Over the years, I’ve learned that writing is not just a hobby or a career path. It’s a lifestyle. Writing requires us to occupy different worlds and make them come alive, and that is a process that does not just happen on the page. It stays with us, follows us to work and to bed and to the grocery store. It trails us as we go about our day, because stories happen as life happens and they grow as we grow. In other words, writing requires a creative lifestyle that nurtures our passion and inner curiosity.
A creative lifestyle is one filled with exploration, discovery, and intentionality. It’s a lifestyle that nurtures your inner writer and allows you to see all the possibility in the world around you. Not only will a creative lifestyle improve your mental health, but it will also increase your productivity and strengthen your relationship with writing. It is an essential part of every writer’s toolbox.
So, how do you build a creative lifestyle?
Building a creative lifestyle takes time, but anyone can do it. Here are some tips to get you started.
Reflect with intention.
Journal every day for a week and ask yourself the following questions:
- What does my ideal life look like and what can I do to get there?
- What parts of my day energize me the most? What parts drain me?
- When am I most productive?
- Where am I most productive?
- What habits, objects, routines, etc. get me in the mood to write?
- How do I treat my inner writer?
Establish Specific Routines
Now, it’s time to create routines that energize, center, and fulfill you. Here are some good places to start:
- Morning routine: What wakes you up? What habits get you excited for the day ahead? How can you make your morning productive and pleasant?
- Writing routine: What gets you in the mood to write? What objects, habits, and environments help you create?
Establish a Positive Relationship with your Inner Writer
In many ways, you can think of a creative lifestyle as a lifestyle built not just for you, but for your inner writer (aka right brain, inner child, or that little voice in your head that has a heck of a lot to say). This means that you must make peace with your inner writer. You must cooperate with that part of yourself and treat her well.
It’s just like any other relationship: mutual care leads to mutual respect and love. Here are some ideas to get you and your inner writer on the same page:
- Give your inner writer a place to live by creating a writing safe-haven.
- Feed your inner writer with writing books.
- Entertain your inner writer by reading every day.
- Give your inner writer a voice by writing stream-of-conscious a little every day.
- Respect your inner writer by setting and sticking to a writing time.
- Treat your inner writer to sacred writing days and rewards for meeting big goals.
- Let your inner writer rest by finding another creative outlet (like painting, singing, or knitting) and making time for that too.
Every creative lifestyle will look different because every writer is different. Even so, the process of building one remains the same for everyone. Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to a lifestyle that nurtures your inner writer and leaves you feeling fulfilled at the end of each day.
With Love, Cats, and Coffee 💖,
The Present Active Writer