From the bright sun beating down on your shoulders to the flickering of candles on a breezy evening, summer is a season of contrasts. No contrast is more obvious than the rollercoaster between periods of abundant activity and of restful near-laziness. That’s what summer is all about.
However, neither state is particularly conducive to creativity. Either you’re genuinely too busy to squeeze it in or simply too chilled out to muster the energy. And while not scrapbooking (for now) is a perfectly acceptable option, many memory keepers find they miss it.
This hobby, unlike other crafts, uniquely capitalizes on our compulsion to document life and our deep-rooted desires to create something from nothing. Where it might be easier to justify that we’ll “get to it” later, it is much more challenging to escape the very real need for personal time to recharge.
Thus it is at a time when a scrapbooker’s well is often empty due to circumstance that she most needs a fill-up. In this post I want to offer a few easy steps you can take to fill your creative well, this summer or whenever you need to reconnect with yourself and your passions.
Step #1. Acknowledge That You’re “On Empty”
We can get so caught up in the day-to-day that it becomes difficult to see when something isn’t working. The frustration gets lost in fray and, often, hidden by techniques of procrastination and distraction. Summer is supposed to be this joyful time, so guilt can simply compound the problem.
However, if you can identify this stage of feeling drained, you can begin to address it. A simple self-acknowledgement of “I need to take care of myself” can be a powerful tool to help you start feeling better, whether the solution is creative activity or something else entirely.
Action Item: Rate the level of your “creative well” on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most “full”.
Step #2. Identify Your True Cravings
Once you realize the well is empty, you get to choose what will fill it best. You might simply be craving time in solitude and it doesn’t matter how you use it. You might be feeling out of control and thus, working on organization would instill a sense of order.
Or, and perhaps most commonly, you might just need to make something to remember what this form of deep personal satisfaction feels like. This understanding will help you make better decisions, ones that fulfill your needs and honor your unique challenges in this season of life.
Action Item: Visualize yourself doing a specific activity that feels refreshing and/or restorative.
Step #3. Deliberately Set Aside Time to Recharge
A true recharge of your creative well requires more than a pledge to “do better”; it begs for a real step back and intentional steps forward in a new direction. Otherwise, the momentum of inaction will continue to carry you.
Fortunately, this doesn’t require a week-long vacation or an unrealistic amount of time. Filling your well simply needs a consistent investment of attention and energy, even if the duration is actually quite brief. This could look like placing creativity on the front burner of your mind and dedicating just 30 minutes a day to action.
Action Item: Set aside a block of time, such as a specific week, where you will devote a portion of your focus to that restorative activity.
The best thing about this process is that you can follow it again and again, whenever you feel tapped out but crave creativity.