Episode 075: Making Time for Your Creative Outlet with Siobhan Jones

September 14, 2021

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Siobhan Jones is on the podcast this week to share how creative entrepreneurs can make time for a creative outlet (that isn't their biz!)

Siobhan Jones on Creative Outlets

A lot of times, entrepreneurs (especially creative entrepreneurs) start their businesses AS a creative outlet – whether they’ve started creating content as an outlet, or they’ve started creating a product as an outlet. However, as they get further and further in the business space, it quickly loses that “outlet” part within the everyday management.

What was once a way to relax and decompress often quickly becomes the source of stress and overwhelm. Leading right back to the need to discover a new creative outlet.

This week, I’m joined on the podcast by Siobhan Jones. Siobhan is a Creative Mentor who helps successful women to unlock their creative gifts for soul restoration and life transformation. Siobhan mentors women to find time for their creative outlet, whether that be a hobby, for therapeutic purposes, or you want to impact the world. Siobhan hosts The Unlocked Creative podcast.

Today, we’re chatting all about creative outlets, including how to find one that isn’t your business and also how to make time for your creative outlet now that you’re running a business.

You’re listening to Episode 075 of the Chasing Simple Podcast, and I’m your host – Amanda Warfield. I hope this episode helps you find a little extra magic in your day to day.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Siobhan Jones is on the podcast this week to share how creative entrepreneurs can make time for a creative outlet (that isn't their biz!)

Siobhan Jones is a Creative Mentor who helps successful women to unlock their creative gifts for soul restoration and life transformation. Siobhan mentors women to find time for their creative outlet, whether that be a hobby, for therapeutic purposes, or you want to impact the world. Siobhan hosts The Unlocked Creative podcast.

Siobhan’s Website
The Unlocked Creative Facebook Community
Siobhan’s Instagram

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Rather Read? – Here’s the Transcript!

*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate.

A lot of times entrepreneurs, especially creative entrepreneurs, they start their businesses as a creative outlet, whether they’ve started creating content as an outlet, or they’ve started creating a product as an outlet, however, as they get further and further in the business space, it quickly loses that outlet part within the everyday management of running a business, what was once a way to relax and decompress often quickly becomes the source of stress and over.

Leading right back to the need to discover a new creative outlet. This week I’m joined in the podcast by Siobhan Jones. Siobhan is a creative mentor who helps successful women to unlock their creative gifts for soul restoration and life transformation, Siobhan mentors, women defined time for their creative outlet, whether that be a hobby for therapeutic purposes, or if you just want to impact the world. Siobhan also hosts the Unlocked Creative podcast. Today, we’re chatting all about creative outlets, including how to find one that isn’t your business and also how to make time for your creative outlet. Now that you’re running a business, you’re listening to episode 75 of the Chasing Simple Podcast. And I’m your host, Amanda Warfield.

 I hope this episode helps you find a little extra magic in your day to day.

Amanda: Hey, Siobhan Jones it is such an honor. And I’m just so pumped to have you on today. How are you?

Siobhan Jones:  I’m really well, thank you so much for having me on the show. I’m so excited to connect with you. 

Amanda: I’m really excited to connect with you too. And I know that this is going to be a really great conversation. I’m so excited because this is something that. I have been exploring myself here lately, but I’m certainly no expert. So I’m really excited to have you on to talk about this, but before we dive into that, why don’t you just tell us a little bit about yourself and what it is that you do? 

Siobhan Jones: Yeah, absolutely. So I am a creative mentor and. I began my journey, actually, not as a creative mentor, but what I do now is I help successful women to find an unlock, their creative outlet for soul restoration and life transformation.

Because I feel like this part of our lives is something that we leave to the bottom of, at least. I’m also the host of the Unlocked Creative Podcast and I’m a writer and I have a little bit of a soft spot for cats as well. 

Amanda: That’s good because pad may, may definitely make an appearance. she’s in here in the office with me. So highly likely she’ll make an appearance since we’re chatting. If I’m talking, she thinks she needs to talk. 

Siobhan Jones: So just like my cats. 

Amanda: Yeah. It’s interesting. I’ve never had a loud cat before her, but she’s, she’s loud. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about how it is that you ended up helping other women learn how to embrace the creative outlets?

