Organization can be a real challenge--even more for everyday creative people who have lots of ideas, dreams, goals, responsibilities and just plain things going on—and who may also be a little suspicious of organization.
If you’re one of the suspicious ones, try to change your mind. It’s vital that, once you've opened up to your creativity, the chaos of ideas that flood your brain have a place to go to be sorted and saved.
Investing in large erasable boards can prove an excellent starting point. I use four of them. Each is about three feet by four feet in size. I use one as a four-month calendar. Another is for messages to myself, quotes that I like, and affirmations. The third is a to-do list having to do with the marketing of my books. On the fourth I keep track of my projects: where book proposals are, when galleys will arrive, that sort of thing. I love them.
Don't Be Afraid of Order
Creators may fear organization, considering it a hallmark of conformity, but maintaining these four erasable boards does nothing to stifle my innate wackiness. They are a terrific help and in no way a restriction. If you like the idea, get yourself two or three erasable boards.
Turn one into a calendar and use it indicate your daily goals. For instance, a ‘1’ in red that appears for fourteen consecutive days might mean that you’re hoping and intending to work on chapter 1 of your novel every day for two weeks running.
Use a second board for messages to yourself and for your daily affirmations. Use a third board to plan: as a place to put down the steps to creating your home business, the chapter-by-chapter outline for the book you’re writing, the detailed to-do list for your next gallery show.
If you have no creative project in mind yet, buy the erasable boards anyway and put them up on your walls. You’ll find them irresistible: they’ll draw a project right out of you.
Eric Maisel, Ph.D., is the author of 30 books, among them "Coaching the Artist Within" and "The Van Gogh Blues," and is widely regarded as America’s foremost creativity coach. His most recent book is Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions. He is a featured contributor to the HuffingtonPost, ArtBistro, and Art Calendar magazine. Visit Dr. Maisel at EricMaisel.com.