How to Keep Your Creativity Alive During Quarantine
7 Tips to Stay Creative During Uncertain Times
As a creator, it's important to treat our creative muscles like we would any other muscles. We have to exercise them to strengthen them. We have to create. We have to write, sketch, paint, sing, act, dance, and express ourselves. Even when we don't want to.
So the question is, how do we create during quarantine? For some creators, it's easier to exercise creativity than others.
Here are some tips on how to stay creative during quarantine and other times of uncertainty.
1. Be compassionate on yourself.
The first step to creativity is compassion towards yourself. Everyone is affected by the pandemic and the quarantine to some extent. Forgive yourself if you don't accomplish everything you intended yesterday.
Try to walk away if you get a bit frustrated and come back to it with a clear head. Then start the new moment fresh. If you beat yourself up for being frustrated and unproductive hours ago, you won't be able to create something amazing now.
In general, don't expect to be at the height of your productivity. Working on art can be a great way to take your mind off of everything that is going on in the world. It can bring you back to a semblance of normal-icy, but not if you start adding pressure on yourself.
Think about art in a child-like way again. Think about your love for it. Be compassionate on yourself, and your creativity will flow accordingly.
2. Cut back on the news.
Yes, the news is important. There's nothing wrong with knowing the facts or being interested in the science. You should be aware of the latest public health and safety guidelines. But checking on the latest statistics every hour isn't going to get your creative juices flowing.
The best way to balance the need to know and the need to create? Choose two news sources. One, your local public health department, and two, your favorite media outlet. Bookmark them on your browser. Designate one time of the day to look at them to update yourself on what you need to know.
From there, unfollow as much news/media as possible. Do you like going on a particular social media network for creative inspiration or to connect with other creators? Start there. Each time you see news that isn't inspiring, unfollow or mute the source.
Continue to do the same on each social network you use. The goal is to turn each place you go online to a place of inspiration, not a rabbit hole of anxiety.
3. Find your new creative space.
A lot of people will say to find your calm or find your center. But for some people, creativity happens in chaos. A controlled chaos is the kind of environment that breeds creativity. But that's not necessarily the kind of chaos we have today.
Regardless, you have to find a creative space. For a lot of creators, that place has changed or isn't accessible anymore. Maybe it was your favorite coffee shop. Maybe it was your favorite studio. Maybe it was quiet mornings in your kitchen when the kids were at school.
To find your new creative space, you have to think about what you miss most about the previous one. Then incorporate as much of those elements into your new space as possible.
If you loved writing at a coffee shop, maybe you need the smell of coffee brewing throughout the day. Add into the background some songs from your favorite shop's playlist.
If you loved painting at a studio, maybe you need to open the windows and have some open paints and oils around you.
If it was quiet mornings in the kitchens, maybe you can adjust your kid's school schedule to the afternoons. Or give them the most self-manageable tasks for the morning. Ones that can be accomplished in their room, like reading and art.
4. Immerse yourself in inspiration.
You'll likely need a lot of inspiration to get you in the mood to create. So keep a list of inspirational sources handy for those moments you need to explore them.
This is when cutting out the uninspiring content from your social media can have a positive effect on your creativity. You can go onto YouTube, Facebook Instagram, and other social networks to find creators and content to inspire your art. You can follow your favorite creators and save your favorite content for future reference. All with minimal news invasion.
You'll have to mute new people on occasion, as creators can get trapped in the rabbit hole as well. If you stay vigilant, you'll have social news feeds filled with posts that help you stay creative and inspired.
In short, if it makes you feel inspired and creative, follow it. Save it. If it makes you feel uninspired, unfollow it.
5. Join creator communities.
Now that people are spending more time online, they are finding more ways to socialize online. One way is through the wide range of communities that exist today.
As creators, you will find communities of creators on art networks, social media, video networks, forums, blog networks, Slack, Discord, and anywhere that allows creators to come together to share their art.
Joining one or more of these communities will give you a place where you can share your art, get feedback, and get inspiration. You will also be able to give feedback, be an inspiration, and get perspective from other creators.
Extroverted creators can take advantage of live video streaming on social media to chat with one or more other extroverted creators to help get the creative juices flowing. It's just another way to create a new creative environment.
6. Challenge yourself.
Look for challenges and art contests where you can share your creativity for a chance to win (imagine this in a game show host voice) cash and prizes. Here are a few ways to find the latest ones to enter.
The Vocal community has ongoing challenges. Bookmark their View All Challenges page and check out current challenges like the following:
- The Love More Challenge (Submissions from March 10 - April 30) - Join the Love More Challenge by creating a story that includes one photo, one social media account, and one video or podcast episode that brings you joy. Grand prize is $5,000.
- The Pay It Forward Challenge by Vimeo (Submissions from March 23 to May 7) - Use Vimeo Create to put together a video that promotes a small business and create a story on Vocal where you tell readers what makes the brand, or your brand, so special. Grand prize is $5,000, one year of Vimeo Pro, and a $2,500 donation to the small business you highlight.
- The Everyday Heroes Challenge (Submissions from April 6 - June 4) - Write an open letter of appreciation to one or all of these essential workers who are making it possible for us to safely stay home when staying home isn’t an option for them. Grand prize is $2500 + $2500 donation to WHO Covid-19 Response, Good360 Covid Recovery, or Crisis Aid International.
You can also use Google to search for challenges and contests related to your field of art and creativity. It could be a good way to earn extra income online.
7. Get outside daily.
The last tip to close out this post is to get outside daily if you can. Obviously, follow your local public health and safety rules first and foremost.
If you have the space, grow some plants. Maybe your favorite flower, veggie, or herb. Grow several and they will give you reason to go outside each day. Find your garden zone by zip code (in the US), follow gardeners in your zip on Instagram for inspiration on what to grow, and create in a different way!
Most importantly, stay safe and healthy! And create safe and healthy!