Establish A Creative Ritual!

In Austin Kleon’s book Steal Like an Artist he says:

“The worst thing a day job does is take time away from you, but it makes up for that by giving you a daily routine in which you can schedule a regular time for your creative pursuits. Establishing and keeping a routine can be even more important than having a lot of time. Inertia is the death of creativity. You have to stay in the groove. When you get out of the groove, you start to dread the work, because you know it’s going to suck for a while—it’s going to suck until you get back into the flow.”

This fits perfictly with my previous video post called You are already a professional.

In that post I talked about how Steve Pressfied in his book The War of Art says we are already pros with our day job.

And I postulate that we can take that professional mentality and use it to turn pro with our creative habits also.

Austin Kleon says the same thing and focuses more on the momentum our jobs give us.

Now the word routine may seem counter to all creative habits but when you look at almost all great creators you see that they all have routines.

It’s these routines that keep their momentum.

Even Chase Jarvis in his book Creative Calling says the same thing!

He says:

“I read biographies adn watched ocumentaries that deconstruct the lives of the creators I most admire. Though the details are different, the broad common traits emerge. Ernest Hemingway propped his Royal Quiet Deluxe on a bookshepf and typed standing up. Edith Wharton wrote in bed with a pen. But they both established creative RITUALS and stuck to them.”


Another word for routine and habit but one that fits perfectly with creativity.

If your not convinced yet that establishing a daily ritual for your creative habit is powerful her is Twyla Tharp from her book The Creative Habit.

“My morning workout ritual is the most basic form of self-reliance; it reminds me that, when all else fails, I can at least depend on myself. It’s my algebra of self-reliance: I spend on my body in order to work, and I am more productive if my body is strong. My daily workout is a part of my preparation for work.

This, more than anything else, is what rituals of preparation give us: They arm us with confidence and self-reliance.”

I love this!

Habits are wonderful and the word “habit” describes my art practice wonderfully.

But ritual describes it even better.

It’s more than just something I do.

It’s a sacred daily act.

It describes the practice as something closer to my identity and who I am.

Besides art starts out as an emotional endeavor most of the time anyway and this would be a better bridge from emotional motivation to habit.

Back to you.

How can you establish a daily creative ritual?

Start small and go for long term consistency.

Chris Beaven

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