Siobhan Jones: Yeah. So for me, I basically, I didn’t write for over a decade and 

Amanda: I just want to jump in to clarify writing is your creative outlet. 

Siobhan Jones: Yes, . I, so I am a writer and it took me a really long time to be able to say that because what I thought I would do would be, you know, to go to university, get my degree in communications.

I wasn’t a hundred percent sure about where that would take me. And I ended up being, doing a little bit of radio production, that sort of thing through university. But I had doors close to me in news, and I didn’t really want to be working as a journalist per se. So what I ended up doing was actually pursuing a career in the public service as a communications professional.

Now I thought at the time, this sounds like a great idea. You know, it’s a secure kind of mostly secure role. and I thought, you know, I would just be creative in my career, but yeah. What ended up happening over time is that I stopped creating for the fun of it. I stopped writing for the fun of it. And that was because I was putting all of this energy into my career into my every day I would get home. I would feel exhausted. And yet I still had this longing to create this drive to write. And I know, I know there are so many other women  who have experienced the same thing who are probably listening to this, experiencing a similar thing that they feel like they’ve lost that part of themselves, but they know that perhaps it’s really about finding an uncovering that, creative spirit that they have within.

So I’m all about helping people to find that because it’s possible, I’ve done it. Even when you think that it’s disappeared. Part of that for me, was this really long process of trying to work out well, if this career isn’t actually right for me, what is, and why am I here and what am I doing? And, my husband likes to call it a midlife crisis, but,  I decided to call it a transformation because that is basically what’s happened for me.

Is I moved from. This place of feeling so stuck and just not knowing what to do and knowing that I wasn’t going to get what I felt that I needed from my soul, from my career, because we spent so much of our time in our work and I struggled with when the meaning wasn’t there anymore. Where was it? And I had a lot of reflection that I had to do for myself.

So I actually saw an organizational psychologist and worked through things like, you know, what are my inner personal values? Because you know, at 30, at that time I hadn’t even worked that out yet. So I thought, wow, this is a really useful tool. So I use that and I thought, well, part of the reason why I’m not feeling like my career is the path for me is because it doesn’t actually align with my values.

You know, then it was like, well, what, what on earth do I do next with, you know, I’ve, I’ve spent a decade in this career. I’ve established myself as this, professional communication person. It became part of who I was or who I thought that I was. So yeah, there was a long, messy period of trying to work out what was next. And part of that, interestingly, that happened at the same time was that I rediscovered my writing and my creative practice. and that just happened organically as part of being open to what’s next. 

Amanda: That’s so interesting. I know you said that you had been writing before, and then you went to that dark spell. What was it that finally made it click for you that you needed to get back into writing? 

Siobhan Jones: Yeah, this is really fascinating. So I actually had a couple of things. I had my amazing best friend forever from high school move to where I live now, which is in Canberra in Australia. And she had. Won an award for having her illustrations be published in a children’s picture book.

And it was her dream. So she would talk about it and she’s a very humble person. it was probably an honor that I was listening to her speaking about it because she’s very humble,  I saw. That she had this dream for herself. She’d held onto that as this kind of, you know, really important part of her life that drove her to take action. She didn’t stop no matter what happened. And, you know, she had day jobs. She, did all these things, but she stayed super-focused on her dream and she got there. And so for me, it was like, this is a testament to following your dream and that it actually can be done. So she was a hundred percent inspiration for me.

I then thought, well, what do I do? I have to think about, you know, that time that I spent with her and part of it for, for us, you know, we used to joke in high school about, oh, you know, I could do, I could write the words in a, in a picture book and you could do the drawings. And I thought, oh, This is random, you know, like I haven’t thought about this for over a decade because I didn’t allow myself to,  part of this values exercise that I did, I realized that, up until that point in my life, I’d basically based all of my actions on feeling like I needed to achieve something feeling like I needed to prove my worth.

And that was a huge, huge turning point for me in opening up to possibility and going well, Hey, this is sure this is the way that I have lived my life before I now have the awareness to be able to open up to the dreams that I used to have. And actually the dream that I still have, which is it’s not necessarily to be published. It’s actually just to write And feel about if within myself and feel like I’m expressing my ideas, even if nobody reads it. 

