One of the most important things that I do every single day is spend time on my own creativity, for me and me alone. I spend time working on creative projects that aren’t intended to see the light of day or be consumed by other people.
I paint. I paint all the time, and I love doing it. Canvases, wood blocks and stacks of butchers’ paper. That painting is a creative outlet that is completely free of any and all pressure. It’s not to be exhibited, entered for awards, or shown off.
It’s art that largely exists just for my walls. The walls in my apartment.
When I work on that art, I’m letting my creativity flow, for just 30 minutes every single day, and there’s no drive to appeal to an outside audience or get noticed or be “successful” — which is incredibly healthy for me.
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In that 30 minute period, I can let go of my daily work, let go of my projects, let go of my analytics and measurements and just focus on letting my ideas find a way out of my mind.
The impact that has is remarkable. It’s akin to the difference between running and dancing. When I go for a run, there’s a specific goal in mind. The kilometres, beating my best time etc. Sometimes I fucking hate running. I don’t want to do it. I don’t enjoy it. But I go out and hit the pavement anyway because it’s what must be done.
When I dance, there’s none of that pressure to beat my time. There’s nothing competitive about it.
And that’s the same as when I paint. It’s free. It’s beautiful. It’s creative. There’s nothing to stop me from embracing the energy.
Spend 30 minutes a day to be creative, with no agenda and no goal and no statistics to worry about. Those 30 minutes are going to become the best part of your day. Whether it’s design, writing, coding for the sake of coding — it doesn’t matter. Those 30 minutes will be vital to the growth of your own creativity.
[This post by Jon Westenberg first appeared on Medium and has been reproduced with permission.]