Indie Author Weekly

055: Creativity as a grounding practice during challenging times

April 14, 2020 Sagan Morrow Episode 56
Indie Author Weekly
055: Creativity as a grounding practice during challenging times
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Indie Author Weekly
055: Creativity as a grounding practice during challenging times
Apr 14, 2020 Episode 56
Sagan Morrow

For today's episode of Indie Author Weekly, I want to talk about using creativity and creative outlets as a grounding practice and as a coping mechanism.  

The reason why I want to share about this today is because I’m doing a brand-new livestream show with my friend Jennifer of Roam Howl Creative. For the next three days, April 14 - 16 2020, we will be teaching the topic of Creative Marketing for Non-Creatives. I’m hosting it on Instagram Live at 4pm CT, so I hope to see you there! Follow me on Instagram, @Saganlives, to check it out.  

Over the course of our Creative Marketing for Non-Creatives livestream show, we’ll be covering the following: 

  1. How to ground yourself through creativity during challenging times 
  2. Creative self-expression and ideas for what to create . 
  3. Advanced strategies for connecting deeply through creativity  

Now, that first point, about using creative outlets as grounding practice, is something that I have found to be incredibly powerful in my own life and business. So I want to dive into that here on the Indie Author Weekly podcast, because it is directly relates to my work as an author. 

We are collectively going through a challenging time right now, given the global pandemic situation. And there are many streams of thought out there as to what we should or shouldn’t be doing with ourselves while we’re all staying safe at home. 

One of the things that’s been making the rounds across the Internet are people who say we should be “making good use of this time by creating something.” 

I disagree. Instead, my way of looking at it is that *being creative can actually help us to cope during this challenging time.* 

It’s not about forcing ourselves to be creative. That’s not what it’s about, at all! Instead, it’s about using creativity as a tool to help support us. 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

For today's episode of Indie Author Weekly, I want to talk about using creativity and creative outlets as a grounding practice and as a coping mechanism.  

The reason why I want to share about this today is because I’m doing a brand-new livestream show with my friend Jennifer of Roam Howl Creative. For the next three days, April 14 - 16 2020, we will be teaching the topic of Creative Marketing for Non-Creatives. I’m hosting it on Instagram Live at 4pm CT, so I hope to see you there! Follow me on Instagram, @Saganlives, to check it out.  

Over the course of our Creative Marketing for Non-Creatives livestream show, we’ll be covering the following: 

  1. How to ground yourself through creativity during challenging times 
  2. Creative self-expression and ideas for what to create . 
  3. Advanced strategies for connecting deeply through creativity  

Now, that first point, about using creative outlets as grounding practice, is something that I have found to be incredibly powerful in my own life and business. So I want to dive into that here on the Indie Author Weekly podcast, because it is directly relates to my work as an author. 

We are collectively going through a challenging time right now, given the global pandemic situation. And there are many streams of thought out there as to what we should or shouldn’t be doing with ourselves while we’re all staying safe at home. 

One of the things that’s been making the rounds across the Internet are people who say we should be “making good use of this time by creating something.” 

I disagree. Instead, my way of looking at it is that *being creative can actually help us to cope during this challenging time.* 

It’s not about forcing ourselves to be creative. That’s not what it’s about, at all! Instead, it’s about using creativity as a tool to help support us. 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello friends! Sagan here. Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. 

If you’re new to this podcast, I am a productivity strategist for multi-passionate creatives at SaganMorrow.com: I help people manage their time and energy effectively, through customized, actionable strategies that work for your unique life and business. When I’m not teaching about productivity to solopreneurs, I spend my time writing romance novels, and occasionally, business books. And that is what this podcast is all about: the adventures of the author life.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to talk about using creativity and creative outlets as a grounding practice and as a coping mechanism. 

The reason why I want to share about this today is because I’m doing a brand-new livestream show with my friend Jennifer of Roam Howl Creative. For the next three days, April 14 - 16 2020, we will be teaching the topic of Creative Marketing for Non-Creatives. I’m hosting it on Instagram Live at 4pm CT, so I hope to see you there! Follow me on Instagram, @Saganlives, to check it out.

Over the course of our Creative Marketing for Non-Creatives livestream show, we’ll be covering the following: 

  1. How to ground yourself through creativity during challenging times
  2. Creative self-expression and ideas for what to create
  3. Advanced strategies for connecting deeply through creativity

Now, that first point, about using creative outlets as grounding practice, is something that I have found to be incredibly powerful in my own life and business. So I want to dive into that here on the Indie Author Weekly podcast, because it is directly relates to my work as an author. 

We are collectively going through a challenging time right now, given the global pandemic situation. And there are many streams of thought out there as to what we should or shouldn’t be doing with ourselves while we’re all staying safe at home. 

One of the things that’s been making the rounds across the Internet are people who say we should be “making good use of this time by creating something.” 

