Home » Blogs » Mentoring and Recovery » Misplaced Creativity (and how to send it back where it belongs)

Misplaced Creativity (and how to send it back where it belongs)

My creative kitchen, full of wonderful inventive items I love dearly.

It would seem I can’t resist developing a relationship with everything in my life.

From the coffeemaker (most wonderful BFF EVER!) to the dustpan and broom to the small cute stuffed sheep that sits on my bedside table, these aren’t just “things” in my life.

They are mirrors. They are parts of me….and I am a part of each of them.

Part of why I feel so connected to everything in my near surroundings is because I picked it out personally.

I mean, here I’m not talking about the floor tiles or the stove/oven set….with these I only have the most casual of connections (especially with the latter).

But then again, those came with my casa, which I rent from my wonderful landlord whom, I must say, has excellent taste in the household appliances I rarely use.

Most of the rest, however, has been carefully selected by yours truly from thrift shops near and far, and then some have come to me courtesy of dear friends who seem to know exactly what I’d most enjoy receiving.

What does this have to do with creativity, you might be wondering?

At first, I didn’t think it had anything to do with creativity. But then I realized that everything in my casa is its own expression of my unique creative tastes and preferences.

For example, I sincerely doubt even the most thorough home goods researcher will ever find another casa where the stove alone is decorated with each one of the following:

  • a teal blue Mr. & Mrs. Nessie (a soup ladle and strainer, respectively)
  • a small freestanding plaque with a picture of a turtle and the words “Dream SO Big” on it
  • a wonderful wire frame art piece featuring three swimming sea turtles, complete with coral, scallops and algae.

I love each one of these items with great devotion. I have myself to thank for the first two and a dear friend gave me the third. And don’t even get me started on the four small art pieces that decorate the walls on either side of the stove.

But sometimes, this type of creativity can sincerely interfere with other types of creativity that require bigger chunks of my daily creative energy allotment.

I think the reason for this is because all creative output – whether expended working on household furnishings, reptile enclosure landscaping, writing work or something else – comes from the same “pot” of creative energy.

So it’s not like I only get 25 percent of that creative energy daily to use on selecting home decor, and then when I’ve used that up I’m automatically booted out of the thrift shop and forced to move on to another creative project. Rather, I get 100 percent of my daily allotment of creativity to use in unspecified ways.

And then I can choose to spend that daily “creative balance” in any way I choose.

At this point you’re likely pondering how I might know when I may be misplacing my creative energy?

Here is one example that might help explain what I’m talking about: let’s say I woke up this morning feeling….creative. I felt energized, engaged, interested in working on….something creative. Often in this scenario, my initial thoughts may turn to a book-in-progress, my Love n Feathers n Shells blog project, a new freelance piece I’ve been hired to write….something like that.

But then somehow I find myself at a thrift shop instead. Maybe I find some new treasures and maybe I don’t. But when I return home again, that early-day creative energy feels depleted. I try to tap back into the creative zest, but somehow find it….spent.

This is what I mean by misplaced creativity. (And by the way, I have gone through this process many, many, MANY times over the last few years – which is both why my casa is filled to the brim with one-of-a-kind curiosities and also why I finally started to sense there might be a pattern at work here.)

So now I strive to notice when I wake up into one of these “creative days.” I try to stay put. I try to pour that creative energy into a project that doesn’t require leaving the casa, spending money when I need to be earning it, or avoiding bigger creative projects that might feel just a little (or a lot) intimidating.

Here, there is another twist that I now call the “stealth creativity redirect.” Let’s say a friend calls me to go for a walk. I agree – after all, health and fitness is also a daily priority.

But then after the walk, there is that thrift store I like that is just around the corner….you get the picture. Before I even realize what has happened, the part of me that woke up determined to put in some good creative time to whichever creative project has been neglected or ignored of late has gone thrifting instead.


I’m not trying to say there is never a time for thrifting….or whatever other smaller and not time-sensitive creative projects you might enjoy doing when you are not working on the big meaty creative items on your bucket list.

There is definitely a time for all types of creativity! It is just when, how often, how long and in what order that often needs more working out.

Today’s Takeaway: Have you ever found yourself full of creative zest and energy, only to later wonder where it all went? If you’ve taken a look back over the day’s activities, do you ever see where the level of “big” creative energy a heavyweight creative project demands has instead gotten filtered and funneled out into a number of smaller creative areas instead? 

Misplaced Creativity (and how to send it back where it belongs)

Shannon Cutts

Freelance writer. Author. Cockatiel, redfoot tortoise & box turtle mama.

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2017). Misplaced Creativity (and how to send it back where it belongs). Psych Central. Retrieved on September 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Sep 2017
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.