1. Stand under the shower in the morning. Lift your hands up to the sky and say, “I am willing. I am ready.”
2. Repeat the above, until you mean it.
3. Draw something. Grow something. Bake something.
4. Don’t skip those last three. I know, there are excuses. Do it anyway.
5. Remember your dreams.
6. If you don’t remember your dreams, make them up.
7. When you have an idea, WRITE IT DOWN. (I know, there are excuses. Do it anyway.)
8. Read scripture.
9. Read somebody else’s scripture.
10. Read it out loud. Read poetry out loud. Read it all out loud.
11. Turn off the radio.
12. Look out the window. (Look hard.)
13. Copy a masterpiece.
14. Teach your kids the structure of a limerick. Teach somebody else’s kids the structure of a limerick. Tell them you’ll make them any lunch they want if they can ask for it in limerick form.
15. Call a friend on Monday. Tell her you’ve written/made/recorded something awesome and you’ll give it to her on Friday. Start it Thursday night.
16. Write an inappropriate haiku.
17. Read something that you couldn’t write yourself. (Get off the Internet.)
18. Listen to Peter and the Wolf.
19. Make a list of things that make you laugh.
20. Make a list of things that make you angry.
21. Write/paint/sculpt/compose/collage/sing/choreograph the thing that shows up on both lists.
22. Do a kind of art or creativity that you’re not good at. (Do it anyway.)
23. Perform it. Be embarrassed. (Do it anyway.)
24. Take the role or job that scares you. (Do it anyway.)
25. Sing a song you liked when you were a child.
26. Write a letter to someone who is dead. (Do it anyway.)
27. Make time for whimsy, preferably your own, but if you think you have none, borrow some from a child.
28. Make time to witness suffering. If you can’t think of a way to do this, try meditation; that probably will work.
29. See the world. Every square inch and mile is rich with beauty, suffering, betrayal, restoration. If you have a hunger to create, these are all the pieces and parts you need.
30. Pay attention. Pay attention. PAY ATTENTION.
Esther Emery was once a theatre director and playwright in San Diego. Now she’s pretty much a runaway, currently living off grid in a yurt on three acres of Idaho mountainside. She does ridiculous and courageous things in pursuit of creativity and authenticity, and blogs about it at www.estheremery.com.