“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
And the world will not have it.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you.
Keep the channel open.
I’ve used this quote by Martha Graham (American dancer) in my workshops forever and ever. A long time.
To me, she encapsulates what it means to have a creative practice.
The creative practice that I do and teach takes the form of inquiry-with-art-supplies inside of our journals /sketchbooks / art journals.
Today’s post is a toast to you and everyone here who is taking the leap (or maybe just a baby step) and cultivating a creative practice.
The following images come from participants in the FLOW: 30 Day Journal Project – and are just a few that I’ve seen fly by in my Instagram feed. I’ll be sharing more. (How to share is at the end of this post).
The idea for creative practice came to me through the doorway of music and dance. My undergraduate degree is in music, and all during college, I went to as many dance classes (ballet) as I could. The ballet conditioning classes were something I loved from childhood. Being a part of a group of girls, all dressed the same in our leotards, going through the same routines week after week. There was something so certain and comforting about that—qualities that didn’t exist at home, in my family.
What I learned as a kid, was if you miss a week of dance class, you loose some of your flexibility and tone. It was dance class that helped me create a discipline around piano practice during music conservatory.
For some reason, the idea of having a creative practice is foreign to visual artists, and for a lot of writers, too.
But dancers have to warm up their muscles before they dance. Dancers, actors, musicians, all rehearse. They have a way to practice. And they have to do it daily.
When I shifted from music into visual art and writing, it seemed natural to treat writing and art like I did dancing or playing the piano. Show up, work out, practice. Do it again the next day.
It’s worth mentioning that I practiced writing and doing my visual art inside of my journaling sketchbooks long before it became my new profession. In case you’re wondering about your progress, or what could possibly come out of keeping a journal.
Having a creative practice isn’t just for professional artists. No way!
My higher purpose with creativity (as a practice and in the art I make) is to heal, grow, and make beauty and meaning out of the dross of life.
Creative expression belongs to everyone, and we all need a place (the journal) and some methods (spontaneous writing and playing with art supplies) to confront the blank page of our lives. This is the cure for everything.
If you want to read more about my story, I invite you to check out my memoir, Sketchbooks.
The ultimate work of art is you.
The life you are living and creating is the ultimate expression.
Having a practice that honors your creativity and helps you know yourself is what I wish most for you.
Enjoy. And Go Gently.
Today’s Journal Prompts:
Today, I dare to express…
I feel energized when…
I’m aware that I tend to hold back, or hesitate when…
If I weren’t stopping myself, I would…
The Journal Prompts in this Post Are Included in the FLOW: 30 Day Journal Project Printables
When I offered the first 30 Day Journal Project, I found that having the prompts printed out in advance helped me get right into my journaling for the day.
I think of this as lazy journaling. 🙂
Fill in the blank, and you’re done!
After I made these for myself, I prettied up the design (and added another layout) so you could use them, too. This is what I’m using for my own journaling.
There is another layout for cutting and pasting into an existing journal.
Get ALL of the FLOW 30 days of prompts & quotes (plus one bonus day) with 2 different layout designs.
FLOW: PRINTABLES | $18
No more blank page. No more writer’s block.
Whether you are brand new to writing or journaling or simply want to break out of a rut in your creative practice, these printable prompts make it fast and easy to get going.
See All 30 Day Journal Printable Designs
There are four different sets of 30 Day Journal Project Printables, beautifully designed, each with a different theme.
Use the printables on your own, or with The 30 Day Journal Workshop
Come on over to my studio in Mexico (via video!) where I’ll show you how to journal with intention and focus as we create two different kinds of handmade journals. It all happens in The 30 Day Journal Project Workshop, designed for experienced and brand new journalers alike!