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Simple Practices That Lead To Success

Do you have a simple set of guidelines that keep you focused on your creative goals?

If you are someone who creates you must have the skill set to be an independent worker. Someone who is a self-starter and can design, develop and manage a project will be able to manifest something really fantastic out of ether.  This also means that you have the ability to evaluate your progress and formulate necessary changes as the needs arise.

Artists, writers or anyone who uses their creativity must also have some tools to keep them focused on their goals. When I think about what I will do with a painting, I envision what it might look like when finished. Sounds simple enough, however it takes a few very important steps that I have made part of my own practice. Here’s a sampling of my three-step simple practice:

  • Think
  • Sketch
  • Write Out the Plan

First, the most important is to clearly imagine what will be created because this sets the entire project into motion. Formulating something out of nothing takes introspective time. Anyone watching me would probably think I’m dawdling about, doing things that don’t have much to do with my painting. Even talking about my project reveals what appears to be distraction from what I say I want to do.


What I know about this step is that I need to move about my daily tasks holding something really big inside. This is my introspection and it is the most central step I must take to figure out my painting. I explore all sorts of feelings and while I envision my painting. Thoughts about color and form enfold my ideas for the techniques I might use. I need to be alone with my thoughts about my painting, but all while my daily work continues. This sounds confusing and it is what creators do. We mentally multi-task. We do this because we have to be in the actual world while we let a part of us meander in the deeper world of our imagination.


The second step of my practice is to make special time to record my best ideas. I write and sketch what I’ve mentally created and note the special parts about techniques or color etc., that I want to incorporate into my painting. I also write out the many questions I want to further explore while actually painting.

Write Out the Plan

The final step of my practice is to make up my work plan. This will include a detailed list of the necessary steps needed to complete my painting. I plan time and use a few personally developed tools to get it down in a tangible form. This step gives me the opportunity to practice creating my painting and then fine tune any parts that won’t work. I need to emphasize that this written plan is really detailed with each task broken into small bits that may only take me a few minutes to complete. I’ve found that by planning in this way, I can easily fit my creative work into my daily routine, because I know what time I need to provide.

Using my simple three-step practice I reach success every time. Do you have any simple practices you use to reach your creative success? If so I’d love to hear about them.

Sandy Nelson is a blogger for JenningsWire.