Some people may get anxious about being around the family this Thanksgiving. It can be intense living up to everyone’s standards or hearing 20 opinions about what you should be doing with your life. But worry not, spending time around the family this year can totally fuel your creative fire, not put it out.
The holidays are a great time to take a well-deserved breather from work projects, personal to-do lists, and spinning your wheels. It can be exhausting leading a creatively inspired life. It’s even more difficult earning a living as a creative/artist/freelancer/maker/small-business owner. Use these 8 tips to take advantage of this holiday season and get inspired by the friends and family gathered around you.
1. Holiday traditions can renew your spirit.
You know them when you see them, those holiday traditions that make each family unique. Sitting around playing music with your family, singing classic songs in a sing-along, telling stories, frying turkeys, mom’s turkey-gravy challenge, playing football, roasting oysters, or drinking beers around the fire—the good stuff you do every year can bring you back to where you came from and make you feel home and whole again.
2. Your crazy aunt Barbara and uncle Jim actually have really amazing stories.
Sure, your crazy aunt is a nutty schoolteacher, but how about those amazing stories she tells! This Thanksgiving, ask your family members about their life experiences. Draw on their knowledge and lives to inspire your own art or storytelling. In a rough spot right now? Ask others how they managed when they were your age. There is a lot to learn from other people’s journeys through life. Ask people to share their stories. Go deeper, ask for the details, have an interesting conversation this holiday, and take the best parts and put them into your art and passions.
3. Try the legendary “Food Coma Brainstorm.”
Oh yes, the infamous Thanksgiving food coma. Believe it or not, this is the best time to let your mind wander and allow yourself to generate new ideas. Instead of taking the easy way out and sitting down in front of the TV this year, sit down with a trusty notebook and free write, compose a song with your cousin, or take out that dusty sketchbook and doodle. Just don’t forget to take action on your ideas!
4. There’s nothing like a little friendly competition.
A little bit of healthy competition with the family can keep you on your toes. As a creative person, you need to stay sharp and nimble. Playing some games with the family will keep you ready for whatever creative challenge or exciting project comes your way in the New Year. We recommend the classics like Pictionary, Balderdash, Charades, or Catchphrase.
5. Festive fashion is fun.
You are who you are. As a creative person, this is always a tricky topic of conversation with the family. There is no better time of year to rock that wacky Thanksgiving-themed sweater vest you own. Festive fashion means freedom from other people’s judgments. Be yourself this year with confidence. Your family and friends can and will accept you for who you are. Be that creative, quirky person you really are, even if that means taking a career risk, singing the blues at dive bars, or wearing knitted turkeys on your chest.
6. Hosting is heroic.
If you’re hosting this year…congratulations! It ain’t easy to be the one who entertains the family. Dishes are never fun. Destroying your kitchen is a messy undertaking (just like the creative process). Don’t hold back this year on being the best host you can be. As this year’s host, you play a special role in everyone’s Thanksgiving and in their hearts. You are helping to create memories that will last a lot longer than those amazing leftovers and slammin’ post-holiday turkey sandwiches.
7. Appreciate that you’re all under one roof again.
Count the blessing in your life this Thanksgiving. Some people are serving overseas, some are snowed in and cannot leave their homes, and some are cold and hungry. We thank those men and women serving us near and far, and we salute our veterans here at home. Life can get crazy as people run around town. We get wrapped up in thinking about all the shopping, holiday recitals, and cooking. All year, you can run around town and never really spend time with the people who count. Take a moment to share your joy with others or share a laugh and thank them for being in your life, thank them for being an inspiration.
8. Find community. Create opportunity for yourself.
The holidays are always a time to be reminded that the people in your family actually have pretty good advice. You know what they say, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you’re standing in the wrong room.”
My family has always pushed me to go the distance and make things happen. Earlier this year when I found myself scrambling to figure out the next step, I did something drastic. I went out on a limb and decided to create something different for Charleston. I launched Creators’ Clubhouse with the intention of connecting others so that our community can continue to develop and maintain homegrown opportunity in the creative sphere. Through our online activity, the mission of the company is to help Charleston-based employers to find local talent and, at the same time, help people in the community find work. We also want to help foster community within the creative cluster, support local businesses, and help our area thrive across all avenues of artistic expression.
Information is everywhere. What if all that information about creative gigs was all under one roof (just like your family is) this holiday season? The Creators’ Clubhouse Cork Board is exactly that central place. I saw this as a void in the creative community and business ecosystem here. We operate a curated job board that allows locals to view and post available positions in the growing creative services job market right here in Charleston. And you know what? That keeps me inspired this holiday season. I hope it can inspire you too.
Whatever it is that lights up your creative fire—make it happen. You can do it, too. I thought of something that could connect me to other creatives and push the creative scene in our awesome city even further. I created an opportunity for myself and, in turn, get to help creating opportunities for others, too. There is no “right way” to make this holiday season special, but take advantage of this holiday season and get inspired by the friends and family gathered around you. Be sure to feed your creative fire so it can keep it burning well into 2015.
Visit http://jobs.creatorsclubhouse.com to learn more.
Thanks, Charleston! More exciting stuff coming your way!
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