Amanda: I love that this idea of that your, your creative outlet, doesn’t have to be something that has goals attached to it, and it doesn’t have to be. And in fact, maybe it shouldn’t be something that has a goal attached to it. It should just be the goal of feeding your soul and feeding. Honestly, for me, I know that when I dive into my creative outlets, it feeds the rest of my life and I’m a better business owner when I am diving into my creative outlet, which I know we can get into more in a minute, but I just, I thought that was so fascinating. And I think that that right there is a really important point that I want everyone to hear. Again, your creative outlet is important because it’s not goal-oriented. And I know that for those of us that are business owners, we are very achievement focused because why would you start a business? If you’re not, you know, it’s a lot of work for someone who’s not super goal oriented.

So, You mentioned earlier that this was a transformative process for you. What changed for you after you embraced writing again? 

Siobhan Jones: Oh, so actually a couple of things. I mean, a lot, I think you put the, you hit the nail on the head there. When you said it can actually creativity in reconnecting with it.

Can. Move across your whole life. there’s this really interesting analogy that I heard, which was about how your relationship to creativity is akin to your relationship to your spirituality. So I know for me, I was definitely ignoring the spiritual part of my life as well. So that was, That was something that was unexpected.

 This whole journey has been unexpected, but that’s the fun of it. And you know, it actually mirrors the creative process in that, like you said, there’s, we don’t know what the end point is going to be. And we have to take the steps in faith to get there. So for me, I don’t have that same sense that I need to know what the outcome’s going to be. And I think that is, that has a really strong correlation with me growing in my faith as well. So, you know, and I’m not, for people who maybe don’t, have a spiritual practice, I guess my only word of warning to you is that by reconnecting to your creativity, These parts of yourself are going to come up and, be there for you.

So for me, I guess the decision that I made was that I’m, I would write again, even if it wasn’t perfect and I knew it wouldn’t be I knew it, wasn’t, it certainly wasn’t. And that was okay. You know, it was just about knowing that I would start again,  I think the biggest part, the biggest decision was. I decided that I was no longer going to hide and the reason I don’t want to hide. And I don’t mean, you know, being visible on Instagram or, I don’t know, advertising myself kind of thing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just not that kind of person, but it was about, I wanted to contribute to the world.

So how do I do that?  How I needed to do that was actually just to stop hiding and to stop trying to prove myself because, you know, moving into business, yes, it can be, it’s very, you know, outcome focused and achievement focused, but it’s all about serving your client. And that was this amazing missing piece for me about how I fell into creating my own business was. Oh, he’s this sense of contribution that, I haven’t really experienced from anything else that I, that I’m doing right now, even through my creativity. So I don’t know whether that resonates with anybody, but I feel like, in order to fully contribute, we need to get out of our own way. And for me, it was about. Reconnecting to who I, who I am as a person and not to who I thought that I needed to be.  

Amanda: So, how exactly would you define a creative outlet? Because I feel like that’s something that’s a good place for us to start before we move into the practical. How do you define what a creative outlet is?

Siobhan Jones: firstly creativity is. There are so many definitions of creativity and we’re all creative. Basically. We’re all creative. neuroscientists have shown that creativity is actually an innate process in our brain. we actually have this genetic makeup of ours, which is creative. The first thing that I think people get blocked on when they think about starting a creative outlet, Is, oh, I’m not creative. and so you are, you just are, and, and then the next step is, well, okay. That’s great. I’m creative. What do I do with that? Where do I start? You know, what is a creative outlet?

Well, for me, you know, so I mentioned I’m a writer, I’m also a podcaster. I, you know, coloring with my daughter. I tell stories. With my daughter. I, you know, that there are just so many choices that we have on hand at the moment. And I don’t think, I think it’s important not to be prescriptive at this stage where you’re opening up to your creativity and to realize that creativity is, just a process of talking from the brain perspective. Your brain looks at something and goes, oh, that’s interesting. And new it’s novel. And then the other side of your brain says, I’m going to choose to do something with this and then connect an idea to something else. And then you create something that is creativity. So whether you’re creating, a poem or.

