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Practise or Work – Which Do You Do?

In the past I have been referring to us creatives as doing our creative work. This is a perfectly fine term for what we do – painting, sculpting, writing, carving, welding, gardening or whatever it is you do to exercise your creativity. But lately I’ve been exploring the use of the term creative practice.

Creative work is a good term because it implies a certain seriousness about what we are doing. It is work. It takes effort and it requires a commitment. We may take ourselves more seriously when we envision what we are doing as work. It certainly takes mental work. In fact, it can be difficult to do creative work for many hours in a row without a break. Our brains consume large amounts of glucose as we think about what we are doing and respond to the problems we encounter. We can be really tired after a day of Creative work. The word work is often equated with receiving money so if you are doing your creative work as a business or to sell your creations, maybe you like the word work.

Creative practice on the other hand has a ring of being a little less daunting. Practicing the piano may take a lot of energy but it is different from the work of preforming. If we see ourselves as practicing our creativity it takes away some of the intensity and may allow us to feel freer to explore and try new things. Creative practice, like creative work also suggests regular commitment. We may find that creative practice is more intrinsically rewarding to us. There is an element of fun to practice as well as a sense of striving to improve our skills. I equate practice with learning, growing and gaining confidence.

I think I’m going to go with Creative practice. Now it’s time to go and do some!

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