The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
For years now, I noticed that I feel calmer, happier and just plain better when I'm creating something. When life gets stressful, it's even more important to do things that make yourself feel good. Even before I began to quilt the link between feeling good and making things was evident.
I know from experience that if I stop creating for a time, it's that much harder to be creative when I get back to it. But sometimes all you have to do is jump in and make a little something and see if you can't get it back.
In order to be creative, you have to create.
This is so simple. In order to be creative, you simply need to make something.
Being creative does not always mean you have to make something BIG. Cooking can be creative. Writing is creative for me. So is playing with beads and making jewelry. Making a card out of lovely paper is creative. Taking photographs is creative. Rearranging your house or sewing space can be creative. Buying a new scarf or wearing your hair differently can be creative. See where I'm going with this? To me, all of these things count as creative efforts and can really get things flowing. For some of us, just looking through our fabric or a magazine gets us inspired again. Doing anything creative allows your creativity to flow better. And, when it does, it feeds your soul.
For years, I never thought I was creative and I used to wish that I could be as creative as some people. What I did was just play around, it wasn't being creative. When I was 23 a friend told me: "Of course you're creative. You admire creative people and you love creative things so much - you're just afraid to try anything." I paid attention to that and started looking for small ways to be creative myself and tried not to think or worry so much about failing at what I tried to create. There were some who laughed at my creative efforts. But pretty soon it began to work; the more I tried to be creative, the more creative I became. I now believe creativity is something that can be nurtured and developed in anyone. So if you don't think you're even a little bit creative, I'll just bet you are.
I've also learned that if I don't set aside the time and commit to making a little something on a regular basis, I lose some of that creative urge. It gets pushed down. So, if you delay because you think you don't have enough time, sit down at your sewing machine for just 10 or 15 minutes. Doesn't have to be long. It's amazing how much you can get into something in even a short period of time. If you make one or two little blocks every day, you'll have a quilt in no time at all. I love making small, simple quilts for this reason - there's such an immediate satisfaction when you can finish a project quickly.
If you're a beginning quilter, try not to be overly critical of yourself and try not to worry too much about what others may think. Not everything you create will be perfect and that's okay. It's the process that's important. Not every quilt I make is fantastic (Oh no! Really?). Sometimes I fail at color or technique. But, believe me - it's a process and a journey and you just have to keep at it. Make a little something today, why don't you?