Is your life too complicated? Do you have too much stuff? Sometimes our creative approach can get as cluttered as the junk drawer in the kitchen.

For today, consider what you think you need for your creative practice. For most of us, that means a comfortable chair, a computer, coffee or tea, snacks, our phone, an internet connection, a few reference books, ambient noise, and a cat.

But do we really need all these outside attachments to be creative? Or do we need nothing more than a pen, some paper, and ourselves?

Take some time to think about what you really need and what’s merely window dressing. It’s ok if you need that ambient noise. I do, because it helps me concentrate. But do you really need an internet connection while you write or is that merely a distraction?

Pare down your creative practice and environment, as you need. Consider whether a simpler environment loosen up your creativity. You don’t have to eliminate everything. The only measure is whether the level of simplicity is satisfying to you and helps you feel more relaxed and creative.

For an advanced exercise, considering what projects you have on your plate. Do you really want to write that novel or multi-book fantasy series or would you be happier writing short stories? Are you taking assignments because they fulfill you or because you think you have to? (If your writing helps pay the rent, that’s a different consideration…)

Sometimes our goals get bogged down with extraneous baggage and it’s good to clear them out as well.