Energy is important for creativity. Too little energy and your mind stays with the familiar and easy, unable to explore or embrace possibilities.
Sleep, of course, is important for maintaining our energy. But apart from getting enough physical rest, creativity requires parts of our lives to be energizing as well.
When we say that something has “moved us” we are specifically stating that it has energized us in some way, propelling us in a direction; to be moved. This is important, because energy is a remarkably valuable and often rare resource. It always comes from something, never from thin air.
Energy propels us, it creates and destroys, it causes change and creates motion. To be moved by something is to receive energy from it. In some contexts that energy comes from yourself. A conversation that leaves you feeling energized isn’t actually “giving” you energy, it’s simply allowing you to access energies from within yourself, from places you didn’t even know you had it stored.
To unlock those pockets of energy in your life requires something you can feel passionate about, something that excites you and invokes action.
In my own life I’ve found writing to be one such source of energy. Even on days when I feel completely exhausted, disposed to spend the entire day on the couch reading or watching movies, if I take a few minutes to write some words – about my thoughts, my lack of energy, my muse – I typically end up feeling more energized as a result.
This is peculiar, since writing requires energy to begin with. But if I don’t invest much into the act of writing, if I instead put the words out into the world freely, what happens is I am energized by the potential inspiration those words can become.
In your own life, look for these small things that can energize and move you and hold onto them. Never comprise over them. Whether it’s a creative act – doodling, free writing, journaling, painting, playing an instrument, creating a moodboard, brainstorming with a friend or peer, etc. – or something else – a conversation, flipping through page after page of inspiration, reading a book.
Photo by See-ming Lee.