I saw a link to an article in my Twitter feed yesterday titled, “How Creative Hobbies Make Us Better at Basically Everything.” In it, the author talks about how having something that is low risk, low pressure, and a labor of love to occupy our free time with, helps us be better at our work. Side projects and creative hobbies are invaluable in helping us recover – as opposed to escape – from our hectic lives at work or at home. The article got me thinking about my own creativity and what value it has added to my own life.
As I’ve mentioned before here, I came late to crafting. It was only within the last six years or so that I have really delved into the world of crafting and creativity. Granted, I did bake quite a bit prior to picking up crafting, but even with that, I came to it only as an adult. It wasn’t until I really got into crafting with my hands that I really discovered a new-found calm that I had never experienced before. It provided a great reprieve from my stressful corporate job. I soon discovered how engrossed and lost in the whole creative process I became once I devoted time to whatever it was I was working on. I completely lost track of time, and before I knew it, several hours had passed. I find crafting to be one of those things that once I get into a roll with it, I can stay with it until I’m done with my project, even to the point of forgetting to eat, and if you know me, that is a feat unto itself – LOL!
Another added bonus that crafting has given me is confidence. Confidence in my own creative abilities. Prior to delving into the world of crafting, I had never really thought of myself as being creative. You know how some people just pick up something and seem to master it overnight, or it just comes naturally to them? (My mom is one of those people). Well, that really wasn’t me when I started – or at least, I didn’t think so. But with every class I’ve taken, and with every new technique I’ve learned, I’ve gradually grown more confident in my abilities. I am no longer intimidated to try my hand at something new that has captured my fancy. I can now look at something and many times, find myself saying, “I can make that,” or “I can figure that out.” I can’t say enough how much of a confidence-booster it has been when I set out to make something, and it comes out the way I thought it would, or even better :0) And even if things don’t turn out quite the way I had envisioned it, I will have learned something invaluable from the whole process.
As I have gained more confidence working with my hands, I’ve started to really think about the possibilities of what I can make using my new-found skills. I’ve started to think outside the box more and more, and not just in terms of my creativity, but in other matters, too, including my online business that I quit my corporate job to do. Thinking outside the box involves thinking creatively, so I guess it’s no surprise that as I’ve crafted more, thinking creatively has carried over into other aspects of my life, too. It’s not that I never thought outside the box prior to unleashing my creativity, but I find I do that on a more regularbasis now than ever before.
If I were to describe in one word what being creative has meant to me, it would be “freedom.” I think more than anything, creativity has unleashed a sense of freedom in my life – to be myself, to express myself, to be true to myself. At the end of the day, no price can be placed on that.
What has being creative meant to you? Please share in the comments.