These are Creative Benefits and Fringe Benfits of Creating

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We often talk about creative benefits, in terms of how engaging in art, also helps us in science and other academic work.

But the benefits of creating are way more than that.

Last week I shared a story with you, about how my newfound joy of painting, or playing with colors as I call it, nearly came to an end, before I had barely started.

I'll just quickly tell a short recap:

I have started to paint for fun, simple just to do something relaxing, something I can play with, where the process is the focus. And it worked, I love sitting on my balcony and play with colors. That is, until I started to get more ambitious about how it should look. My expectations got high and as a result, my joy got low.

Now, because I have trained as a creativity coach, I am aware of what happens in the creative process.

Especially my own creative process.

It's not like I have a final answer, or because I have tools to help me deal with unrealistic expectations, that I will never have unrealistic expectations again.

The creative process is a practice. No matter how much you know. Creating takes practice.

And it's hard. If it wasn't, everyone would do it.

But the creative benefits and fringe benefits of creating are so well worth it.

Some benefits are fairly instant. You feel the emotion as you engage in creativity, but some creative benefits come down the line and are perhaps not as easy to spot. These are what I call fringe benefits.


What are some creative benefits?

Self-respect.
Taking the time to do something that is important to you, and that is created by you, despite whatever else is going on in your life, is a way of respecting yourself. Like nothing else will.

Coping skills.
You learn how to cope with your feelings, and everything involved in the creative process.

Patience.
Creative endeavor usually take longer than you think - and hope for. (A personal challenge). More and more of our society is now based on instant gratification, and our patience with ourselves and each other is paying a price. Creating takes patience, another reason so many of us don't bother.

Perseverance. 
You get to practice persevering with your thinking, your ideas, and your actions, through frustration, fear, and when things don't go according to plan. Or how you'd like to control them.
85% of us, give up on our creative intention, so perseverance is a great benefit.

Resourcefulness.
You get to practice trying to find different solutions, and problems, and ways of doing things.

Making Mistakes.
When you engage in a creative act, you WILL make mistakes. Mistakes will happen. It is part of the process, just as excitement is. What you learn, is how to make a mistake and move on from it.
A key life skill to have!

Stepping into the unknown.
Our instinct is to do what we already know. We create habits easily. Whether they serve us or not, and often they don't, doesn't matter. We do what we know, what others do, what feels safe.
By engaging in creativity, you by definition step into the unknown. To new and imaginary things.
It's scary (which is why so many of us don't) but also hugely exciting and freeing.

New brain pathways.
This has been widely documented. When you engage in creative thinking and a creative act, your brain makes new connections. Which is why children who have art as their school curriculum, also do better in other subjects.


So, what are Fringe Benefits of creating?

A fringe benefit of creating could be a new relationship.
I have met new wonderful friends from engaging in creativity. From different countries.
I consider that a HUGE fringe creative benefit.

You learn to care less about what others think.
This takes practice. And for me, a lot of practice.
Comparison is a huge creative killer, but the more you practice and engage in creating, the more you learn to stay in your own lane and be happy with that.

New interests.
Very often, no, I would actually say, almost always, the creative act takes you on detours and diversions, and this often leads to new paths and interests. All of a sudden, you open your eyes to something you had never considered before. And your curiosity is awakened.

Healing.
There is nothing like creating art of any kind, that'll heal you inside and out. This is another proven fact.
How many artists don't we know, that have used music, poetry, writing, painting etc. as a way of coping with life?
When you heal your inside, it has physical healing too.


How can you get these benefits?

The whole point of engaging in creativity is to do it. Sorry to be so blunt.

And what's really great is, that it doesn't matter what creative act you do. Or how small it is.

Painting 5 minutes a day, or journaling 5 minutes a day counts.

Don't go thinking you have to be the next Elizabeth Gilbert.!

Get an old notebook out and scribble, write, draw or doodle. That's not only "good enough". That's GREAT!.

Create for yourself, or share with others, the benefits are yours.

If you need a little help to get started, a really good question that I will invite you to ask yourself is:

What is something I have enjoyed making or doing in the past?

And start there :-)

I truly hope this has been helpful to you.

The benefits of creating are too many, not to give it a try. :-)