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How To Discover A Creative Activity You Love

photo by: extranoise

A creative activity is any activity that brings something new into the world. What that “something new” is will be up to you.

So, how do you find a creative activity that you love to practice? That’s simple. It’s an activity that makes you feel excited, energetic and where you have a desire to bring something new into the world. But if that doesn’t give you any clues, here are a few more tips.

Think of something you have always wanted to try. What has been nagging at you for months, or even years, to give it a try? There’s a very good chance that this thing that has gripped your mind is something you would likely be good at and enjoy very much. Trust your internal guidance.

Look past the traditional “arts” if you need to. Your favorite creative activity may be something traditionally thought of as creative. But it might not. If you have no interest in painting, sculpting, writing, dancing, ect, don’t worry! This doesn’t mean you are not creative. It simply means you will have to be creative in finding and defining your favorite creative ability.

Think back to when you were a kid. Kids are much freer in expressing themselves and usually have no qualms about stating what they do and don’t want to do. That’s why when you look back at yourself as a kid, and think about what you really liked to do, you probably really liked to do it. So, what did you really enjoy doing as a kid?

Think of something you have watched someone else do and thought was cool. If you pay attention to what attracts you, you will get some really good clues about what it is that you would love to create. When was the last time you saw someone do something that you wished you could do? Maybe you should try that thing out.

Think about what you like to “play” with. Play is a huge element in being creative. Play requires the player to suspend boundaries temporarily, let go of results and expectations and try many things without (too much) fear of failure. What do you like to play with?

What “problems” do you want to solve? Solving a problem is another huge element in being creative. The problem doesn’t have to be on a global level and it may not even seem like a “problem” on the surface. It may be something like, “how do I express what it feels like to watch the seasons change?” or “how do I throw an enjoyable party?” Look for the “problems” that make you want to find a solution.

Just pick something! In the end, trial and error may be the best approach. Pick an activity you think you will like and start doing it. If it holds your attention and you feel excited about it, you’ve probably found something. If not, and you don’t feel very energetic about it, scrap it, and move onto something new. You can play around with your creative ambitions as much as you like.

Any other tips on finding a creative activity you enjoy? How did you originally find yours? Still looking? Please share your ideas in the comments!

Published inInspiration

7 Comments

  1. Hi Amanda – This is a wonderful list. I’m not sure how I found my creative activities, which are performing, writing, and design (home and garden), and a little bit of collage. I guess just following my heart. And not getting hung up on the “talent” thing. I hear that a lot from people – “I’m just not talented that way.” So I would add to the list: allow yourself to be a novice and forget about talent. Also I like Julia Cameron’s idea of a weekly artist date. And the Artist’s Way is all about unlocking creativity and building community. So that could go on the list too – find a group of of like minded people to explore creativity with.
    .-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last blog ..Retracing My Steps =-.

  2. Great post, Amanda. And I think the point you make about looking past the traditional arts is so important. I know people who have such creative minds but don’t consider themselves creative because they don’t paint, or draw or write and so they become reluctant to pursue a creative activity.

    I like to paint, work with glass (mosaics), make jewelry, write and every now and then take pictures (particularly when I visit a new place). I’ve also experimented with mixed media. I really just follow where my heart leads me without minding whether or not I have the talent. It’s so much fun and there’s really no need to get hung up on quality when we’re experimenting.

  3. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Akemi – Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. 🙂 I agree, there is never anytime when we are not creating, but that can be hard to see. Maybe having that creative activity we love allows us to see this with greater vision.

    Hi Patty – I think that’s a big block for some people – thinking they aren’t going to be good enough. And that makes it hard to follow your heart to the things you love. Talent doesn’t matter when you are starting and if you stick with it long enough you will probably develop some, so it just comes later.

    Hi Belinda – Thanks for your comment! Creativity is an experiment, and if you can view it as such then whether or not you have talent doesn’t matter that much. Being able to follow your heart to things you enjoy will be much easier if you think of it as experimenting.

  4. Joana Joana

    Great blog article and great comments, too! One way I have found to “jump start” my creative juices is to look at books about areas of interest you may have (textiles, photography, nature, etc.,) and ask yourself (let gel in your brain), Is there a way I could “play” with this? For example, I love textile arts and crafts. I got started in my teens when I needed something to do in the car on family trips to avoid getting motion-sickness from sitting in the back seat and seeing things “whiz by me.” I got a basic/simple needlepoint kit at the craft store and taught myself needlepoint. I did that for several years before hearing about cross-stitch and then taught myself that; ditto crocheting. I discovered late in my teens that both my grandmothers had been/were needleworkers/crocheters, which made a bond between my paternal grandmother and me, and strengthened the bond I already had with my maternal grandmother.

    I have gotten a lot of inspiration by looking online at samples and blogs, learning some basics, then just playing with forms, patterns, stitches, etc., with the idea that the fun is in the doing and not in finishing a particular object – I may rip it out or leave it unfinished any time I want – no big deal. I got into digital photography and digital photo art the same way – took a basic love of taking pictures, got a digital camera, learned some basics of use, and then started posting on Flickr (or another photo site). Before I knew it, I was into the wonderful world of photography and digital art. The neat thing about it to me is that the possibilities are endless! Again, the great thing about a digital camera is you can take lots of shots of an item from different angles, different lights, and throw out the ones you don’t like. Lately, I’ve been taking shots that are basically “garbage shots” and using them to create digital art.

    I agree with all of you above – who cares about talent? It’s not about being “good enough” or having talent, because you don’t know until you try – plus, you’re doing it for yourself, not others. If others like it, great! if not, fine.

  5. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Joana – “Play” is such an important concept in creativity. I like being able to leave behind boundaries and constraints for a while and just see what I come up with. Whether or not it’s any good, I try not to worry about too much. 🙂

  6. mistie mistie

    Lucky for me, it wasn’t hard to find my creative outlet. I love to write stories. Also, I like theatre and acting. Although I have horrible stage fright.

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