3 Ways to Set Boundaries Around Your Creativity

Saying yes to your best work means saying no to others, including your pesky inner critic

Heather Demetrios
Forge
Published in
5 min readFeb 18, 2020

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Credit: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

IfIf you’re someone who does creative work, unless it’s bringing in a reasonable paycheck, you probably treat it like a hobby. Is it really a big deal if you didn’t write today? Your family needed clean laundry. So what if you didn’t paint this afternoon? Your sister called to vent about another crisis at her corporate job. Sure, you wish you could have gone outside and shot some photographs while the light was fantastic, but your kids were fighting and you needed to intervene.

We hear a lot about setting boundaries — in families, in friendships, and in the workplace. So what makes us think we can neglect them when it comes to our creative time? We often devalue any work that doesn’t earn an income, and what’s more, we assume talent is all that creative work demands. “The one thing creative souls around the world have in common is that they all have to practice to maintain their skills,” writes choreographer Twyla Tharp in her book The Creative Habit. “Art is a vast democracy of habit.”

If you set and hold healthy boundaries around your creativity, you’ll be growing the conditions for your best art to bloom. Here are three ways to establish perimeters that work for…

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Heather Demetrios
Forge
Writer for

Author, coach, editor, & mindfulness mentor. Newest: LITTLE UNIVERSES and CODE NAME BADASS. www.heatherdemetrios.com