Author Topic: Creativity in ER  (Read 6389 times)

Trudie

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Creativity in ER
« on: August 24, 2019, 08:50:41 PM »
So, the shackles are off.  The tyranny of the schedule is thrown aside.  I am adjusting to my daily routines of yoga, walking, using public transport, voracious reading, volunteer gardening at my favorite public garden, and figuring things out in my new town.

I feel compelled to undertake some sort of project.  Not a project in the "work project" sense, and nothing even remotely close to my profession.  But I want to find something I'm passionate about, in a creative or intellectual way, and immerse myself in it.  I am not without interests, but just don't know how to direct this new energy I have.  Has anyone else gone through this and how did you resolve it?

ysette9

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2019, 11:10:06 PM »
Out of curiosity, how long since you FIREd?

Greystache

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2019, 04:49:03 PM »
I agree that a creative outlet is essential to happiness. For me it is designing and building furniture and home improvement projects. I have friends who pursued photography and writing when they FIREd.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2019, 06:36:34 AM »
For a couple of years I got interested in mushrooms. Now also a bit in plants. Both of those subjects require that you go out a lot to find mushrooms or plants and at home you can study which they are. There are clubs and facebook groups that you can join with people who study these subjects. Mushrooming also includes studying them under a microscope, something I want to pick up after I'm FIREd.
Birding is also such a hobby. So I think you could find one of these, or a similar hobby that has a club in your area. That would give you a nice community, exercise and something to study. There is so much to learn and it is fun.

Oh, not sure if it is creative though. But you can paint wool with mushrooms...

Moustachienne

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2019, 09:05:17 AM »
I totally relate to this feeling.  While I was working I didn't have time or energy for many non-work hobbies or interests and I felt the need to create structured exploring once I retired.  Endless time and possibilities can be overwhelming.  :)

I really enjoyed the "rediscover your creativity" plan laid out in Julia Cameron's It's Never Too Late.  Similar to her Artist'sWay book but more focused on retirees.  Good for any age!  I started writing Morning Pages (which I still do 2 years later though less regularly), and got myself out on weekly Art Visits.  I didn't get into the Memoir exercises so much.  It's a 12 week program, not that you need to follow any particular timing, and full of great prompts to (re)discover your creative interests.

Last year I was much influenced by David Cain's post Why the Depth Year Was My Best Year
https://www.raptitude.com/2018/12/why-the-depth-year-was-my-best-year/  The depth approach encourages us to dive into interests we already have rather than pursuing (and abandoning) a superficial spectrum of new ones. As a jack of all trades kind of person, this has helped me appreciate and develop my longstanding interests in new ways and judiciously add new ones.

I hope this is helpful!  Unleashing our creative selves is a great bonus of gaining back our time and energy in retirement.  The struggle is not to make the whole thing a new kind of obligation and weight!

moneytaichi

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2019, 05:53:03 PM »
Unleashing our creative selves is a great bonus of gaining back our time and energy in retirement.  The struggle is not to make the whole thing a new kind of obligation and weight!
Yes, it's a balance to honoring our creativity AND not to overdo (if you have been a type A, which I was). I have been struggling with this balance. After an accidental FIRE a year and half ago, I tried many things. For the first 6 months, overseas-travelling, getting our finance in order and settling down to a new place at 3,000 miles away were enough to keep my brain busy. Then I got restless on our second overseas travel so I started checking out on life coaching. It engaged me deeply for 3.5 months, then I got burned out because I tried too hard. I also had a mini-burn out on writing the memoir in the first 6 months. Now I am approaching my creative projects much slowly and carefully.

Lately, I identified two organizations that I start doing volunteering: one is to trim roses at an old mission with over 200 years of history. The place soothes my soul and helps shifting my old overly-mental-focused-identities. Another one is to write stories for an art organization. I finally accepted one thing about me: only time can tell me if an interest can last or be a good fit for me. This actually is a relief because I don't need to figure out "one" perfect thing. It's a part of life to try and test. Hope it helps!

Ladychips

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2019, 07:45:02 PM »
Knowing your interest in gardening, is there something there?  Like becoming a master gardener or designing a garden for a friend or starting a garden at a school as a teaching experiment?

I can't wait to hear what you try!

2sk22

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2019, 01:48:13 PM »
Take up the study of some intellectually hard subject, perhaps math or philosophy. Or learn a new language - I started learning German with Dueling and have since expanded my German studies using other books and study materials. The more you learn, the more creative you will become :-)

Fishindude

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2019, 03:18:13 PM »
After a many year hiatus, I geared up and started painting (acrylics) again last winter.   Had time on my hands and it kept me entertained on nasty days.   Put it back on the shelf when I got busy with outdoor stuff this spring, but will break the painting gear out again this winter after hunting season.

