. This can be exciting but it can wear on you. Listen to your body. Make sure you are sleeping and pay attention to your moods. Part of our creative practice involves self care. Just because our world moves fast does not mean that we need to move fast. When you move slow and think slow, you are being counter-culture: You are valuing yourself. Taking time away gives space for ideas to come. Remember that even God rested.

Good morning. Throw off the covers. Step onto the floor. Welcome to the moon, the marathon, your day and your future.

“Each day is the beginning of an experiment.”

Keep it real

2 thoughts on “One Small Step: Becoming Creative One Step at a Time

  1. Excellent article. Just loved the labeling of the process of collecting a “creativity pantry.” I have already been doing this, but hadn’t thought of it that way. Thanks Sean.


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