You are making a cake or you are, I don’t know, skipping down the street. However, you’ve put those ideas together for yourself. You know, for me, I actually see running as part of my creativity because it gives me the space. That I need to create to generate ideas. So I think creative outlet, don’t be prescriptive.

I think start with whatever lights you up. That’s where you need to start. And that can be so many different things. Like I’ve mentioned. It can be exercise, go for it. That is great energy generation for your body and for your mind. And then see what happens off after that as well.  

Amanda: I love that and giving yourself the space for new ideas.  Amazing, totally hit the nail on the head. I know that personally, when I was first starting this journey of finding creativity within my life, one, I definitely bought into the, I’m not a creative person because I’m not artistic necessarily. I’m not someone who. paints or draws nor do I really feel pulled towards those things. And so that, that idea of, well, I’m not artistic, so I’m not, creative was definitely a huge block that I had. And then I decided, okay, well maybe I’ll get a bunch of coloring books and that’ll be my thing. And so I did get some coloring books and I enjoy coloring. It’s fine. But over time, I came to realize that the creative outlet that lit me up the most, and that gave me the most space for new ideas was actually playing the Sims for anyone who doesn’t know what that is super nerdy. It’s a computer game. That’s a life simulator, but you get to. Not only can build houses and decorate the houses, which is a huge part of it for me. But also you get to essentially write stories in your mind of these lives that you’re creating, which that sounds super weird. It’s definitely a, a one thing where I like control, but.

That game is my creative outlet, because I can do all of these different creative processes. And it gives me, I always have my best ideas. I’m playing the Sims. It’s very weird, but that’s, that’s the game that gave me space. But until I reframed how I felt about what creativity meant, I never considered it a creative outlet.

 Siobhan Jones: Yeah. So, and I love that so much because you know, a lot of people would think,  would think about a lot of things as not being creative as such, but like I said, it’s, it’s really, creativity is a process. It’s not a thing that, you know, it’s not a gene. It’s not, it’s not something that some people have and others don’t, it’s something we can access it any time.

And in a way where, like you said, you get those ideas that are just coming to you and you feel lit up and there are all these emotional benefits to creativity.  Creativity is great for business. It’s a great, it’s a great thing to have in your life. 

Amanda: I would say necessary even.

Siobhan Jones:  Necessary, yes., A hundred percent. And you know, I probably learned that the hard way by ignoring it, because there’s this amazing book by Chase Jarvis. Called Creative Calling. And he talks about how not creating and keeping that kind of creative energy almost bottled up can actually be a dangerous thing because it’s like, well, where does that go?

You know? so that’s something to think about, but certainly in terms of creative outlets, my – just as an example, you know, my husband teaches science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and, you know, he creates these spreadsheets and data visualization and it’s like, that’s a hundred percent creative.

Amanda: I love it. And I think that that all it really is so encompassed by the definition you gave earlier of what a creative outlet is. But I know that a lot of times. In this online business space, women are starting these businesses as a creative outlet, whether they’ve started an Etsy shop because the t-shirts they make are their creative outlet or the planners stickers they make, or their creative outlet, whatever it is.

A lot of times we get into business because it’s our creative outlet and then people see what we’re doing and they love it too. And everything snowballs. But then as things snowball, it becomes more job than creative outlet. So what suggestions do you have for entrepreneurs that would help them find an outlet that isn’t their business?

Siobhan Jones: I love this question because I think I would actually start with w number one, what is going on in your life as a whole? Because I think it’s really important to look at. Not just the business part of why you might be feeling that way. because as we know COVID happened and it’s still happening, but you know, there are other situations in life that are happening, that are affecting how you see your business and how you see your creativity.

 I would really start with questioning if it’s that, that spark that was, there is no longer there. Or if it’s just that you’re not spending the time on that part of the business that lit you up. So, you know, because I think the way that we feel about the things that we enjoy in life is so affected by situation and interpretation of those things.

So I start there and then if you think, okay, it’s definitely, it’s the business itself. Then the time has definitely come to find a new outlet. And so I do have some tips to offer about both of these situations.  I guess, for the first problem where you’re not spending the time that you want to on in your business, that sparks you up, if you’ve identified that that thing still really excites you, it’s just that you’re not getting to it.

