We might not have time for big creative projects. But we can usually spare a few minutes per day or per week for a tiny task. Of course, the key is to find something that you enjoy, something that rejuvenates you and inspires you, something you can’t wait to do.
Because connecting to our creativity is a wonderful, important way to care for ourselves.
Last week, in this piece, I shared 15 such tiny projects from the beautiful book Creativity Takes Courage: Dare to Think Differently by Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst. Below are 15 more ideas, which I came up with.
- Designate one notebook as your art journal. Every day spend just 5 minutes drawing how you feel. Some days this might be a smiley face. Other days it might be dark squiggles. Your sketch can be as involved or as simple as you like.
- Every time you want to reach for your phone, get out your art journal and draw something in your surroundings (one minute totally counts).
- Pen a poem about the sky.
- Buy a plant, and snap daily photos of how it changes and blooms.
- Take a 10-minute walk, and gather a few souvenirs to bring home. Make something with your findings—or simply tape them inside your art journal, and jot down what you loved about this walk.
- Draw something like a child.
- Sketch any pattern in your environment for 2 minutes.
- Start reading a poem a day, and jot down your reactions to it in the margins of your book. Or copy your favorite lines into your notebook.
- Choreograph a 1-minute dance.
- Write a letter a week to someone who means the world to you.
- Spend 10 minutes reflecting on one of these questions, and write down or draw your response.
- Pen a poem about your love of _________ (a favorite food or season or book or piece of furniture).
- Buy a pack of index cards. Jot down silly prompts on as many cards as you like (e.g., skip instead of walk; make up a song about socks; draw yourself as an animal). Then hide the cards around your home in all sorts of places. When you come across a card, make sure to do the prompt.
- Think about something you’d really like to write: a novel, a short story, your memoir, a screenplay. Add a 50-word paragraph every day. Or add 25 words, or 10 words. Add whatever feels easy. Then keep writing. Keep going.
- Describe different people you come across as characters in your new novel. Maybe you write a description of a cashier or your waitress. Maybe you write a description of someone you always see riding your train to work. Describe their appearance and mannerisms. Maybe give them an interesting past.
Tiny projects have a way of sparking our creative fire. They help us build and maintain momentum. They remind us that we can be consistent and persistent and dedicated. We can create all kinds of things. We have that power.
What if you started something small today?