How to Get Back to Your Creativity After a Long While Away (for doctors and beyond)

Creative Doctors.   Cool.   Like the sound of that.

So many doctors (and definitely nurses) I’ve encountered over the years have rich creative juices flowing in their scientific veins. They don’t

always have a chance, or the confidence to pursue creative passions in their focussed adult lives. Sounds just like the rest of us.

The inspiring Jan Orman is working to change this (in my creativity-obsessed world) unfortunate state of affairs. She offers the Creative Doctors blog. 

It’s for ‘spotlighting the creative things doctors do when they’re not practicing medicine’.

Jan was kind enough to ask me to write my … wee haaa…. very first…. guest post. Before May this year, when I began blogging, I had no earthly idea what a ‘guest post’ might be.

A stamped envelope paying you a visit?
A much-invited bollard or telegraph pole?

I’m still not entirely sure what a guest post is, but I wrote one.
Here ’tis. Hope it’s useful for you, whether you are a doctor or not.

How to Get Back to Your Creativity after a Long While Away

I knew Sally Swain , artist, teacher, writer and therapist, was a treasure when I met her, so I asked her to write something for Creative Doctors about getting back in touch with creativity. Here it is:

“Art-making, writing, performing…something sparked you early in life. You had to let it go to immerse yourself in your medical career. You ache to return to that passion, but don’t know how. Or there’s no time, or it seems too hard or frivolous. Maybe you believe you’re not really very ‘good’ at it anyway, so why bother?

Sally Swain art

Rhyming Cuplet –
Sally Swain © original art


Tread lightly.

Approach your long-lost creative self with tenderness and care. You might have Artist Wounds from long ago. A teacher banished you from the school choir. Other kids in your class were praised for their neat drawings, while you were ignored. Everyone said your sister was ‘the artist’ in the family and you were ‘the clever one’.

How to heal an Artist Wound? You need more than a quick dab with mercurochrome.

Creativity is a relationship, requiring gentle attention. You might need to rebuild this relationship gradually. Perhaps you could woo your creative self and give it quality time. You may need to listen.

Are there strategies to help you reconnect with your creativity; to tend to Artist Wounds? But of course. There are many.

Here are just two littlies for now. I have a word count to stick to, you know.

One strategy is to literally listen. In a five minute mindful listening meditation, become aware of whatever sounds present themselves. When you find yourself worrying about yesterday’s meeting or wishing there were fewer planes and more birds, you self-kindly bring yourself back to the inner and outer soundscape. Then you paint, draw, write or move in response.

Sally Swain art

Rhyming Cuplet –
Sally Swain © original art

Another strategy is to write morning pages. Creativity queen Julia Cameron introduces this basic tool in her book The Artist’s Way. You write three pages freehand every morning. You vent, meander, repeat, blurt, scribble. Most importantly, you keep your hand moving and you ALLOW whatever guff emerges to land on the page. Morning pages can help ground and stabilise your creative self, as well as facilitating flow. They function as a springboard to all manner of creative adventures.

I hope you find value in this potted version of a life’s work of creativity-whispering. I encourage you to seek support to grow your creative spirit. And feel free to pop over to my Art and Soul blog to discover more.”

This is the link to the Creative Doctors blog. Enjoy.


2 thoughts on “How to Get Back to Your Creativity After a Long While Away (for doctors and beyond)

  1. I like the idea of using 5 minute meditations to tap into dormant creativity. Often we think we have to set aside mountains of time to do our creative work, but the best can come forth after a few moments of allowing….. 🙂

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