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How To Stop Learning and Start Creating

Have you ever wanted to redecorate your living room, but somehow you’ve curated 10 Pinterest boards and your living room still looks the same? Maybe you’ve been meaning to pick up painting again or try your hand at crochet. Now your paint supplies are collecting dust in the corner and you’ve got a stray skein of yarn sitting next to the couch. If you have a ton of inspiration, but none of your projects make it past the idea stage, it’s time to stop learning and start creating.

Running Elsie Road magazine has been a huge learning experience for me. I’ve signed up for so many email lists, registered for countless webinars and enrolled in a number of courses. But when I sit down to actually create, I’m unfocused, distracted and all over the place. Throughout this I’ve received some great advice and developed some helpful insights. Here are 5 steps to help you get past the learning stage and into the good stuff.

  1. Establish a goal. Whether you’re creating for your business or planning personal projects, the first step is to set a goal for yourself. What do you want to achieve? Are you looking to grow your business, work through some emotions, or just enjoy yourself? Once you know why you want to create, it becomes a lot easier to get started.
  2. Pick a project. Now that you’ve established a goal, it’s time to choose the project that will help you achieve it. If you’re worried you’ll forget about all the other projects you want to tackle (I can’t be the only one), make a list. I use Evernote, Trello, and a regular old notebook to organize all my creative projects and ideas. Choose one thing from the list (or one personal and one for business) and ignore the rest.
  3. Schedule it in. Set aside time for getting creative. Write that date down in your calendar or planner and stick to it. It might seem a little silly to schedule in creative time, but if you’re anything like me creating keeps you happy, inspired, and motivated–and those feelings spill over into other parts of your life.
  4. Build in accountability. If you’re worried you’ll flake on that date and end up watching Netflix instead (not that I know anyone who does that), set yourself up for success. Find a friend to keep you accountable and make arrangements for regular check ins. You could also plan a creative date—write in a coffee shop for a few hours or host a craft night.
  5. Get creative. Have fun with it. The ability and desire to be creative is one of God’s great gifts. Figure out what works for your life right now and go with it.

Do you have any other tips for getting creative? I’d love to hear them. Share in the comments below or connect on social.

How To Stop Learning and Start Creating

4 Comments

    1. Those are great ideas! Netflix is just so tempting:) although all my creativity involves is picking a colour other than grey and painting a room, I find telling someone I’m going to do it is huge incentive to actually carry through:)

      1. Haha. It totally is. Having this magazine online is usually pretty helpful. That’s also part of why I posted about NaNoWriMo.

    1. These are great tips! I find it difficult sometimes to just get started, too. I have a list of things to do, but I have found that setting deadlines for each one individually helps a lot. Thanks for the blog post!

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