Creative entrepreneurship can be a mental beast.
In one lane is the creative. The art form. The work. The craftsmanship through which our creative world comes to life. The art we make. The product we forge. The food we cook. The service we provide.
There is love and attention poured in to our work; when we’re in it we are truly IN it, this thing we create and deliver out in to the world.
It is that ethereal creative channel made tangible.
This lane alone – the one from which all of our new ideas flow and keep us working late into the night – in and of itself is unpredictable, variable, sometimes a torrent and sometimes a trickle.
In the other lane is the entrepreneurship. The quest to “make a living doing what I love.” The business element. The desire and need to create money from our art. It’s the tech, the time spent behind the table at the fairs and farmers markets, the invoicing, marketing, branding, networking, gritty business running side of the project.
The part that makes it all not just a hobby.
This lane, too, brings with it multiple tributaries, potholes, and thought-storms.
Put these two channels of thinking together – the creative and the entrepreneurship – and it’s easy to get swept up in to a cacophony of thoughts, creation, worries, inspiration, what ifs, fear.
How, then, to settle it down? Where is the space to just BE? How can we untangle and tease apart the multiple angles and channels of thinking, creating space in our minds to reflect, zoom out, slow down, recenter, and step OUT of the tornadoes of thinking to gain some fresh perspective and free ourselves up for new insight and possibility?
One of my favorite tools for this are The Morning Pages, outlined in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, a course in discovering and recovering your creative self. Broken down into 12 weeks (chapters), the book guides you through a series of themes, reflections, questions and deep dives around recovering a Sense of…
The cornerstone of this work are the morning pages: Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. (Why three? Julia Cameron explains more here.
They can be about anything. And nothing. There are no rules, no boundaries. They are not meant to be shared or reread. They simply serve as a vehicle for getting all of your thinking OUT of your head and ON to the paper in front of you.
There is a visceral, somatic release, too, through the act of letting your thinking out – a natural calming, settling, and quieting of the mind, as if emptying a taut balloon through a pinhole until it is loose, pliable and relaxed in its form.
Through personal experience and the accounts of others I can share that a commitment to morning pages helps to:
- center and clear your mind
- both rediscover and stay tapped in to your creativity
- silence your inner critic
- make sense of the multiple trains of thought you’re holding on to as a creative entrepreneur
- curb your anxiety – much like watching a snow globe settle, the practice of brain-dumping helps to slow down and sort through overwhelmed thinking
- allow your creative channel to remain free of the pressures of your entrepreneurial channel
I encourage you to start including a morning pages practice in your daily routine. I encourage you, as well, to stick with it even if journaling isn’t your thing and you struggle to fill up one page.
Something magical happens when you’re willing to sit with that quiet space in your mind (“I have nothing to write about!”) and just wait. And notice. And scribble a few words to see what comes up. On the other side of those blank mental spaces you’ll frequently find the jewel of thought you need to get out, process, and see with fresh eyes.
Allegra Stein believes in Ideas and is committed to you doing awesome, adventurous things. As a Thought and Action Coach she helps kickstart creative, whimsical, inspiring ideas one person at a time. To find out more, find her at allegrastein.com or on Instagram @allegrator