Everyone has the capacity to be creative. Whether you’re 9 or 90 years old, creativity is one of your innate strengths. Some people appear to have a greater gift for creativity that others, but that’s only because they’ve discovered what they’re good at and practice at it. Likewise, you’ll never know how creative you can be unless you take steps to maximize it.
It’s easy to understand what it takes to become more skilled at pottery, painting, gardening or any other hobby. Simply imagine what you want to achieve and then find different ways to try and make it happen. It’s not quite as clear how someone should go about increasing their skill at being creative. Fortunately, creativity is an important topic and psychology has much to tell us. Also, the most creative people throughout history have been willing to share their thoughts on the subject.
Creativity comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s not just art and sculpture, but also cooking, home improvements, decorating, needlework… the list is endless.
Make the most of your creative power with these ideas:
Have a change of scenery
Many authors write in coffee shops. Many painters have studios separate from their homes. Your creativity won’t be at the highest level in the places you spend the most time. A new environment can spark your creativity. If the creative spark has dimmed, go someplace new for a few days. Your normal hangouts stimulate your normal thoughts and thinking. Shake up your routine. Get off that sofa!
Perhaps most of your attempts, especially at first, will be a bit crap. That’s normal. It just means you have to have a few attempts to get it right. Some comics have stated they have to write a hundred jokes to get one keeper. Writers often completely rewrite the first draft. So what? It’s what you end up with at the end that matters, not what you start with.
Whether you’re looking for a solution to a problem, creating a new gadget, or writing a symphony, be willing to wade through a lot rubbish attempts before you create the diamond. View those bumps in the road as simply part of the process. Do you think Picasso painted a masterpiece while still wearing a nappy? No, he had to spend years perfecting his art!
Leave a thread for the following day
There’s a lot to be said for calling it a day before you run out of ideas. That leaves something for your mind to ponder the following day. Writers often quit for the day, before they’ve finished the chapter, with an idea of they want to begin writing the next day. It builds momentum and keeps the creativity wheels turning.
Avoid exhausting your ideas before you’ve had time to come up with more. Know how you’re going to proceed. And then sleep on it. Your subconscious mind will crank up the ideas engine and you’ll wake up with inspiration.
Become an expert in your field
Study what others in your chosen field are doing. Take notes and give yourself the gift of deeper knowledge of your subject. This will focus your mind on improving what your creativity.
Change your routine
Take a new path to work. Eat new foods. Change your evening routine. Brush your teeth with the opposite hand – now that feels weird! Shake up your world and you’ll think new thoughts. You’ll also be surprised by how uncomfortable it is to change all of these little things around. But your mind needs to be stretched and freshened up by introducing new ideas, new concepts, new ways of doing things.
It’s next to impossible to be creative when you’re constantly interrupted. Find a fairly quiet, inspiring place to do your creative work. Turn off social media notifications and be creative. At the very least, minimize the noise.
Try being bored
This may seem counterintuitive, but being bored prompts the mind to begin daydreaming, which accesses a different part of the brain than logical based tasks. When the logical side of your brain takes a back seat, your creativity can shine through and drive your creativity forward.
Be creative when you’re least alert
It might seem reasonable to think that you’d be most creative when your brain is most active. Yet, science has shown the opposite is true. For example, if you’re a morning person, your best ideas will come at night, because that’s when you’re relaxing. That also means you should make good use of the time immediately before falling asleep and after awakening.
Some people can have blocks in their mind that make them think they can never be creative. That’s simply not true.
Perhaps a teacher mocked your attempts to paint when you were a young child. Maybe a caregiver told you to concentrate on your schoolwork as they considered that more important than a hobby. Or it could simply be that the friends you used to hang about with as a teen thought picking up a paintbrush was uncool. But it’s possible to go back in time, find the cause of the problem, and then use mind techniques to release the blockages.
You can make the most of the creativity you were born with. You never know precisely when a brilliant idea will hit, so increase the odds in your favor. Tap into your creativity today and discover talents you never knew you had!
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And there’s more…
Want to dig deep into your creative vibe? Here are some inspirational resources to zing up your ingenuity:
So, I’m about to make a huge claim. I stand by it. This book is the best book ever on creative power. Written by a chap who’s an artist, writer and – get this – lectures at Central St Martins College of Art, on creative methods and processes. Trained at the Royal College of Art in London, had loads of exhibits at Tate Britain, The National Portrait Gallery and Royal Academy. In other words, this bloke knows his creative onions. Take a deep dive and learn peeps: The Art of Creative Thinking: 89 Ways to See Things Differently – Rod Judkins:
Nothing is original, so embrace influence, school yourself through the work of others, remix and reimagine to discover your own path. Follow interests wherever they take you—what feels like a hobby may turn into you life’s work. Forget the old cliché about writing what you know: Instead, write the book you want to read, make the movie you want to watch. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative – Austin Kleon:
This book is one of my favourites, written by an amazing author. Part biographical account of his personal struggle with creativity, and part a mental kick in the artistic pants! The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles – Steven Pressfield:
Why not spend time with other creative peeps who share your interests? Whether it’s art, writing, cookery, gardening, sculpture or another artistic venture, take a look at local MeetUp groups: https://www.meetup.com/
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