31 Days · creative habit · Good to Know

31 Days: Creative Habit – Day 18: Solitude

I can’t believe I skipped two days of 31 Days! Last year, even when I was on vacation, I still posted projects. But this week, sickness got the best of me. During my daily “creative” time (my kids’ nap time), I napped instead. It was desperately needed, and I’m feeling much better.

When I first started looking into “creative habit“, I found an article, “The No. 1 Habit of Highly Creative People” at Zen Habits. I had forgotten about it until I opened up Twyla Tharp this afternoon and read through her first few exercises. Exercise 2 is “Build Up Your Tolerance for Solitude”.

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Now, I’m an ENFP. I enjoy being with other people. But I’ve come to realize, as I get older, that I also enjoy quiet time by myself, at least a little. (Some weeks are crazier than others, and I crave quiet so much that I begin to wonder if I’m really an Introvert. Maybe I should retest?)

The most interesting idea Twyla said about it, at least to me, is this:

“[Solitude] is the exact opposite of meditation.”

You’re not trying to quiet your mind, to get rid of your thoughts, but to pull thoughts out.

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So this afternoon, while trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with a piece in my “sewing projects” box, I pulled out my journal and sat with my thoughts. Within 4 minutes, I had come up with three possibilities, two of which had never occurred to me, and probably wouldn’t have if I’d just started cutting and sewing. But giving myself some time to just be quiet and think – ALONE – brought out all sorts of different ideas.

Maybe this will be my new ritual – to start my creative time with some quiet, not doing anything or creating in any way, but just being alone with ideas.

Check back tomorrow to see what I do with my ideas from today!

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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2 thoughts on “31 Days: Creative Habit – Day 18: Solitude

  1. I love, love, love, solitude. when I am alone just doodling or free writing or just sitting with my thoughts I get my best ideas. I went to the myers-briggs site and, without any testing, it seems I am probably an ISTJ. I will have to think about that a little more…. my mom and I went thrifting at ecothrift and thrift town in south sac today…two of my favorites. I was collecting some books for a collage i am working on. I was looking for a poetry book, but I did not find one that I wanted. I also was looking for an older road atlas but they were charging way too much. I did find some cool stuff though.:) I did not look at jewelry but it made me think of you as I passed by…

    1. Husband is an ISTJ – my polar opposite – that’s why I like you so much! Was so sad to miss out last night – sounds like it was great fun. And we really need to plan a thrift trip together one of these days….

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