“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
~Mary Lou Cook
Even if you don’t deem yourself as a “creative person” the truth is – everyone is creative. We are conditioned throughout life to think and behave as everyone else does and this beats the individuality out of us. Some lucky people still have a natural proclivity towards creative thinking, but many have no concept of it at all. Well, I’m here to help! Working on a creative project is probably the most satisfying thing a person can do. There is something about giving birth to a fresh new idea that satisfies our soul. Here are some great ideas on how you can embrace your creativity and apply it in new and exciting ways.
Relax– Stress and constant worry leave no room for innovative thought. Your constantly racing mind doesn’t have time to think constructively. Be sure to take a few moments out of your day to relax. Sit in silence, focus on your breathing or full on meditate. Practicing yoga is another great way to relax and clear your mind for creative thoughts to emerge.
Carry a notebook – An inspiration notebook can change your life. We all literally have thousands of thought and ideas running through our head during any given day. Thoughts are fleeting and can be gone in a matter of seconds. If you have a notable thought or idea, or even if you hear a song you like or see a book you want to read – write it down. I carry my little notebook in my bag and write down ideas, songs, movies, books, words, and imagery that I like. Since my memory is like a sieve, this has been a godsend.
Ignore everybody-If you care about what people think, you won’t get anywhere creatively. Most people shun new ideas because they are comfortable with the way things are and change makes them woozy. When you create something you have to do it solely for you. Feel free to ask the opinion of those you respect, but don’t live by their words. When it comes down to it, your creativity is sacred and no one else should touch it. This idea is greatly inspired by Hugh MacLeod (who you should totally check out for more creative ideas).
Keep an inspiration folder – This can be a tangible folder or a folder on your desktop. Even if you are not creating something visually I think you should still keep folders of visual stimuli such as photos, illustrations or designs. I find that looking through images I find aesthetically pleasing, I can quickly get myself into a creative mindset
Limit your media intake – This is especially hard in modern times and something I struggle with constantly. We are regularly being bombarded with a crazy influx of information. Most people will say that TV should be cut out of your life and internet should be severely limited. I think that as long as you are using those things as tools to learn and be inspired, they are fine in moderation. When it comes to 4 hour soap opera marathons and 5 hours on Facebook, you might need to re-evaluate your media consumption!
Try new things –New experiences are scary and challenging and that is exactly why you need them. The more you expand your brain to new possibilities the more ideas it can generate.
Use a different medium– If you are an illustrator then try writing a story. If you typically write, try drawing a picture. Don’t worry about grammar, drawing ability, or any other feelings of inadequacy you might have. Just worry about getting your ideas down in a dramatically different way. You will be amazed at how your creative process changes.
Make things better -As you go through your day, make note of the things that aren’t working as well as they can be. This might be a policy at the bank, your dishwasher, or the highway. Brainstorm ways to make these things better for you and everybody else. The sky is the limit with this. For example: I think that all waiting rooms should have live entertainment, like a juggler or contortionist.
Don’t think – Stop rationalizing. Stop trying to figure out “how it is done”. Just get and idea and make it happen.
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”
Single Task-I used to be the queen of multitasking but I found that doing too many things at one time leaves certain projects slighted. Only work on one creative project at a time. This gives you the opportunity to live and breathe your ideas and not get scatterbrained and mixed up.
Have fun – If you are working on something that drains your happiness and excitement then drop it, because your creativity will get sucked away right with it. The purpose of being a creative person is enjoying the act of creation, including all the hard work involved.