I disagree. Instead, my way of looking at it is that *being creative can actually help us to cope during this challenging time.*

It’s not about forcing ourselves to be creative. That’s not what it’s about, at all! Instead, it’s about using creativity as a tool to help support us. 

If you’ve listened to previous episodes of this podcast, you’ll know that I started writing my romance novels when I was going through a very tough time in my business. My business partnership was dissolving, and I was experiencing a huge amount of anxiety around all of that. What I needed was something totally separate from the business partnership, so that I could have something else to focus on and help to ground me. I share more about this story in Episode 43 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast, so tune into that episode if you’re curious to hear more.

But basically, writing novels required so much of my focus and creative energy, that it distracted me completely when I started to feel too overwhelmed with everything. Writing novels was therapeutic. Writing novels was a coping mechanism. Writing novels was my grounding practice, so I could refocus, centre myself, and have the bandwidth to keep working on other things in my business.

How cool is that?! 

This is why I feel very strongly that when we are talking about the idea of being creative during this challenging time of a global pandemic, it’s really not about forcing ourselves to create something. It’s not about creating something out of a place of guilt or anything like that. It’s about creating something as a way to help calm our minds, to help relieve anxiety, to help ground ourselves, to help us feel better.

If your creative outlet doesn’t make you feel good, then don’t do it! Maybe try a different creative outlet. Or reframe how you’re approaching your creative projects. Do it from a space of love and healing, rather than a space of feeling like you “should” do it. 

Does that make sense? I hope that this clarifies how creative practices can be very beautiful for us at this time. It’s not about toxic productivity or the glorification of busy or trying to keep up with the Joneses on Instagram! It’s about doing it for YOU. 

And the side benefit is that you might come out the other end with an entire novel on your hands! Who knows.

The other aspect that I really love about using creative outlets as a grounding practice is that they can help us in so many other ways, such as, for example, working through an identity crisis. And again, collectively, we are all experiencing an identity crisis right now: who are we when we can’t attend arts and culture or sporting events in person, for example? Who are we when we are alone at home, and can’t see anyone else? Who are we when no one sees us for weeks on end? What changes in our day to day life, in the choices we make? And who are we as a society when we are all isolated? 

These are all questions we’re asking ourselves, whether it’s conscious or subconscious, and it can affect us on a very deep emotional level with our mental health. 

And this is, again, where creativity can come into play. For example: I have found burlesque dancing and, yes, writing romance novels, as very therapeutic for working through my own identity crises of understanding who I am as a polyamorous person, when I had gone the majority of my life without recognizing that.  Whatever creative outlets you choose—writing, singing, dancing, painting, drawing, cooking, crafting, redecorating or reorganizing furniture in your home, etc etc—any kind of creative outlet can give us the space we might need to work through our changing identities, and to understand ourselves better, and to express ourselves in all kinds of different ways. 

I find that very beautiful. 

So, my suggestion to you is this: find a creative outlet—ANY creative outlet, and keep in mind that creativity can take place in many, many forms—find a creative outlet that makes you feel good. That makes your heart happy, as I like to say. Since you’re listening to this podcast, Indie Author Weekly, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of your favourite creative outlets is some kind of writing, like mine! But it really can be any kind of creativity. 

Then, carve out some time in your day to do whatever that creative outlet is, even if it’s just 10 minutes. And see what happens when you use creativity as self-care, as a grounding practice, as a way to unpack our changing identities during this challenging time. 

Okay. If you want to learn more about using creativity as a grounding practice and for self-expression, you can tune into my Creative Marketing for Non-Creatives livestream show on Instagram Live. Follow me on Instagram, @Saganlives, to check it out. And by the way—if you are listening to this podcast episode after these first three episodes of our livestream show are complete, there’s a very good chance that my friend Jennifer and I will continue to do more episodes in the future! Feel free to message me on Instagram for details on the next episode of our livestream show, or email hello@saganmorrow.com.

Now, I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this: Do you use creativity as a ground practice? Do you find that having creative outlets helps you to cope during challenging times?

Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram, @Saganlives, to chat about it! And you can send me a message on either of those platforms if you have requests for future episode topics, too. The more you tell me what you’d like to see more of on this podcast, the better that I can accommodate that. You can also submit your questions or topic ideas anonymously at SaganMorrow.com/question

If you enjoyed this episode, please take 2 minutes to share this podcast on social media and rate it on Apple Podcasts—any time you share it or leave a rating or review, it helps more listeners find the Indie Author Weekly podcast, so every bit counts! I really appreciate your support.

By the way, you can access complete word-for-word transcripts of this episode and all past episodes, plus sample chapters of my books and a few other bonuses and goodies, on the “secret” version of this podcast. Get access to all of that at SaganMorrow.com/secretpodcast.