Last month, your creativity challenge focused on just two things, writing morning pages as described in Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way and also reading 10 pages each day. The challenge even allowed you to start with a 6 by 9 notebook to ease yourself into writing 3 pages a day. It’s time to take the next step with the March creativity challenge.

The Things that are the Same

Let’s start with those things that will stay the same. Morning pages and reading. Even if you hate it. Pour your hate into your morning pages. Rage and complain about having to write them by writing it into your morning pages. Get it out. But definitely keep writing them.

And I’m sure there are plenty of you thinking…but I’m a painter or I do mixed media arts, can I stop? Nope. Just keep writing. Whether you’re an artist, a writer, or even a school teacher writing out those three pages each morning gets the crap out those blocks on your creativity start getting broken down.

And reading? It continues to fuel your creativity. Every bit of new and interesting information that comes in from reading is expanding your knowledge. In turn, that improves your ability to express yourself whether that’s through writing, painting, or inventing.

The only change-up in reading that you should do is if your reading of 10 pages takes less than 30 minutes, then continue reading to meet a 30-minute minimum reading time. If it takes you longer to read 10 pages, then continue with 10 pages.

What’s New This Month?

We’re going to increase the number of creativity prompts that you’ll use and add in a couple of new challenges.

This month, I thought we’d focus on your environment. What type of creative environment do you have? Does it make you want to work? Sleep? Cringe? Has anything changed about your environment lately?

I work best, with quiet time in the morning, surrounded by all the tools of my trade. Which worked great when we lived in our own condo but then a few years back, we moved in with my mother until she passed.

There was no quiet time at her house because she was partially deaf and played Fox News on such a high setting that my nerves were about to burst into flames. I struggled and found it hard to write. I had to change up my schedule by not writing in the morning but focusing on the times she napped. It wasn’t great but it got the job done.

So now, take a look at your space? Is it right for you? Or is something off? Has something changed? It’s ok for it to be messy or neat as a pin, it’s what works for you. Check out Get Inspired by These Creative Habits to find out where some blogging friends of mine like to work.

Then, I’m going to ask you to change it up this month. Try a different location. Always work from home, then try a coffee shop. Always work from a coffee shop, then try working from home or maybe the library (does the silence of a library help or not?)

I know some of you are painters or crafters who find it hard to change locations but there are still things that you can do to change it up. Change where you sit in the room or try working out of a different room or even outside. The key is to not get stuck doing something the same way because you’ve always done it that way.

And let’s add some sound to that. I prefer 70’s electronic music aka prog rock. Think Rick Wakeman or Isao Tomita playing a Moog synthesizer. I don’t want to listen to someone singing because then I’ll get distracted and start singing along.

My friend prefers a coffee shop because she likes all that background noise of people talking, coffee being made, plates clinking. But did you know that you don’t have to go to a coffee shop to get that sound? There are actually apps now that simulate white noise, including the sound of a coffee shop or a fire or a rainstorm?

Like last month, each challenge isn’t too difficult. Use the creativity prompts in your morning pages if you want or in your writing or art during the day. And then just change up your environment a couple of times this month to see what you prefer.

Like last month, we’re just laying a foundation to build upon. Even if you already have a foundation that works for you, it doesn’t hurt to try something new. You can always go back to what you were doing if it doesn’t work out.

March Creativity Challenge calendar.