Creatives need playgrounds.
No, not actual sandy playgrounds for kids (although I still love those at twenty-two!)
But a place and time for play. After all, creatives need to play and one can’t play unless there’s a place for it.
A playground = time + place dedicated to playing.
What it is depends on what you do creatively.
For example, I am a writer. And my playground is a daily (time) diary (place) which nobody reads except me.
When I type my 1,000-1,500 words first thing in the morning, I relax into the page because I know nobody is watching.
It allows me to test ideas, try out new things, and just write something to get the momentum going.
If you’re a designer, perhaps your playground is a blank canvas. If you’re an entrepreneur, perhaps it’s a landing page where you A/B test your hypotheses. If you’re a musician, perhaps your playground is the random morning piano session.
All kinds of ideas can show up while you're playing.
Most of which wouldn’t have occurred unless you started.
Of course, there are writers who say they "write when they feel inspired", but 100% of the famous writers I know – those who get published – they write every day. And those who “write when they get inspired”, well, I don’t know them because they don’t have books.
Successful creatives know the power of play.
There’s a common misconception (which I fell prey to for a long time) that “writing every day” means publishing every day. No. Writing every day means “playing every day”. It means putting something out there and knowing that 99% of what you write will be crap and will never see the light of day. That’s normal.
It’s 1% – which can’t occur unless you play – that we’re looking for.
Let people assume that everything you create is gold. They don't know (or see) that for every good piece you write, thousands of words were cut out and sent to trash.
The hardest thing for a busy person to do is play.
Well, help yourself out. Set up a playground. A routine. A place. Time yourself. Play isn’t play unless there are time boundaries that separate it from “real life”.