The Creative15 is a 15-day exploration to ignite creative practice.
***The next Creative15 begins in 2018. Sign-up here to be notified.***
If you have arrived on this page, you are most likely someone who values creative expression. It may even be one of the things that matters most to you. But you also may be like many of us who are out of alignment with this value - meaning - we've stopped prioritizing our own voice.
It's much easier to throw ourselves behind other people's voices, visions and agendas than to get curious about our own, and no one is asking for you to let go into what's inside of you and let it emerge. As adults, we are rarely encouraged by others - or ourselves - to make space to play listen, wonder, wander, receive.
We become so obsessed with results, that we oppress our greatest creative energy with our need to produce, ship, get it right, and be perfect right away.
Yet our greatest work - our wonderwork - emerges when we are willing to give ourselves the freedom to let go and see what happens.
Furthermore, if not given space to be released, our creative energy remains trapped inside of us and can atrophy our cells, depress our spirits and most likely give us a stiff neck or a bad knee or maybe some gum disease.
As The Gospel of Saint Thomas so aptly advocates: If you bring forth what is with in you, it will save you, if you do not bring forth what is within you, it will destroy you.
The Creative15 is an invitation to bring forth the inklings, notions, moments, projects, ideas, stories, melodies, inventions, works and pieces that are hidden within you. The things you are curious about. The things you are embarassed about. The things that keep quietly and patiently nudging you, waiting for you to have the courage to respond.
But The Creative15 allows you to do this in a way so small and manageable - just 15 minutes a day - making it easier to say yes to this than to say no. Messages of the importance of creativity abound these days, but we are lacking the rigor and structure to actually get to making and creating.
Routed in the science of behavior-change, the Creative15 is founded on the idea that one small shift can change your life.
We must start small to go big.
How the Creative15 Works:
1. Show Up: Every day, for 15 days, commit to any form of creative practice for a minimum of 15 minutes (you are welcome to do more if you’d like, but 15 minutes is the minimum). You may decide to spend the entire 15 days on one practice or project, or do something different every day. You can write, paint, sing, work on the script you've been dreaming about, make an interpretive dance. Doing your favorite creative activity from childhood is a great place to start.
2. Turn Off The Noise: During your Creative15, invite the critical and fear voices inside of your head to take a sabbatical. January is a great time for sabbaticals and they are welcome to come back at the end of the 15 days. You will most likely need to remind them of this sabbatical every day as they may try to sneak back in the driver's seat. You will also turn off all distractions during your 15 minutes of creative practice.
3. Be Present and See What Happens: The Creative15 is not about results, but about showing up, letting go, and being open to all possible outcomes. (And who knows, they just might be wonderful).
That's it! Simple - but profoundly not easy - your only task will be to follow these guidelines, forgive yourself when it doesn't go perfectly (it won't, and that is not the point), and support others along the creative path. If you choose to do so, I recommend accompanying your own daily practice with at least one gesture of support toward another creative person. These gestures do not have to take much time - writing a quick note of encouragement, showing genuine appreciation on social media, or donating a few dollars to an artist you believe in - but they help remind us all that this path is not a zero sum equation, and there is more than enough to go around.
We don't know what's possible for you when you prioritize your own creative practice and presence.
Are you curious to find out?
Following the above guidelines, you can do your own Creative15 anytime you want, and you can download the Creative15 calendar here. For inspiration, check out The #creative15 hashtag to see what others were up to during the last experience. The next Creative15, with daily emails, prompts, and community support begins in January of 2018. Sign-up here to get updates.
Before I started, I would look at daily writing or daily creative practice as me tricking myself into thinking I was being productive when I was really just twiddling my thumbs. But now I see just how valuable that sort of practice can be. When I started to get the ball rolling with writing every day, it was like the floodgates of inspiration were cranked open. Every subsequent day it became so much easier to sit down and let ideas flow out and onto the page. I started to think of myself in a different way too. It became easier to identify myself as an artist/creative than ever before. I felt like I was actually engaging in a truly creative life for maybe the first time since being in New York. So, in short, the impact was huge! Now that it’s over, I'm committing to continuing with daily creative practice. I think the single most important idea I'm taking away is that it builds upon itself. Doing this work over 15 days fundamentally changed me! I know that maybe sounds crazy but I think it's true! So to think of what would happen if I were to occupy this part of myself for at least 15 minutes every day for a year...well that's pretty damn exciting to me. Count me IN.
Alex Kramer, Actor
The ideas are fully flowing through me now. I seem to be more in touch with the particles of creativity that surround us daily and am able to grasp them with less negative mind chatter. It was hard to not expect an outcome of each 15 minutes (often more) but it soon became very freeing. I'm a rule follower so the directive of not thinking of a result really helped. It gave me the courage and commitment to "just start" my 52saturdays.co project and that is a HUGE F-ING deal. 15 minutes is just so do-able, and I was truly inspired by the courage of others. After doing the Creative15 I realized that creativity is crucial to my joy, and I must listen to my inner Artist…she has a lot to say.
Kit Bennett, Business Coach / Consultant
The impact on me doing the creative 15 has been BIG. Even when it feels small I know there is real change happening -- in the way I think, express myself, my creative talent, etc. It's made me show up everyday and depend on something that is good for my soul. It's also made me want to be more open to the world with what I can do or what I want to say. It's making me feel less ashamed and more excited to create art -- whether its "good" or not. This experience has definitely created a habit within myself that I want to pursue. I’ve learned that I am worthy and my ideas are worthy, and that I can do it! Whatever "it" may be.
Sam Gray, Actress
This has been an incredible journey! Doing this for 15 days has been one of great satisfaction. The fact that I showed up every day for at least 15 minutes, and in most cases more like 30 minutes has proven to me that I can stick with something and finish it. I am very proud of myself for sticking with it every single day. It has also been very productive in working to develop my project. I found that when I was just freely creative in writing poetry or something that did not involve the project, that I was much more productive and much more creative in the ways that I did work on my project. It was really incredible! And then things just started happening that I never could have expected! When I do put some time into being creative, my whole day is better and I definitely have been happier over the last two weeks! Thank you so much for all of your guidance and for all of this fun creative play. Please keep doing it!
Susan Hebbel, Philanthropist, founder The Bridge Project