I was recently listening to the Accidental Creative podcast episode titled “Finding A Place Of Your Own” where show host Todd Henry discussed the topic of sacred space. He asked listeners, “Do you have a place in your life where you go to retreat from the world, to think, to write, to create, to read? Do you have a dedicated space where you can play with ideas, free from the pressure of the world and without concern for what anyone else might think?”
When Henry posed this question, I thought, yes, it’s my spare room/art studio, duh. But realized that wasn’t entirely true… My art studio has been a great addition to my life, and lots of creative projects were born in that space since March. But it’s not actually the space I go to retreat from the world and feel free from the pressures of the world. So where do I actually go?
Yup. The bathtub. All my best ideas come to me when I’m soaking in a bath. And if you’re wondering, I take a bath almost every day. (Perhaps it has something to do with me being a water sign?! ) I realize my sacred space is a tad unconventional, but not unheard of. People talk about getting their best ideas and clarity whilst taking a shower, right? In fact, I know a couple other creatives who talk about the power of taking baths. In the Creative Pep Talk Podcast, illustrator Andy J. Pizza talked about dreaming up a new and inspiring design for his living room whilst taking a long bath.
As an avid listener of creative and business podcasts and reader of self-development books, I have noticed a trend in the way we talk about “creating space” for creative projects. Usually when creatives talk about creating space for creativity they are talking about two specific things:
1. Carving out time in your schedule to actually do the creative work that needs to be done i.e. putting “write novel” on your calendar every morning at 6am.
2. Creating a physical space in your home that has all your necessary supplies and triggers you to do your creative work, i.e. clearing off a desk or converting a spare room into an art studio.
But what Henry discussed in this podcast episode felt distinctly different for me. Why? Because I separate the process of daydreaming/escaping from the world and actually doing creative work. My daydreaming and escaping happen in the bathtub, usually in the evening. The actual work happens in front of my computer or writing in my journal, usually in the morning. Separate spaces and times for separate activities.
For me, these processes fuel one another—they are cyclical. Doing the work expends my creative energy—I put all my creative energy into my writing or design. When I’m taking a bath, I’m filling that creative vessel, allowing myself to feel rejuvenated, relaxed, and inspired by new ideas. Here are some things I do in the bath:
• Eat (gross, I know)
• Watch Creative Live courses online
• Type quick notes on my phone such as a blog post idea
• Feel completely relaxed and accidentally fall asleep (dangerous, yes, I know!)
Doing the work and getting inspired to do the work might be separate processes for you, and they might need separate spaces or rituals to get them accomplished.
The most important thing is finding the routines that work best for you. I’d love to know more about you and your creative routines. Do you have separate spaces/rituals for getting inspired and actually doing creative work?