Disclaimer: I’m not claiming to have it all together. This series is meant as a somewhat personal attempt to pass along some knowledge that I have gained along my journey. These are merely suggestions.
I’m going to begin with one creativity blocker that at first mention would not seem to have anything to do with creativity–money. But when you think about it, everything in our lives has to do with creativity, whether it stimulates it or hinders it. So, here’s what I have to say about money.
I was notoriously horrible at managing money for the first (long) part of my life. It just wasn’t a skill that came naturally to me, and I never had the motivation to learn how to manage my money. Until, I DID have the motivation to learn to manage my money. Life handed me a wake-up call, and luckily I was smart enough to (finally) accept it. I say all of this because I think advice (or whatever you want to call this) sometimes comes better from someone who was not so good at something and then ended up being pretty great at it. I wasn’t good at managing money, and then I ended up being pretty good at it.
You have got to get your money life in order. No one ever regretted becoming debt free, I promise. How does this relate to creativity? You can’t focus on your creative endeavors when you are worried about how you are going to feed your family or buy diapers or keep the lights on. If you are living paycheck to paycheck (or less than that, even), you don’t have the mental space to focus on that creative passion that is within you. You are purely in survival mode.
Creativity blocker #1 = money problems. My suggestion: Dave Ramsey. I adore Dave Ramsey and his money advice. I listen to his radio show nearly every day. It’s free. I’ve read several of his books. I’ve been through his Financial Peace University. I’m not saying you have to become a hardcore Dave Ramsey fan, but he can help. He offers common sense advice and a simple six-step plan to become debt free and save and give money. It really is life-changing.
If Dave simply isn’t your style, I do have one other suggestion: Ruth Soukup’s “31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero.” This book was a game changer for me. It truly was the reset button that was promised. I’ve mentioned Ruth a few times on this blog before because I really do love the “practical solutions to overwhelm” that she offers.
Bottom line: You’ve got to get your finances in order, even if it’s just to improve your quality of life. Admit it… Living a life where your money goes to everyone but you is no way to live. And, even if you aren’t swimming in debt, living paycheck to paycheck is no fun. Get your finances in order, pay off your debt and start focusing that energy on the creative life you crave.