FIKristen

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2019, 07:39:27 PM »
Yeah - I've always been interested in learning how to install solar panels, so I took a class and got certified. Also started volunteering with an amazing non-profit called Grid Alternatives that installs solar for low-income people.  Really nice people and good community. Also I enjoy developing new skills that could one day be a money maker, although zero interest in making it a business.

Trudie

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2019, 10:24:10 PM »
I can relate to @moneytaichi -- only time will tell whether an interest will last or be a good fit.  I am directing my gardening interest in a few different ways.  I've already taken a lot of courses (I'm a master gardener)... but I keep trying different assignments at the public garden that is connected to our university.  The nice thing is that I can try out so many things.  I'm working on becoming a tour docent right now.  I've also done quite a bit of outdoor gardening work, but I want a reprieve and am glad the weather is getting cooler.  I'm going to design some gardens with a committee on our HOA.  I just keep looking for new opportunities.

I think part of early FIRE is giving yourself permission to try things on and see if they work.

Ladychips

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2019, 08:03:03 AM »
I didn't know you were already a master gardener...very cool.  Does your school librarian know about your gardening interest?  She/he might be interested in doing a unit/semester project on gardening with you as lead.  Or you might already be doing enough in that area and are looking for a completely different avenue.

I haven't read the Julie Cameron book mentioned above but I did read her Artist's Way and found it really interesting/helpful (and I don't have an artistic bone in my body).

I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Aegishjalmur

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2019, 03:11:33 PM »
I've already taken a lot of courses (I'm a master gardener)... but I keep trying different assignments at the public garden that is connected to our university.  The nice thing is that I can try out so many things.

Do you have a local botanical gardens you can volunteer at? My mother is also a master gardener and volunteers at her local one. They've done things like doing controlled burns and such so can be pretty active. She did the side business of landscaping/garden planting maintenance for a few years but gave that up since she wanted to have time for her garden.


CCCA

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2019, 03:42:10 PM »
Just found this thread and want to join.  I've been working on web programming and data visualizations as a means to satisfy my need to create things.  It may not sound exactly like a creative pursuit to some, but it definitely has elements of of design and I like that I can crank something out in a short amount of time (hours to days).


Check out my website (in my sig) if you want to see some of my latest creations. 

v8rx7guy

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2019, 04:54:41 PM »
How about wine making.  Combine your love of gardening with an art that takes time to master?

RumBurgundy

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2019, 11:35:55 AM »
Yeah - I've always been interested in learning how to install solar panels, so I took a class and got certified. Also started volunteering with an amazing non-profit called Grid Alternatives that installs solar for low-income people.  Really nice people and good community. Also I enjoy developing new skills that could one day be a money maker, although zero interest in making it a business.

@FIKristen what class did you take and was that specific to your state?

SwissMiss

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2019, 12:08:52 AM »

Last year I was much influenced by David Cain's post Why the Depth Year Was My Best Year
https://www.raptitude.com/2018/12/why-the-depth-year-was-my-best-year/  The depth approach encourages us to dive into interests we already have rather than pursuing (and abandoning) a superficial spectrum of new ones. As a jack of all trades kind of person, this has helped me appreciate and develop my longstanding interests in new ways and judiciously add new ones.

@Moustachienne: thanks for posting that link. I really enjoyed reading that post and I'll continue to dig around in David's blog a bit more. He has interesting thoughts.

sui generis

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2019, 12:31:55 PM »
I really need to pursue creativity too.  I don't have a creative bone in my body and have no idea what kind of creative pursuits I'd be interested in, much less would stick with and dive deep into.  Maybe dancing, but that is likely to cost a decent chunk of money to take classes.  It's not really something I can learn at home with YouTube and library books.  Or maybe I could, but kind of defeats the purpose, as part of the fun of dancing is being with other people! 

Anyway, am reading that "Never too Late" book now and have started with Morning Pages.  Until the elections are over in November, I don't have time to really dig in, but I thought I might as well start that now.  I'm gonna give it a real try and I totally get and agree with, in theory, her reasoning about why it's helpful.  A couple of days so far, though, writing at length about what's flitting through my mind has put me in kind of a bad mood for the rest of the day.  It's like ruminating on negative thoughts.  I don't want to artificially ignore certain thoughts and it's already hard enough to come up with enough to write for 3 whole pages, so I do write out the negative thoughts I'm having equally with neutral or positive.  But I've definitely had more negative feelings surfacing over those days.  Not any creativity yet, and I'm willing to give that time, but hoping it's worth it to persist!

