You think some people are naturally creative but not you. This is far from the truth. Everybody is creative in one way or another. You use your imagination to come up with new ideas. Find a solution to your problem. Improvise if you can’t find a solution. This all makes you a creative person. Or you feel creative but you don’t have the time or space to create. Either way, you have to set the intention to be more creative. Adopt habits which support your creative spirit and make creativity part of your life.
Not everything is art
Not everything is art and that’s a good thing. It doesn’t have to be. Thinking everything you create needs to be amazing and new and unique only keeps you from producing anything at all. You don’t have to be the next Picasso.
Striving for perfection can kill your creativity. Give yourself permission to do something just for fun. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Hell, break some rules if this will set your mind free.
From experience, I can tell you that at times you have to produce a lot of trash before you come up with something good. It’s part of the process. And it’s a way to improve and practice your skills.
Try something new
An artist once told me that every couple of years you have to completely reinvent yourself. Otherwise, you’ll get stuck. You start to do the same things over and over again. Only repeat what you already know how to do.
We all like routine and we all like to feel in charge of what we do. But too much routine is poison to our creativity. Try something new. Open your horizon and get excited about a new project. Do something you’ve never done before. If you’re a writer try painting. If you paint with watercolor try to make charcoal sketches. It’ll change your perspective. You’ll see your work with new eyes.
Related post: 6 creative brainstorming techniques
Wake up your inner child
Sometimes our creative spirit is buried deep inside of us. This wise and responsible voice in our heads is telling us that being creative is something for kids. You don’t play with colors as a grown up.
As kids, we didn’t have any problem to be creative all day. Invent our own games and try new things without being afraid. But somewhere between Hello Kitty backpacks and braces, it all got lost. Our natural curiosity and the trust that we can’t fail got lost.
Wake up your inner child. Give yourself permission to play, create, and discover. What did you always love to do when you were a kid?
Use what you’ve got
Are you putting a creative activity off because you don’t have the resources? There’s so much you can do with the stuff you already have at home. You don’t need this new tablet to pick up illustration. There’s no need to wait for summer because you want to paint the roses on your front porch.
These are all excuses you’re making. You can start working with the resources you have. I bet you’ll be surprised to see what you can do with some simple tools. Finding ideas and tools will force you to think creatively. A lack of resources can give you more freedom in your creative work.
Often when we want to do something creative we switch on our computer first thing. Working digitally bears a lot of risks though. We can get distracted or procrastinate instead of doing something. “I’ll quickly check my emails” you’re telling yourself. But soon the hour you set aside to create is over and you haven’t even started.
What would happen if you decided to stay away from your computer for once? Work a bit with your hands. It might not always be possible but from time to time you can do a part of your process without your computer. I wrote the first draft of this post by hand. Sometimes it helps me to elaborate my ideas more clearly and focus on the task in front of me. Try it out.
Related post: Top 3 productivity tips for creatives
Get a friend involved
Let’s be honest, creative work can be lonely. Only you and your canvas. Why not get somebody else involved? Exchanging ideas can be a helpful part of your creative process. You can ask a friend for his opinion and get a different point of view on your project. If your friend is creative as well you can challenge each other or hold each other accountable. Collaboration can be interesting too. Working hand in hand with other creatives means you can learn from each other. If you’ve been hiding in your creative cave a lot I encourage you to reach out to somebody. Get inspired by other creatives.
Last but not least, there’s no right or wrong way to be more creative. You just need to start. It’s easier said than done of course. For many creatives getting started is the biggest hurdle they need to take. Writing the first word or putting the first brush stroke on the paper. Sometimes it even keeps us from doing anything at all. We make excuses like “I don’t know what to write” or “I’m not in the mood”. Guess what? You’ll never be.
Some days it’s easier but on other days you still have to show up. Otherwise, you will never get anything out there. I won’t tell you that with practice it gets easier and with time you will leave this hurdle behind. Because that’s not true. But I can tell you that I’ve done my best work on days when I wasn’t feeling like it at all and I had to force myself to get started.
Related post: How to find your creative flow
So tell me if you’re going to set an intention to be more creative. Are you going to start a creative hobby or establish new skills?