Permission to Create, sketchbook art by Elaine Luther, copyright 2016

Permission to Create, sketchbook art by Elaine Luther, copyright 2016

The first thing you need, when you set out to reconnect to your creativity, is permission. I give it to you, there it is, in the picture above.

Here’s the thing. It doesn’t really count, you have to give permission to yourself.

It’s like deciding to exercise, you can say it’s something you value, you can say it’s important, but until the day you really decide that you’re going to join the gym and go regularly, saying it’s important doesn’t matter.

When the thing clicks in your mind, when you decide, this is important, I’m going to do it, then you set up support systems in your life, you join the gym (or start going again), you maybe buy a nicer work-out outfit.

It’s the same with creative time. You give yourself permission, and then set up support structures and boundaries. And be gentle with yourself, and have some fun.

I know it’s easier said than done, but try it. Make yourself a permission slip. Really! Do it! Get some paper, do it on the computer, whatever you want! Make a permission slip and sign it! You give yourself permission.

Take that first step and see if something goes “click” in your head. And don’t worry if it doesn’t, new habits take time, just like going to the gym. But soon you’ll have a regular creative habit and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Here’s what Kurt Vonnegut has to say about creating:


I’d love to see your permission slip! Please take a pic and share it in a comment!

One last thing. Related to permission is permission to be imperfect. My sketchbook art above, the “Permission to Create,” isn’t perfect. It’s not really finished art meant for sharing on the blog, but I’m sharing it to show that perfect is the enemy of done. And done is better than perfect.

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