The Mindful Survey: Creativity

What do the Smurfs, horses, and coding have in common? Find out in our latest reader survey.

Alexandr Vlassyuk/Dollar Photo Club

On a scale from 1 to 10, how important is creativity to you?


What gets your creative juices flowing:

56% OPT FOR THE HEALTHIEST OPTION—a walk in nature, while 22% prefer group conversation, and 17% choose meditation. Less than 1% choose a pack of cigarettes and some Tom Waits (though many readers choose Tom Waits without the cigarettes).


  • Housecleaning
  • Sex
  • A little of the finest Herb and good old rock ‘n’ roll
  • A hot shower

Clean desk or cluttered desk?

47% CHOOSE A CLEAN DESK. I can’t do creative work when I know something needs to be tidied.” That’s a lot of organized people. A few of us at Mindful HQ could use your help!

What’s your #1 creative outlet?

43% OF OUR READERS LIKE TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES THROUGH WRITING. Runners-up: Music (18%) and Photography (16%).


  • Performing a puppet show for my grandkids
  • Coding
  • Soapmaking
  • Storytelling
  • Forms & spreadsheets— that or making stuff up to see what people will believe
  • Guerrilla street art… largely knitting
  • Ineffective processes
  • Compiling research notes. Honest.


• Gardening • Woodworking

• Cooking • Sewing

What time of day are you most creative?


Where are you most creative?

  • 52% In nature
  • 30% At work
  • 11% In the shower
  • 5% In the bedroom 😉
  • 2% At school
  • With horses
  • Location doesn’t matter

Who’s your creative role model?

  • My dog: always in the moment, curious about all things, wanting to connect.
  • My Dad. He taught me how to think my way through projects. Died when I was 12. I am 75 now.
  • I don’t like her…but Martha Stewart

What’s your proudest creative achievement?

“I transitioned from combat camera to landscape photographer. It took a long time but eventually the beauty of a stunning scene where I was the only human for miles became as much of an adrenaline rush as ducking bullets.”

  • Making a fairy house out of bark, moss, pebbles, beach glass, and feathers
  • Learning to play cello at age 50
  • A marketing campaign for the Smurfs
  • Creating a method to sip tequila

Do you need a predictable routine to be creative?

64% SAY “HECK NO! Creativity only works for me when it’s spontaneous.”