Moustachienne

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2019, 05:09:45 PM »


Anyway, am reading that "Never too Late" book now and have started with Morning Pages.  Until the elections are over in November, I don't have time to really dig in, but I thought I might as well start that now.  I'm gonna give it a real try and I totally get and agree with, in theory, her reasoning about why it's helpful.  A couple of days so far, though, writing at length about what's flitting through my mind has put me in kind of a bad mood for the rest of the day.  It's like ruminating on negative thoughts.  I don't want to artificially ignore certain thoughts and it's already hard enough to come up with enough to write for 3 whole pages, so I do write out the negative thoughts I'm having equally with neutral or positive.  But I've definitely had more negative feelings surfacing over those days.  Not any creativity yet, and I'm willing to give that time, but hoping it's worth it to persist!

I really got into writing Morning Pages (on the deck, with a cup of tea, mmm) but I can relate to the negative feelings it can bring up.  I decided to have a few guidelines for myself, similar to what I do for any sort of self talk.  The biggest was that I decided to never write "I should" but always write "I want".  So if it was something I didn't want to do, it became crystal clear.  Sometimes I'd write about why I didn't want to do it but mostly I concentrated on things I felt positive about.  I agree that you might not want to over censor yourself and some negative things might be worth pursuing but you know what, you're the boss, you don't have to go down the negative roads if you don't want to.  In other words, throw "I should pay attention to negative things" out the window if you want to. "I want to focus on happy thoughts in my Morning Pages" is 100% legit.  Morning Pages can be whatever you want them to be.  Make them enjoyable, I say.

Trudie

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2019, 12:03:42 AM »
I appreciate so many of the comments and suggestions.

Iíve heard many people say-including some on this thread - that they donít have a creative bone in their body.  Not true.  I believe that all of us are born with creative genes.  Unfortunately, we supress them while weíre trying to advance our careers.  There are legions of people walking around who are terribly creatively repressed.

Add to that a tendency to think that, for instance, the *process* of making art doesnít matter if itís not *good* or you canít make a living at it.  Who the fuck cares?  Dare boldly, I say.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2019, 04:23:28 AM »
The key to what @Trudie is saying is trying things. I felt like I never had a creative bone in my body as well. Over the last nearly 5 years now of being fire'd alot of things I didnt like or wasnt good at , because of my freedom and attitude I have become better at and enjoy. And as stated if you get into painting and in your mind it doesnt look good keep painting until you think it is. Doesnt matter what others think. Also I think having a few things vs just one is good too. When I first fire'd I really started to read. I read so much I became a couch potato. Balance a couple 3,4 or ? things out.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2019, 07:08:25 AM »
I totally relate to this feeling.  While I was working I didn't have time or energy for many non-work hobbies or interests and I felt the need to create structured exploring once I retired.  Endless time and possibilities can be overwhelming.  :)

I really enjoyed the "rediscover your creativity" plan laid out in Julia Cameron's It's Never Too Late.  Similar to her Artist'sWay book but more focused on retirees.  Good for any age!  I started writing Morning Pages (which I still do 2 years later though less regularly), and got myself out on weekly Art Visits.  I didn't get into the Memoir exercises so much.  It's a 12 week program, not that you need to follow any particular timing, and full of great prompts to (re)discover your creative interests.

Last year I was much influenced by David Cain's post Why the Depth Year Was My Best Year
https://www.raptitude.com/2018/12/why-the-depth-year-was-my-best-year/  The depth approach encourages us to dive into interests we already have rather than pursuing (and abandoning) a superficial spectrum of new ones. As a jack of all trades kind of person, this has helped me appreciate and develop my longstanding interests in new ways and judiciously add new ones.

I hope this is helpful!  Unleashing our creative selves is a great bonus of gaining back our time and energy in retirement.  The struggle is not to make the whole thing a new kind of obligation and weight!

Awesome post and great topic, I used to follow David Cain but lapsed.  Need to revisit that and also look in to the book suggestion... 

Salim

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2019, 05:15:24 AM »
So, the shackles are off.  The tyranny of the schedule is thrown aside.  I am adjusting to my daily routines of yoga, walking, using public transport, voracious reading, volunteer gardening at my favorite public garden, and figuring things out in my new town.

I feel compelled to undertake some sort of project.  Not a project in the "work project" sense, and nothing even remotely close to my profession.  But I want to find something I'm passionate about, in a creative or intellectual way, and immerse myself in it.  I am not without interests, but just don't know how to direct this new energy I have.  Has anyone else gone through this and how did you resolve it?

Wow. This was a really good thought exercise for me and I thank you for posing the question. I studied painting in college but spent most of my career as a graphic designer, so I was eager to go back to painting in retirement. The problem is, I went nuts buying art supplies (oils, acrylics, pastels, art surfaces, and new drawing supplies) after I retired, spending way over budget, which left me wanting/needing to get some work to pay for the supplies. At that point, I invested more money and time in teaching supplies and looking for work, which brought stressful interruptions to my retirement.

