Making the Commitment to Show Up

Last week when I shared some thoughts on developing a dedicated creative practice, a lot of interesting comments, and ideas, and reminders came up that helped me (re)start the journey.

Before, sitting down to create when I didn't feel like it sounded like icky forcing - but these last few days of showing up for the practice felt far from icky. Each day starts off a bit awkward, but after just a few marks, I often find myself lost in doodling or finding clarity. (And not always, but that's okay!)

Art Journaling on the couch

I've discovered that not having expectations around what I do, leaves room for me to simply focus on showing up and staying present. I have yet to feel like I want to write or draw or paint... but I know I want to have a creative practice.

So each day, at the same time, I simply show up and make a mark.

No pressure. No desired outcome. Just openness and a mark.

Having grandiose ideas around the practice would just make it feel like a big heavy thing on my 'to-do' list that would likely lead to fits of the 'I-don't-wanna's'! I also know that if I continued on as I was, only creating when the mood strikes, I would show up less and less until perhaps one day I'd find myself not being able to call myself 'creative' at all.

Allowing myself to make crap day after day ensures that I'm present and ready for the moments when the muse (or the universe or creative flow) decides to flow through me.

It just takes some trust and consistency in showing up. And yes, it's hard.

Commitment may not fit into our glamorous idea of being creative, but it's what works, and it's what nourishes us.

Like my mentor, Kate Swoboda, so timely said in a recent blog post: "We need to water our personal selves much like we water plants." It's not about whether you have the time, or whether or not you know what to do - "It's about a choice to step into consistently practicing the things that make your life feel better."

So if creative expression makes your Soul feel alive, as it does mine... what are you waiting for?

All it takes is a devotion to make a mark each day. You never know where it might lead!

Always in curiosity and love,


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  1. Karin Hofvander says

    I have promised my self to open my diary every day, if it is only to write date and weekday. Some times there is only that and sometime I also start doodling. Or feel that the text needs some pictures as decorations (I love small pictures from tidningar or stamps)…and an other color of the pen…or…and there I loose my self into the creativity. Then I pick up an art journal and continue there. (I listened to your 101 course a long time ago and loved it! You have a pleasant voice to listen to.)
    Some times, when I (really badly) only want to write, I use writing ideas that I find on internet. My intention with the diary is to have contact with my self and the present time. And to stay creative as much as I can.

  2. Sylvie Morneau says

    Thanks for the reminder and encouragement to show up at the same time each day. For me it is around 4pm when there is the most sun in my art room😊 I do have a goal but or some projects that I’m working on but often before I get into that I just doodle or sketch in a $store sketchbook. It’s like a brain dump bit it actually gets creative juices flowing. I have this book it’s in French; translated its called- Creating your Better Self. The author calls this sketch book “the ugly sketchbook”- in French this title rhymes😉

  3. Marietta Billups says

    I love your notes. Having no excuse is no excuse

  4. When crap has happened its really hard to get going again. I art journalled every day and spent hours in my art room in creative activity. Then 20 months ago a shockingly short and brutal thing happened- my husband became sick, diagnosed and died all n the space of 9 weeks. The past 18 months has seen this lost soul unable to get a creative footing at all. I just gave up on art. I felt like giving up on life if Richard wasn’t in it.
    In the last couple of months though I am waking up and am back in my art room creating. At first I just sat there looking at what I’d done in the past. Richard told me to carry on with my art. Now I’m finding I can. I’m even getting excited about it again.
    Thanks for your thoughts Kristal. I can so identify. We have to keep going.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story Catherine. That must have been so hard for you. I can totally understand the desire to give it all up. But I’m excited for you to be opening that door again and listening to the whispers!

  5. What am I ready to commit to?? Not committing my self to more structure, deadlines, demands or appointments in my day!! Interesting question that has brought up thoughts/feelings for me to consider. Thank you Kristal for the space to reflect.

  6. Never giving up on myself. Just making those marks, enjoying the flow or the scratch of the pen, the pencil, the paint, whatever my vibe feels like… and giving it something even when it doesn’t. Such truth in those words, no pressure, just make a mark. I know there’s more inside of me, but time doesn’t allow that growth. And some days that panics me, but I always remind myself, never give up on me. And when I look back over the years, I sometimes wonder why I haven’t achieved more, my life is over full, a jack of many trades, a master of none. Not true, I say to myself, you are a master of implementing diversification and many things, and I never give up on coming back to my making a mark…. 🙏

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