The River: The creative magic of a daily ritual by Michael Nobbs

This post is part of the River of Stones guest post series, our mindful writing challenge. Properly notice one thing each day, and write it down. Click here to find out more. 

Today we’re very privileged to host Michael Nobbs

Michael writes:  I love the idea of writing small stones and not just because they are a beautiful thing. More than that they are a daily ritual. Daily rituals, almost whatever they are, have a magic that can transform our creative lives.

## Add a rhythm to our days

Simple rituals that we enjoy and that are easily repeatable (like writing small stones) add a rhythm to our days that make creativity a priority and that can increase our creative output hugely.

I believe it hardly matters what the ritual we chose is, it can either be something that is directly creative in and of itself, or something that inspires and supports other creative endeavours. I have two daily rituals that add to and feed by creative output.

## My creative rituals

My first ritual is to record a short daily podcast. The One Thing Today podcast is sent out each day to members of my site, Sustainable Creativity, and in it I choose the one small thing I’m going to do each day to move my creative life on a little and hopefully encourage listeners to do the same.

Recording the podcast is simple and takes me about twenty minutes each morning. The regularity of making the recordings shows me that I am capable of sticking to a small creative endeavour, helping me learn to trust that I can do more of the same. It also kick starts my day, every day (well every weekday anyway). They have become part of my daily creative routine and set the rhythm for the day.

My second daily creative ritual is to stop each morning at about 11.00 am for a pot of tea, cup of coffee or (sometimes) a large mug of hot chocolate. I stop, not just because I am thirsty, but because pausing at this time each day is the way I keep myself on creative track. It gives me some time to reflect and check that I’m making the best use of my limited energy and has become an important part of my creative daily rhythm.

## Your own creative autopilot

Whether you make writing small stones your longterm creative ritual, or pick something else, you’ll be on the road to creating a lifelong creative habit that will act almost like an autopilot, getting you through your creative highs and lows and ensuring that you will be able to build up a substantial body of creative work over the long term.

## What makes a good creative ritual

Remember – the best create rituals involve three things:

1. They are based around something you enjoy
2. Simple to do
3. Easily repeatable

Good luck with finding and adopting your own creative daily ritual.

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Michael Nobbs is an artist, blogger and tea drinker (not necessarily in that order). He hosts the site and growing creative community, Sustainably Creative. In the late 1990s he was diagnosed with ME/CFS and over the last decade and a half has learnt a lot about maintaining a creative life despite limited energy. Follow him on Twitter here.





Comments & replies

6 thoughts on “The River: The creative magic of a daily ritual by Michael Nobbs

  1. Avril

    There are certain things I do most days but reading this has made me think that if I find the right place for them and make them my rituals – giving them the attention they deserve – it will really enhance my creative life – thank you

  2. Roz Cawley

    It is said that it takes a month to break a habit – it apparently seems to work for *making* a habit as well, since I have grown to love writing these ‘Small Stones’ and cannot envisage now stopping writing them. Their creation has become such a ‘do-able’ ritual, which encourages me to just slow down, think and see for a few minutes. I have a firm place for them in my life now – a ritual which helps the ‘filling of the well’ again. I am so grateful to have been introduced to them. xx

  3. Kate

    As soon as I knew ‘small stones’ would something I’d continue long after January passed by, I made a special blog just for them. It will continue.

    Plus, I never run out of something to read — how lovely to wander the river, reading what others have written.

  4. PoetColette

    One might be tempted to say the phrase “creative autopilot” is oxymoronic, but it seems like a good method of keeping the juices flowing. Thanks for this insight!

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