Guest Post by Katina Wright

April 19th, 2011

When Leah set “small” as the inspiration for April I smiled to myself at the synchronicity this theme had with my present project and approach to creative living. This past few years chronic illness has necessitated I slow down and approach everything I do, from creativity to rehabilitation, in small chunks.

I know that creative activity helps nourish my wellbeing but sometimes when I’m feeling ill, tired or pushed for time I need to be gently nudged into action.  One of my favourite ways to do this is to use short timed creative prompts. Small time chunks, between ten or twenty minutes, usually work best for me. I’ve used many prompts I’ve found in books or learnt on courses but for a long time I’ve enjoyed making my own mini exercises up and sharing them in groups/workshops I attend or run.

What advantages are there to a timed creative exercise? I’ve discovered that:

  • * Ten to twenty minutes is manageable even during difficult times.
  • * They help kick start my inspiration
  • * A burst of creative activity makes me feel good
  • * They’re not overwhelming in their expectations or length and so meet less resistance from my tired mind than a larger project might.
  • * Often they inspire further creative output and ideas.

My main rule when approaching a timed challenge is to have no expectations for the results. I give myself permission to make a huge incoherent mess and remind myself that the resulting creation is not to be judged. Taking off any pressure to create a huge project and allowing freedom from our inner critic seems to open the imagination up; having shed the weight of expectation it seems to fly.

I now create and email weekly prompts suitable for inspiring a variety of creative mediums, named TIC TOCCs.  I also write a Tuesday post on my Wright Story blog where I hope people may be able to discuss (and if they wish link to) their TIC TOCC experiences. On this post I also share my own art and writing results. You can read more about TIC TOCC, what the anagram stands for and how to sign up here

My first Wright Story Extra email was sent on Tuesday 12th April 2011 with TIC TOCC and bonus interview. You can read it here. Its never too late to give it a try and post your link in the comments of a Tuesday TIC TOCC post
I hope that people receiving my TIC TOCC prompts are encouraged that, no matter how tired or pushed for time they are,  it’s possible to set a timer and create for just ten or twenty minutes. It would be lovely to share my TIC TOCC journey by sharing experiences with others. Some of my favourite ideas have come from doing these timed exercises and the ‘high’ I get from giving free reign to my imagination is wonderful. Even small bursts of creativity can do us the world of good and often great things grow from small.
Thank you Leah for inviting me to do this guest post on your constantly inspiring Creative Everyday Blog!

11 Responses

this piece is just lovely and I’m encouraged by your post. I , too, have had a rough year and find my inspiration dwindling away. But the idea of setting small increments of time and not having Great expections is very appealing to me. although I tend to be a perfectionist and am not happy unless my work is up to my impossible standards now.
Thank you from my heart for this post and the inspiring piece of art. ~~~Suzi

Thanks Suzi for your kind comment! I’ve spent all my life trying to kick the perfectionist habit so I understand. Its scary to let go of at first but then the experience is freeing. I still fall into the perfectionist trap at times but I worry a lot less now. I wish you lots of inspiration & joyful creating!

And Leah thanks for inviting me over to your wonderful blog :-)

Kat X

kat, you are totally singing my tune here! i love working in small bits of time — it really motivates me to do things i wouldn’t try if i had a huge chunk of time to spend. it’s like a race, a game, a challenge… and it helps kick the perfectionist out of the way b/c there’s not enough time for it to interfere. SUPER guest post!

You’re right – it is like a race/game/challenge and helps kick the perfectionist out of the way. Thank aimee you for your lovely comment :-)
Kat X

LOL – I was meant to write ‘thank you aimee’ – I seemed to get my words mixed up in the first attempt! :-) Kat X

Awesome post! Last year was rough for me as well so I resolved to have a better one this year. I realized that keeping myself surrounded with positive vibes (such as the inspirational art I collected) helped with my outlook and perspective in life.

Hi Renz – thanks, glad you enjoyed. Just taken a look at the ‘inspirational art’ you collect – wow it is wonderful, thank you for introducing me to it! Outlook and perspective plays a major part in how we cope and art like this can help the heart and imagination soar. I hope your year continues to me full of positivity and inspiration.
Kat X

I love the idea of the timed work sessions and the personal prompts at the ready. What a terrific way to make time for creativity! I am going to try collecting my own prompts!

Hi Kelly – I find doing and creating these prompts great fun. Great idea to collect your own prompts but also feel free to join in with TIC TOCC – your company will be welcomed. – Kat :-)

Good post, interesting read.

Thanks Evelyn, glad you enjoyed & good to ‘meet’ you here :-) Kat X

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