The concept: execute 5 creative dreams
I am introducing a new feature on my blog: creative dream list. The idea is simple. I list five creative dreams that excite me. No more, no less. I plan to execute these five dreams in the next couple of weeks, perhaps months.
They will be my creative focus. Whenever I make a creative dream happen, I will blog about my experience. When I cross off all five, I will add five more to my list, and so on.
What is a creative dream?
Your creative dreams are all the exciting things you would love to do to make your life more fun or meaningful.
Dreams come in many shapes and sizes. A creative dream is basically anything that you want to do that seems fun. Creative dreams excite you and fill you with joy. Creative dreams make you feel like you’re living life to the fullest. They light you up. They give you energy. Pursuing them makes you happy.
Creative Dream List: The Rules.
Rule #1. Maximum 5 creative dreams at any given time.
Narrowing down your options helps you to focus and carry through. Although I normally recommend to focus on one dream at a time, it can be useful to have a select few. It brings flexibility to the process. It enables you to easily engage with any next task in the creative process, even when one can’t be done right now (for instance: stores are closed, it’s raining, x, y, z).
Rule #2. All creative dreams spark excitement.
It’s easy for creative to-do’s to sneak in with your actual dreams. Spray-painting that lampshade: is it a creative to-do or a creative dream? Depends on whether the idea excites you or not. Sometimes a creative dream can become a chore, or a chore a creative dream. You need to listen carefully to filter through the noise of ambition. Listen for joy.
Rule #3. No deadlines, just progress.
This is a creative dream list, not a creative goal list. The difference? Goals have deadlines. When you are truly intrinsically motivated it is easy to make progress on goals. These days, I try to practice more self-compassion. So no deadlines, no order. Life is stressful enough without adding unnecessary pressure. I will however work intentionally at making them happen.
Rule #4: Permission to replace a creative dream.
At any time, you’re free to swap out a creative dream for one that sparks more excitement. I want a free, no-need-to-explain ticket to ditch a dream if along the way my opinion or feelings about the dream change. This decreases the chance that passion turns into obligation. Because obligation is never a good reason to do anything.
My Creative Dream List
Below are the creative dreams I will be working on in the near future. This list functions as my Creative Dream Master List for future reference. Whenever I finish a dream, I will add a link from and to the new blogpost. As I go, I will be adding new dreams to this post.
Creative Dream Short List (11-15)
- Declutter my creative office
- Learn to weld
- Start a vegetable garden & plant flowers
- Swim outside regularly (in summer)
- Make a paper craft deer head
- Organise a cartoon morning for friends in pyjama
- Do a digital detox & create digital minimalism plan
- Make a faux taxidermy butterfly shadow box
- Reupholster our vintage lounge chair
- Repaint dresser
- Finish dining table legs
Learn Adobe After Effects basics(I took a skillshare course but have no proof for you)
- Make a rainbow necklace
- Make a pinhole camera
- Make a xylophone doorbell
Creative Dream List: Why? A story.
Why I started this blog
Nearly a decade ago, I started my blog as a way to document random acts of kindness. It was my personal experiment to understand how I can make a positive change in this world. A couple months in, I started documenting other creative endeavours as well. Magical Daydream became my passion, my happy place. Above all: a place for me to safely play and experiment creatively.
From blog to business
A few years back, I started to explore ways to make money doing what I loved. I developed a Kindness Kit, sold paintings, created an Instant Inspiration Kit, and launched the online course ‘From Dreamer to Doer’. I also started to teach, do commission work and bigger street art projects.
The more I learned about running a small independent business, the more “shoulds” I added to my mental list. A blog should be a way to build my email list. A way to connect with my ideal reader. A way to drive traffic to my site. Ironically, the more I ran my business with all these different goals in mind, the less passionate I felt about creating blog content.
Censored content: no struggles allowed
I filtered my content. Because I thought my authentic daily stories and struggles would undermine my business goals. I stopped telling personal stories, because I was afraid of who might be listening. As a result, my blog grew more silent.
I mean, I’ve always been selective about my content: consciously sharing positive vibes whenever I can. But I’ve never shied away from sharing the rough patches as well. Often my struggles inspired sharing a hopeful perspective: rejection, feeling miserable, or celebrating failure.
One story that didn’t make the cut, is that I took a part-time job a few months back, which I currently combine with my business. I like the balance it brings to my life, having colleagues and being part of something bigger. Also, having someone tell you what to do, can feel luxurious when you are used to figure out everything on your own.
It also helps me silence my inner critic whose day job includes putting constant financial pressure on my indie business. Being less hard on myself helps me feel more energised on a personal level.
