Get Out Of Your Own Way!
How to be creative at work, at play, and every day.
“Be creative”, they say. It sounds so simple, but It’s is a much larger topic than we can cover in a single blog post, of course. In this post, we’re going to start at the beginning—harnessing the creativity you already have.
There’s a long-standing narrative about creative genius happening almost magically—behind the scenes, when nobody’s looking, and arriving in its final, polished form to an adoring public.
None of this is true, and the sooner you embrace that that magical creative moment is a myth, the sooner you can get to work!
Generate, generate, generate.
In other words: start. Don’t wait for that elusive flash of inspiration. Rather than trying to be creative as a state, try to do creative—every day.
Try keeping a journal for a month, and commit to writing in it for at least fifteen minutes a day. Don’t think about it too hard—just get in there and do your best James Joyce impression. Write about what inspires you, imitate something brilliant, or even just the same word over and over until you inevitably start really thinking about that word—and write that down.
Ever had a brilliant idea—that doesn’t work for the project at hand? Save it! Keep a “junk” file and save these moments until it’s their time.
And sure, we opened saying inspiration is elusive, but we’ve all experienced those moments. When they do hit, be prepared—carry a notebook if you’re the analog type, or open up your Notes or Voice Memo app.
Go off the path.
We’re used to clear, linear explanations, but in reality, problems don’t tend to solve themselves in such an organized way. Think about what you know—and write it down. Where does it fit? Is it a problem to solve, a solution to provide? Is it a feeling you want to inspire? Is it something about who you want to be?
So for example: let’s say you know you have a great solution for
Now that you know what you know, you need to discover what you don’t know. Make a list of possibilities and variables, or try to create a narrative. Really delve into your topic and continue asking questions—become as much of an expert
Talk to people, even if they’re completely removed—you might be surprised what a fresh pair of non-expert eyes can see or imagine. Do you have a mentor or another expert in your life? Reach out to them!
Don’t put pressure on yourself to be an endless font of creative wisdom—put in time and practice.
Time and space.
Sometimes it feels like we have to sit still and focus on a problem until it’s resolved. But in practice, how many times have you finally gotten up out of sheer frustration and returned with a clearer head—and a solution?
There’s a reason famous creative people walk so much. Plan for these kinds of walls to happen, because they will. Planning breaks helps save time and frustration, and it’s far more effective than multitasking.
Honestly? You probably already know this – but if you’re not doing it, the reminder doesn’t hurt.
What of strategies help you be creative in your work, play, and everyday? Let us know in the comments!
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