Theresa Rozul Knowles is a writer and the instructor for DAM's monthly Drop-In Writing class.
We are officially a year into this pandemic. And, who amongst you pulled a Shakespeare? Did you finally write that masterpiece? Did you finally put together your art portfolio?
No? Almost? Mostly in your mind?
I can’t imagine why! There was so much free time! You were home most of the time! Why not?
Oh, well, maybe because you are still processing March 2020 and the ongoing concerns with the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-Asian racism. Whatever strides in your healing and processing probably took a giant, few steps back when we had that little insurrection. Geeze, I wonder why you’re not meeting your creative goals on top of maintaining your everyday responsibilities with whatever else was already on your mental, emotional, and physical plate before 2020 drove into its dystopia.
So, how do you, as Beyoncé advises, “Find your way back”?
You take steps.
And in this era, you might want to take small steps.
It’s easier said than done when people say, “oh, just start. You’ve got to wake up a little earlier each day and just do it.”
Here are 5 tips on how to take steps toward an actively creative life without sleep deprivation. Because, if not now—during a pandemic, a second recession, centuries-long peace movements—then when? Really. There’s only so much time left, regardless of the aforementioned. In the end, we can only take our experiences with us, so let’s get to realizing some of those dreams.
1. Monthly Meetups
Maybe you should ease into a monthly meetup while you work through building consistency with the other areas in your life like exercising, meditating, or flossing twice a day. Here are 4 options:
- The Denver Art Museum’s Drop-In Writing
- The Denver Art Museum’s Drop-In Drawing
- Lighthouse Writers Writers in Color
- Lighthouse Writers Queer Creatives
Maybe you can’t possibly imagine starting something creative when you need to prioritize health. You might be trying to get into a routine of exercise and cooking healthy food. I know how bizarre the following might sound, but hey, irregularities have become the new normal now. Am I right?
Get a tape recorder or use the feature in your phone. Hula hoop while you brain-dump your novel ideas. Walk around the neighborhood (don’t forget your facemasks) or around your home recording your ideas for an art project. Use strength resistance bands while watching an art documentary. Listen to the audiobook, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, while finally cooking with that Instapot.
Maybe you are ready to commit a little bit more, but you need help with some structure. You are either ready to take those Lighthouse Writers classes or check out The Word (the deadline for underrepresented writers to apply to the mentorship program is April 30, 2021) and go to the next Margins Conference to get more nuanced help with specific elements in your writing like plot, dialogue, and character development.
4. Pomodoro Technique
Maybe you need the Pomodoro Technique to work on your novel in 20–30 minute increments, four hours a day, three times a week at Lighthouse Writers. Maybe you still want to use that technique, but can only squeeze it in before your workday. Those who strongly identify with their Divine Feminine side may want to combine that neuroscience angle with some spirituality. Check out siStarSTEPS on my website.
Last, but not least, an astrological tip. Many people reading this may not believe in astrology, but you know, astrologers did predict 2020 and the next few years, and with the way things have been going, I think we could benefit from all the help that we can get. Thus, let’s look at Mars in the simplest way.
Mars represents your energy. Rebecca Gordan did a video about what Mars is doing throughout 2021 for all zodiac signs to let people know when the cosmos shall give someone the extra push they need to start something new and when to surrender and relax more because you might need space to regain your strength, so you can be that ideal, self-starter superstar with all the things you wish to do in this life.