We've all had to be creative in our lives. Art class, problem solving, making flyers. Creativity is an elusive muse that may feel like you don't have a lot of power over. It helps us find meaning but it's hard to catch.
Once you've considered yourself a creative professional does the tension of of what that really means start happening to you. Whatever what creative you want to be: a designer, artist, musician, performer, etc. What do you do to keep up the creativity, livelihood, energy level, and passion to make it all come together every day.
From my personal experience of creativity, all problems stem form looking in the wrong places. It happens though and it's no one's fault. That's why how you can harness more creativity in your life without it draining you down.
Being too original
The biggest problem that usually hinders creativity is falling into the hole of thinking everything has been down and nothing you'll make will be special.
Being a trend setter or saying 'I was first' has a good feeling to it but only if it falls into place. It's not something you can really plan.
There's over 7 billion people in this world and billions of other living before that. Chances are someone made or thought of something before you.
It's not the end of world of not being original - you're just being real with yourself.
Taking what exists and making interesting or better is really all it takes to be considered 'new'. Creativity is simply taken what you know and adding other things also know or don't know.
Picasso also mentions that the idea of creativity was all combinational so nothing really original. Don't be a fraud to take inspiration and not really reinvent the wheel.
You work in a vacuum
Being creative usually works is a solo environment so you have no one distracting you. Bob Dylan was very notable for retreating to a cabin in Woodstock, New York to create his songs.
But creativity doesn't just come from within. It actually comes from without. Collaboration is actually more beneficial in creating work that is truly creative.
THe poet, Emily Dickinson was well known for being super isolated in her room and never going outside. While she never left and never had people coming in, she communicated a lot through letters. These letters were her inspirations to her poems.
Her poems were eccentric in how personal and expressive they were in her writing. This lead to a lot of her work being recognized.
Most businesses work in teams. While we know Steve Jobs for being a brilliant creative, it was really Steve Wozniak was the one who was physically creating things. They both needed each other to form Apple though.
Most innovations were collaborative. As they didn't work in a vacuum. Everything they made, they got other people's feedback.
You let distractions get you
Creativity needs both parts of your brain to function. Despite a lot of power comes from the left, it does pull through the right as well. Our inspiration comes from absorbing past experiences through the five senses that allow us to envision something before it's even there.
Distractions are a part of life and do they do lock down the creativity. Meditations has always been a key problem solver in meditation. Stress levels, problems, helps improve cognitive. This all leads into get that creative zone where the right ideas just flow in.
Great ideas don't just happen because you said so. Creativity is take time into knowing what your problem is and what is attached to your mind.
Instead of just waiting for that idea - be disciplined. Do research in your creative industry every day. The more experiences that you have, more you can pull from.
Don't be too focused
Ironically it's also possible to be too focused.
Great ideas can happen at any given moment. Waking up at 4 am, in the shower, stuck in traffic, etc.
It's all because our brain is packed in preparation while we are processing other things - our minds wander.
We need time for our mind to form new connections. There's some level of distractions that we do need in order to that focus moment in embracing new ideas.
Irrelevant foundation can actually be beneficial in our sensory mind. Especially when we're accustomed to reading so much information every day. It's all bout sorting out what's good and what's not needed.
The creative process allows a level of slowness in not being stressed and loose in your mind. Being too focused to long can cause burnout and lose the bigger picture of the problem you're trying to solve.
Bias love of your ideas
It's great to fall in love with your ideas and know it can be done. It's the natural way of knowing we're on to something great.
Be aware though - just because it's your idea, doesn't mean its a good one. Learn to know that ideas are just ideas and not to get too attached to them.
Not learning how to let go of them is not only a humble experience, but allows you to know the difference from a good idea and a bad one.
Most musicians like to write over 20 verse lines in their song, not because they want that in their song, but it allows them to be harsh on what works and what doesn't. Once they go down to 4 verses, do they know they are on to something good.
Break down good ideas every time.
Good ideas are difficult to remove - now you know you're on to something if it does hurt.
Stop being so perfect
I had a neighbor who did crossword puzzles. But really she obsessed every day to complete each and everyone she found. Despite how much she tried, she actually only gone through 5 puzzles.
Why? She was a perfectionist in finding out the answer is complete as possible.
Her expectations were to just too high in her effort you be right. That's a problem you see with a lot of other creatives do. So many artists are perfections in their studios.
Instead of knowing that you can do better, just get things done and learn from mistakes.
Perfectionism stops us from finishing which is what matters the most. The process is super great, but it's sad to know that final income is what people and love and ultimately buy.
Have a goal
Creativity is awesome in that you can have fun and do what needs to be done expressive in how you want. But creative problem solving needs a problem and a goal.
Going out of your way and being creative in your tools as well as who you know can definitely help what problems you're having.
Think big but think practical when time is of the essence. Practice every day because creativity is a skill just like everything else. The more you do it, the better you will become.