When passion turns into pressure
When creation has a clear goal, it is no longer play. I missed creating for the fun of it. Creating without quarterly goals, sprints, funnels and productivity techniques.
I didn’t feel happy or creative. In fact, it felt like my passion was dead. If you’ve ever been through that, you know that’s a truly painful experience. Because your passion is what motivates you to get up every day.
So why did I feel this way? At first I thought I had been doing things I didn’t enjoy under pressure for too long. Then I thought it was working every single free moment on remodelling our new house. Then the moving, settling in.
But now that most of the dust has settled down, I still feel creatively empty most days.
Yesterday was such a day. So Creative Dreamlist is my attempt to change that. Practice what I preach. Share my journey along the way.
And bring play back into my life.
Creativity is a journey
Businesswise, it makes sense to be the person who has everything figured out so people will trust your expertise. After all, creativity is a huge part of my business. However, even when I flourish creatively over a period of time, I have no guarantee that I will continue to do so.
Sure, you learn. I have more tools and techniques to help me cope when I feel uninspired today than 10 years ago. But I, like everyone else, am not immune to the creative rut. Some days aren’t so magical. Or fun. Or creative. Your circumstances change, so do your needs and energy level.
Everyone is on a personal journey to figure out, ultimately, what makes them happy and how to create the circumstances that help them thrive.
The Internet can be a weird place. Sometimes it feels like everyone has figured it out except you. It’s not the case. Everyone is struggling. Everyone is searching. I want to be honest about my creative journey with you.
I want to feel a sense of excitement when I am working on my blog. Wake up and feel energised by what I am going to create. Do more of the things that light me up, like I did when I first created this blog.
My hope is that Creative Dream List helps me to reconnect with this feeling. Creative Dream List forces me to be more intentional about what I truly want to do; what gives me positive creative energy.
Want to join?
Do you also want to get started on your creative dreams? Then comment below with your 5 creative dreams. Bonus: record and share your progress and link back to this post.
Also, you might enjoy checking out my free online course “Creative ReBootcamp: Awaken your creative dreams in 5 days” for tips and tricks.
June 13, 2019 at 07:03
So inspired by your work. I definitely want to add to my dream list a project of 1000 things I make to give away similar to your paper crane project. That had totally captured my imagination and I’m working on kindness.takeaway and have already worked on 3 projects that are acts of kindness and teaching my children how to be kind. I read about you were struggling with your creativity, I find it doesn’t like to be forced it’s a strange creature that works with your feelings. The best place I feel Creative is when I am bored waiting in a queue or ironing. keep up your excellent work.
June 13, 2019 at 07:15
I’m so happy to hear that! Your version of making 1000 things sounds really beautiful. What RAK projects did you do? And you’re right about creativity. I try to give myself more space and rest these days and I see how that is helping my creativity. I’ve released a lot of expectations for this project, and suddenly I found myself having so much fun creating a cardboard TV, making a spontaneous stop-motion etc. These things weren’t planned but naturally grew from the enthusiasm I felt. So that’s how I know this is a good project (so far) for me to work on right now :)
July 4, 2019 at 13:44
I’m glad you posted this note. I had been focused on trying to become more “regular” in writing articles on creative adventures with grandkids but the more I posted the more it no longer seemed like fun. Giving myself deadlines helped at the beginning to begin writing again but eventually, those deadlines became stress points. Going back to posting when creativity sparks versus when the schedule “requires” is a good point. Thanks for the posting! 5 Creative things…working on the list at the moment but again I am thankful for postings on sites like MagicalDaydream.com, 365grateful.com and escapeadulthood.com to trigger ideas of fun, creativity and shared moments!
July 4, 2019 at 17:09
So happy to hear from you. Deadlines and goals have their place, but when they overtake play it can get tricky easily, because play is goalless per definition. I also think that we need to set different ‘rules’ for ourselves for different situation. Needs change over time. Like you say, at one point goals make perfect sense and are motivating. It has a lot to do with showing ourselves grace. Flexibility to listen to what we need at this very moment. Allowing ourselves to not live up to the image that we feel our ‘perfect self’ should be. I’d be happy to hear about your creative adventures!
Tresha Faye Haefner
July 12, 2020 at 22:24
I so enjoy your approach to creativity. My main form of creativity is writing, but it’s important to remember there are other ways to be creative, like making your home more beautiful, or just your life more livable. Lately I’ve been taking photos of butterflies, beautiful scenes I see on my walk, and I’ve been working on vision boards and collages. It’s a great way to stay creative and even stretch my creativity! Thanks for the reminder and the permission : )
July 21, 2020 at 13:15
I’ve noticed that my preferred form of creativity can change depending on the time in my life and current interests. And it can be nice to discover new ways of creative outlets too!