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  • Indy James

The 5 Things I Do To Cultivate My Creative Practice

This time last year I was lucky if I went a day without seeing a cockroach. I was stuck physically and mentally and emotionally. I felt useless and I didn't have a direction. I felt like my passion had burned out of me. My past felt like wasted time and my future was uncertain. My creativity, which used to be an outlet, was blocked by the pressure I was putting on myself. I couldn't tap into my voice.

Then, everything changed. These are the 5 things I do to cultivate my creative practice.

It all started the day I was gifted a Masterclass subscription. Hearing it from the pros is really something. As I was listening to success story after success story I realized that everybody had one thing in common. They're kind to themselves.

Creativity is self-love. When you give yourself permission to create without judgement, it soothes the friction of life.

My creative practice consists of music, photography and writing. Working across multiple mediums is essential for me to keep my momentum up. One thing inspires another, you know? Which brings us to #1.

1. Write these 3 sentences every day

  1. I will focus on ...

  2. I am grateful for ...

  3. I will let go of ...

No matter your medium, you need a clear mind to create. Since I started therapy again a couple months ago (like who hasn't at this point?) I've been reading this meditation book that she suggested. I was skeptical at first, but due to my crippling anxiety I was willing to give it a chance. I write these three sentences every morning as a kind of meditative practice and it centers me. If you're a writer it's also a good way to get the ball rolling.

2. Consume, don't be consumed.

When I used to scroll through instagram, I would be consumed by what felt like my life passing me by. A familiar feeling for many. Take a step back and let your self be affected. You are part of everything that is happening around you. Be open to external energy. Seek out new material and celebrate creators whose work you love.

3. Record Everything

Capture all your ideas. Whatever works for you: notebook, iphone, voice note, whatever. Your ideas are valuable and worth remembering.

4. Just start already

This really is the hardest one. Here's how in 3 easy steps.

1. Set a timer for 1 hour.

2. Take a deep breath.

3. Focus on one thing till the buzzer sounds.

5. Don't judge it, make it work.

This is a gem I picked up from Herbie Hancock (masterclass, nice to meet ya). All the jazz guys will tell you that there's no such thing as a wrong note. It's all about the note you play next. Life is an improvisation. There's no wrong way to be you.

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