Set aside the first Saturday of August to celebrate National Play-to-Create Day. It is a day where we honor and nurture the ‘little c creator’ within ourselves and others, champion the power and benefits of free-time creation, and raise awareness of the power of P.L.A.Y. to overcome the obstacles that stand between us and our next milestone of creation.
Why do we celebrate National Play-To-Create Day?
In August of 2009, three paper-crafters started a business called Kiwi Lane in order to share products with Scrapbookers that were based on what would come to be known as the Play-to-Create method – a method which has proven to be useful to more than just paper-crafters.
Play-to-Create methodology springs from three key beliefs:
First, a belief that everyone is a ‘little c creator’. Each of us were created to be a creator by a ‘big C Creator’. Which means that we were hardwired from our very first breath with a creator’s desire and ability, and that we thrive most fully when we create consistently and meaningfully in our everyday lives. Each time we complete a creative project from start-to-finish, we reach a new milestone of creation on our journey as a ‘little c creator’, and we become happier, more confident, and more capable of changing the lives of those within our sphere of influence for the better.
Second, a belief in the power of free-time creation. This usually takes the form of a hobby or hobbies that we enjoy. Creating in our free-time can and should be a low-stakes, low-pressure activity with rich, replenishing, high-yield benefits that overflow from our living rooms, craft rooms, kitchen tables, or garages into every facet of our personal and professional lives. These benefits empower us in important ways that help us thrive.
And third, a belief that both the ‘little c creator’ within each of us and the act of free-time creation are too often undervalued, underestimated, overlooked, or overwhelmed by a variety of obstacles that we all struggle with. This too often keeps us from reaching new milestones of creation as consistently or meaningfully as we should.
The Power of P.L.A.Y.
The Play-to-Create method is a way for each of us to harness the power of P.L.A.Y. to overcome the obstacles that stand between us and each new milestone of creation, unlocking the full benefits of free-time creation and strengthening our ‘little c creator’ in ways that will transform both us, and the world around us, for the better.
How do I Celebrate National Play-to-Create Day?
CREATE SOMETHING YOU ENJOY
First and foremost, celebrate National Play-to-Create Day by setting aside time to engage in whatever brand of free-time creation that you enjoy the most! And it wouldn’t be a true holiday if you didn’t either invite others to join you, or find a group of creators to join yourself.
REACH THE FINISH LINE OF CREATION
Second, set your goal to create something from start to finish! There are certain benefits of creating that are only unlocked when you hit the finish line of creation and see what you’ve created with your own two hands, and also share what you’ve created with others. The satisfaction and fulfillment that we experience when we complete a creative project is the milestone moment that we are looking for. So, try to reach that milestone today if at all possible!
P.L.A.Y. YOUR WAY THROUGH OBSTACLES
Utilize the Play-to-Create method in order to P.L.A.Y. your way through the obstacles that stand between you and your next milestone of creation. You can also celebrate by learning what the Power of P.L.A.Y means. The brief overview at the end of this article is a great place to start.
Another way to celebrate is by sharing either something you’ve created or just your appreciation for your free-time hobbies with those around you. Sharing your enthusiasm is also a great way to encourage others to Play-to-Create with you, today and beyond.
And lastly, if you know someone who would benefit from this method, share it with them as well!
What is the Play-to-Create Method?
If you are unfamiliar with the P.L.A.Y. in Play-to-Create, here is a brief rundown.
All creators run into roadblocks as they try to reach the finish line of a creative project. Not surprisingly, many of the obstacles we encounter are the same for all of us. The Play-to-Create method utilizes a series of tools that you can add to your toolbelt to help you power through these obstacles much more quickly and easily. These tools correspond to the letters P.L.A.Y.
P: Pressure Check
Feeling fear, anxiety or doubt as you create? These feelings bring with them a sense of pressure that often stops us in our tracks. Often, they are the result of lies that we’ve been told or that we tell ourselves. Performing a Pressure Check is the first step toward overcoming these obstacles.
A Pressure Check begins with an emotional scan: Do I feel fear, anxiety, or doubt towards creating? If so, why? Am I afraid of failure, or am I worried that what I create won’t live up to either my expectations or be ridiculed by others? Am I comparing my beginning to someone else’s middle or end?
Once you’ve narrowed things down, we recommend finding or creating a mantra or affirmation that speaks truth to the ‘little c creator’ within you. Prayer can be a powerful way to release pressure as well. There are other ways to overcome this obstacle, but this is a good place to start.
L: Less Test
Less is more. If you are feeling overwhelmed, distracted, or confused, it may be because you’re overthinking your creation, or you are using a tool, product, or process that is too complex or complicated.
Administering a ‘Less Test’ to your project, process, or workspace is the way to combat this.
Things to ask yourself:
- Are there things around you (on your workspace, computer screen, etc) that are unnecessary for the project at hand?
- Is there a less complicated tool or method that would simplify the situation?
- Are you trying to be too “creative” by re-inventing the wheel when it is not necessary?
- Are there distractions in your environment that you need to give yourself permission to disconnect from to embrace the creative flow state? Phone notifications, tv, music?
- Can you break your project into smaller pieces and make a task, rather than the entire project, your focus?
The solution is to identify unnecessary and distracting elements, and then remove them. You may need to look for simpler tools, methods, and supplies. The goal is to do MORE with LESS.
A: Association Station
Inspiration can often be fickle. You never know for certain when it will strike, and waiting to create until it decides to make an appearance isn’t the answer. Rather than waiting for inspiration to strike, we recommend jump starting it by stepping out of the alone zone, and taking a trip down to Association Station!
What is Association Station? We’re glad you asked!
The quick answer is anywhere that you can associate with other creators like yourself. This might take the form of:
- A workshop, a class, or an informal get-together centered around creating.
- It might take the form of a gallery or forum where other creators share their creations, and ooh and aah over them together.
- It may be as simple as taking a trip to the nearest hobby or craft store and strolling the aisles.
And while connecting in person is always powerful, this age of modern marvels has made it possible to do all of these things online as well as in person. It has never been easier!
The important thing is that you spend a little quality time marinating in the special energy that is generated by creators and their creations. The heart of every Association Station is its spirit of connection, community and passion for creating, and it is one of the best remedies for the uninspired or unmotivated.
Y: You-reka Hack
Our understanding of how our creator’s brain works has grown by leaps and bounds in recent decades. One breakthrough has been an understanding of the way that we can use our body to hack our mind! If you are struggling to come up with ideas for your project, involving more of your physicality will lead to the eureka moment you are looking for.
This may involve:
- A more visual or hands-on approach.
- It might also involve standing up, taking a walk, or stretching.
- You might want to train your mind to respond to certain smells, even tastes – a candle that you light each time you create, or a delicious treat that you keep within reach.
Each of these things will tell your brain that it is time to create, and will help you use yourself to hack yourself, leading to more You-reka moments!
Incorporating the power of P.L.A.Y. will transform our creative process into a Play-to-Create process, strengthening our creator’s mindset and ensuring that we reach new milestones of creation more meaningfully and more consistently.