I would really think about what that thing is and how that makes you feel as a first step, know why that part is really important to you. And then. is this thing still fun. and then look at what are the other activities that you’re doing and how can you delegate, delete or decrease the other things that are taking you away from the part that you, that still lights you up?

Okay. So that’s to do with where you think that it’s still actually does light you up. It’s just, you’re not getting to it. Then, the hardest part is probably realizing that it doesn’t actually light you up. So this is number two, which is this the second scenario, which is where you’re going to find your creative outlet.

So the first thing that you need to do, which is the hardest part is to just let go of the business’s your creative outlet for now. and it might happen again in the future. So don’t kind of discount it, but just let that rest. The second step is to get really open and quiet. So this is about, this is probably making people Twitch a little bit right now being outcome oriented, but it’s really important to go somewhere and just reflect for five minutes by yourself.

Get quiet and think about this as a child. What did you love to do without feeling like you needed praise? Just for the fun of it. You know, and try that thing again. Nobody has to know what it was except for you, whether it be, I don’t know, acting like Aladin from Aladin or the genie. Whether it’s, you know, writing poetry or just singing, whatever that thing was, just really connect and remember. And then it’s just to let go of the perfect. So remembering why you want to do this thing and how you want to feel. So just it’s just about having fun and it’s not about anybody seeing me do it. It’s about you and you setting the time aside to connect with your creative outlet. The final step in that I would suggest is just trying the thing for no more than two minutes.

And the reason I say that is because for me,  it probably took six months before I was actually able to put pen to paper from the thought of, yes, I really want to pursue this. And I was taking all this inspiration. So be really kind to yourself and know that it can take time and. Set those two minutes aside and do those two minutes for yourself. And if you really can’t remember what you did as a child, what I would suggest doing is starting where you are. And that is, most of us will have a pen and a notepad or a journal or even a keyboard. So what I’d like you to do is look around and really soak up your surroundings.

What can you smell? What can you see? What can you feel? what was the last thing somebody said to you and just be in the moment. Write the first thing that comes to mind or draw, just start there and nobody has to see that. So they’re my tips for just getting started on a new creative outlet.

It’s going to be messy. It’s going to be uncertain and you’ll probably have a little bit of fun along the way.

Amanda:  I love the two minute rule. Anyone we can do anything for two minutes. Right? I love that. So you shared a lot of really great tips and advice throughout this episode, but what I love to do is to make sure that all the listeners have one really practical action step that they can take away for the next week as they go about thinking about your episode and starting to make progress on finding their creative outlet and leaning in right. So what’s one action step that you would give to all the listeners for this week? 

Siobhan Jones: Yeah, I think it would be starting with the two minutes. So that was really powerful. It’s something that you can fit in. Any of your days, you know, we brush our teeth probably in less than two minutes or just up to two minutes.

So why not tack it on to after, when you’re brushing your teeth every day, this week, or even just one day this week, you know, take the two minutes for yourself. You owe yourself two minutes. 

Amanda: I love that. And I love habit stacking, so that’s great. I’m all about it. Now, what would be one book that you would recommend that everyone go read? And it can be related to this or not just whatever. 

Siobhan Jones: Yeah. So one of the amazing books that I have come across and I kind of stumbled across it is a book called the 3:00 AM Epiphany and it’s by Brian Kiteley and I’d never seen it in bookstores. So I ordered it online. But what it is is a book with writing prompts.

And you can take it out any time of day, whether you’re inspired in the middle of the night or whether it’s just part of your creative practice in the morning or your practice in the morning, it doesn’t have to be a creative practice. and you can just open it and flick to any page and start there. 

Amanda:  I love it. Awesome, Siobhan thank you so much for coming on and sharing about finding your creative outlet and being able to really lean into whatever it is and the importance of having a creative outlet. Where can everyone find you if they want more of you?

Siobhan Jones:  Oh, thank you so much for having me on the show. I absolutely love your podcast and you can find me at unlocked_creative on Instagram. Probably the best way to get in touch is actually just emailing me at hello@theunlockedcreative.com, because I reply to all my emails. So it’s just been an absolute pleasure being here with you. 

Amanda: Well, thank you. All right, friends. If y’all want more, I will have all of her links in the show notes. So be sure to go check those out and I’ll see you next week.

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