Fasting for Creatives

Fasting for Creatives

Rainbow Full-circle by mikebaird, via Flickr Creative Commons

So yesterday I told you how I was using my creative pursuits to help me through fasting. It got me thinking though are there any of the techniques of fasting that could be used to help Creatives.

I think there are four stages to a Fast –

1. Purge – like cleansing your body of toxins in a physical fast, try to expel your old habits or preconceptions about Creativity.

2. Renew – look for new ways to approach your Creative impulse. Be open to new possibiltites.

3. Recommit – commit to bringing these new approaches into your life for a set period of time.

4. Flourish – watch as new ideas come to you, unexpected paths are taken and everything feels exciting and new again.

I think a well executed Fast should leave you feeling refreshed, revitalized and humming with inspiration.

A ‘Creative Fast’ makes me think of not actually doing anything creative for a set period of time. Could this be helpful? Would it even be possible?! Hmm, maybe.

…& the end. by notsogoodphotography, via Flickr Creative Commons

I often have fallow period where my creative spark seems to go underground for a bit, regroup and then reemerge in time, raring to go. A bit like Winter before the Spring. Maybe I’ve been working it all too hard and not taking time to refill the aul’ inspiration bank with juicy images, sounds, colours, experiences. Maybe I’ve just been neglecting to do creative things that get me really excited and instead been making things to order or because they’re popular.

By allowing myself time to just relax and not force the making of things, I give myself space to breathe and reboot. This isn’t always possible in life, especially if your Art is also your job, but even then blocking out some time for yourself to just Be is always important. Everybody needs a holiday sometimes.

A really useful way I Fast sometimes is by have a Media Blackout. I found this technique while reading Julia Cameron’s ‘An Artist’s Way’ and it blew my mind when I read it. You basically just absorb no media for an entire day/week/whatever. No TV, films, books, radio, CDs, advertisings (this is a really hard one), magazines, internet and anything else you can think of. Then sit back and see the time and space created in your life. See what activities you are inspired to do instead.

Stuff gets fixed.

Things get knitted.

Furniture is rearranged.

Walks are taken.

Friends are called.

Food is savoured.

It’s amazing and refreshing, like a holiday for your senses. You start to notice how bombarded we are in life by advertising, music in the background, text everywhere, constant stimulation. This kind of Fast is a soothing way to unwind your senses from the hectic pace of everyday living.

::to photograph is to FRAME, and to FRAME is to exclude:: by Zitona, via Flickr Creative Commons

You could set aside your most comfortable, go-to craft for a month…mine would be knitting…and see what other ways your creativity decides to manifest itself.

Maybe I would start book-making or creating beautifully iced cupcakes or finally learn how to quilt. Maybe I would get my paints and canvas out for the first time in years and take my sketchpad for a walk. Writing about this is making me feel excited…I might have to actually try this one and report back to you!

~ Is there any ways in which you Fast to help your Creativity?

~ Do you even think Fasting is appropriate for Creatives and the Arts or is an area where depriving yourself for any reason is not productive?

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7 responses to “Fasting for Creatives

  1. This is great! Share it all over the place. I hit a fallow creative patch a couple of months ago, just when I should have been gearing up for the Christmas rush. I just couldn’t think of what to do or how to do it. Disruption, caused by re-decorating(!) didn’t help either. All your suggestions are really good! I love the media fast one, even though I now spend at least one hour on the internet EVERY single day. It’s the most consistent habit I have :(

    Fasting frees up a lot of time otherwise spent cooking, cleaning, eating, shopping….at least that’s what I find. It’s what you do with that time that counts.

    • The internet is such a huge time suck. I would highly recommend the media black out…I find the TV my own poison of choice when it comes to wasting my own time! Hope this tips work for you…let me know how it goes! And thank for commenting, much appreciated.

  2. In part I think this idea of creative fasting is a different approach to moderation in all things – if I knit ALL day I will likely miss out on things freshly baked out of the oven, or the sounds of bugs and birds on a walk, so stopping one thing to go do another serves as a fast from my obsessive/compulsive urge to stay and merge into whatever I’m doing.

    For myself, I usually put the ‘recommit’ phase before the ‘renew’ phase, because if I know what I’m committing to then I can better renew what assists that and release what hinders it. But then, I’m very, very into intention…which actually proceeds even the ‘purging’ stage…

    • That is so insightful, absolutely! I love how you adjust the ‘process steps’ to best suit your needs and wants. I agree, they are very fluid and I would image could be reordered in loads of other ways. Im definitely with you on the intentions thing too…it’s something I’ve only just started investigation and using but I’ve been finding it very useful this fast. Thanks so much for commenting!

  3. Very well said. I di Facebook fasts in order to make sure I still know how to really interact with people face to face. Stepping away from somthing almost always gives you greater understanding. I enjoyed reading that. Thank you.

    • Thanks Kelly…that’s really interesting about your Facebook ‘fast’. We think we’re making meaningful connections with people on it but in reality I suppose it can be quite superficial at times! Which remind me that we definitely need a Skype catch-up sometime soon ;) Thanks for reading, means a lot to me!

  4. Pingback: Fasting for Creatives: Part 2 | LightingLittleFires

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