Now the dust has settled and I realize I want to focus on just painting in oils and drawing. Recently, I bought six good-sized canvases that could easily take me six months or more to use up. So, my resolution to the problem of where to direct my creative energy is finally resolved in an affordable way. I kinda wish I hadnít spent so much on the supplies, but I do have a lot of very cool supplies now that I can enjoy when the spirit moves me. I plan to take fewer teaching gigs, to free up more time to paint. Retirement can be a really wonderful time for creatives.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2019, 05:29:23 AM »
So, the shackles are off.  The tyranny of the schedule is thrown aside.  I am adjusting to my daily routines of yoga, walking, using public transport, voracious reading, volunteer gardening at my favorite public garden, and figuring things out in my new town.

I feel compelled to undertake some sort of project.  Not a project in the "work project" sense, and nothing even remotely close to my profession.  But I want to find something I'm passionate about, in a creative or intellectual way, and immerse myself in it.  I am not without interests, but just don't know how to direct this new energy I have.  Has anyone else gone through this and how did you resolve it?

Wow. This was a really good thought exercise for me and I thank you for posing the question. I studied painting in college but spent most of my career as a graphic designer, so I was eager to go back to painting in retirement. The problem is, I went nuts buying art supplies (oils, acrylics, pastels, art surfaces, and new drawing supplies) after I retired, spending way over budget, which left me wanting/needing to get some work to pay for the supplies. At that point, I invested more money and time in teaching supplies and looking for work, which brought stressful interruptions to my retirement.

Now the dust has settled and I realize I want to focus on just painting in oils and drawing. Recently, I bought six good-sized canvases that could easily take me six months or more to use up. So, my resolution to the problem of where to direct my creative energy is finally resolved in an affordable way. I kinda wish I hadnít spent so much on the supplies, but I do have a lot of very cool supplies now that I can enjoy when the spirit moves me. I plan to take fewer teaching gigs, to free up more time to paint. Retirement can be a really wonderful time for creatives.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/ultralearning/

It is easy to fall for buying way too much stuff for a hobby. I am guilty as well.

Maybe the ultralearning habit is something for you? If you learn to the podcast from Mad Fientist, is says you should limit your learning process. For example, the guest Scott said he wanted to learn to draw better faces. He then limited himself to only using a pencil and only drawing from photos. So try one skill first that you can learn to master in a shorter time frame and limit the scope to what is reasonable to obtain.

Salim

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2019, 06:11:30 PM »
So, the shackles are off.  The tyranny of the schedule is thrown aside.  I am adjusting to my daily routines of yoga, walking, using public transport, voracious reading, volunteer gardening at my favorite public garden, and figuring things out in my new town.

I feel compelled to undertake some sort of project.  Not a project in the "work project" sense, and nothing even remotely close to my profession.  But I want to find something I'm passionate about, in a creative or intellectual way, and immerse myself in it.  I am not without interests, but just don't know how to direct this new energy I have.  Has anyone else gone through this and how did you resolve it?

Wow. This was a really good thought exercise for me and I thank you for posing the question. I studied painting in college but spent most of my career as a graphic designer, so I was eager to go back to painting in retirement. The problem is, I went nuts buying art supplies (oils, acrylics, pastels, art surfaces, and new drawing supplies) after I retired, spending way over budget, which left me wanting/needing to get some work to pay for the supplies. At that point, I invested more money and time in teaching supplies and looking for work, which brought stressful interruptions to my retirement.

Now the dust has settled and I realize I want to focus on just painting in oils and drawing. Recently, I bought six good-sized canvases that could easily take me six months or more to use up. So, my resolution to the problem of where to direct my creative energy is finally resolved in an affordable way. I kinda wish I hadnít spent so much on the supplies, but I do have a lot of very cool supplies now that I can enjoy when the spirit moves me. I plan to take fewer teaching gigs, to free up more time to paint. Retirement can be a really wonderful time for creatives.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/ultralearning/

It is easy to fall for buying way too much stuff for a hobby. I am guilty as well.

Maybe the ultralearning habit is something for you? If you learn to the podcast from Mad Fientist, is says you should limit your learning process. For example, the guest Scott said he wanted to learn to draw better faces. He then limited himself to only using a pencil and only drawing from photos. So try one skill first that you can learn to master in a shorter time frame and limit the scope to what is reasonable to obtain.

Thatís an interesting thought. Actually, I think what I did was like serial ultralearning efforts, buying the supplies for each effort as I went. I was dealing with health issues at the time, so focusing on the different projects as I proceeded helped get me through a tough time. Iím so glad I am out the other side of the process and can be more focused now on my chosen mediums and feeling more in control of spending.

Trudie

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Re: Creativity in ER
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2019, 11:07:10 PM »
An acquaintance of ours toured our condo (to see our decorating efforts) and we got into the most interesting discussion the other day.  Heís a retired art teacher and is getting back into clay pottery.  We talked about needing to find creative outlets in our retirement and his advice was just ďdo.Ē  There are so many materials and forms to be discovered.