I often hear around myself: You are so creative! and I am not a creative person at all. Creativity is often considered some sort of artsy thing, something only the crafty people which likes to draw and make stuff have or use. The way how I see it (and how Wikipedia sees it), it is the way of thinking, figuring out new ways and finding solutions, creating something which has not been around before. Everyone can be and is creative no matter what you do. Did you tweak a recipe a bit or even made your own sandwich without any prescription? Here you go, you were creative! It is a skill like any other and you can get better in it more you practise. So today I have some tips for you how to develop and discover your creativity no matter what you do, who you are and where you are on your journey in life. We can’t all be Picasso but well, maybe we can make our life more fun?
1. Do something out of ordinary
Sometimes we get so stuck in our routine, what is comfortable and familiar, that our brain gets a bit bored. Of course it is always easier and nicer for our ego to do something we are good in or we are used to doing. But what if you tried something you have never done before? It doesn’t have to mean embarrassing yourself on a yoga class (as I did last time and was laughing at myself the whole 90 minutes of pain and torture).
Try to take another street on the way home, try to wear new outfit, just pick something totally random (you know how you always figure out some great combos on the vacation, because you just have to combine what you have?). And if you want to challenge yourself a bit every day, great exercise is to try doing all the daily routine activities with the other hand then usual. And let me tell you, that will wake your brain up! As easy it sounds brushing your teeth left handed is a task requiring full concentration and presence.
2. Do it for doing it
This was one of the best creative advices I got, actually from my boyfriend! I felt really stuck one day, had the afternoon dedicated to take photos (9 to 5 job struggles) and I just couldn’t do it. Nothing went right, photos looked shitty and new ideas were not coming. After a tiny mental breakdown my boyfriend told me: just go and do it, don’t think about it so much, just go and take pictures, of anything, just for the sake of doing the activity, for fun, with no agenda.
That day I took one of my most favourite pictures because truth to be told I didn’t care, I was just experimenting, thought it wouldn’t work anyway and had so much fun! So maybe if you are writer and don’t feel like you have anything to write about, just write about that! Or about your breakfast, day at work. No-one has to ever see it but you will feel so much better afterwards and probably get a great result. You will also get into a habit of doing the activity and it will build up your confidence and creativity level.
3. Do something else
Being creative on demand can be very hard and with a time pressure it gets even tougher and sometimes it is just not the right time. After many and many hours of trying and pushing and crying and quitting, I figured that the best way is just to get out of it. If I for example want to redecorate my living room but no matter how I move things around it looks like crap, I just leave everything as it is in the middle of the room and have a cup of coffee with a bit of a reading. Or if I can’t take photograph as I planned, I just go for a walk.
I know we don’t all have a luxury and sometimes you just have to bite your tongue and do it because of the deadline or a schedule. But creativity if you have not practised a lot, is very hard to force. The way how to be able to create on demand is to be prepared and I will speak about it in one of the next articles.
Do you remember that time when you had a great idea and you felt on the top of the world and finally fixed what seemed like couldn’t ever be fixed again? Sometimes thinking about our creative success and reverse engineering it can help us find the way how to be creative in another fields of our life. Most of the times creativity is about the process, about the way how we approach a problem or a task and cut our way through. Try to consider how did you get to the idea last time?
Sometimes I look through my old photographs or old interior drawings I did years ago, just to gather and pick up my brain again. And the computer inside your head can often spark a new wave of creativity combining all the old good stuff together. Or if you feel like you have never produced anything creative, just copy someone else. Even the best artists are learning buy re-painting the famous artists. While doing it you might find your own way and ended up somewhere unexpected.
5. Let’s overthink it one more time
Now you might think I got totally mental because I am contradicting myself and you can often read that overthinking and creativity doesn’t go together. Just let me explain. Did it never happened to you that you had this issue with something, lets say you didn’t know what to buy your partner for anniversary, and then it came to you, out of nowhere, while sitting no the toilet? Well I do this on purpose, all the time.
My brain is very analytic so I like to think a lot about ,well, everything, but when I want to cook an amazing meal or maybe create a new photograph, I think about it in my head. I literally cook the meal in my head, with all the details, I repeat it, correct my mistake and that allows me to be very efficient when I go an actually do it. I just keep the task or the problem parked in my memory and come back to it whenever I have some time. Handy thing is to have a notebook by your nigh stand because you often get the best ideas just before falling asleep.
What is your way to unleash and possibly develop your creative skill? I would love to know! Share your tips in a comment below.
Love these tips on creativity! I also like to confront any fears I have over starting a new project by diving in no matter how “unprepared” I feel. I turn around the insecure moments by believing in my innate creativity. And then if I feel really stuck I go to a different project. Photography or music or writing poetry; there are so many mediums to try and get out of a creative block! Thanks for your lovely advice.