I have formed some conclusions in my quest to study and understand creativity. It's a tricky topic and there are a lot of pitfalls and excuses I come across or most likely designed all by myself. (Ironically, creativity can lean toward the negative. A hard lesson to be learned.) Trying to explain to someone who is against the creative arts the work involved is like trying to explain the magnitude of the universe to a snail. The snail doesn't care. So, if you are like a snail and don't care this post isn't for you.
Here are five tools I have used to change myself into a creative creature. I want others to have these tools if they are struggling. (Or perhaps just need a reminder.)
1. Feel the Fear
Fear is mean. Fear is nasty. Most sane people avoid it at all costs. Creative types are faced with it everyday. Fear of rejection. Fear of ridicule. Fear of success and all that comes with it.
Fear is normal. It's okay. I am human. You are human. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway is an excellent book by Susan Jeffers I would recommend it to anyone.
Basically, creative types don't let fear hold them back. We charge in for better or worse.
2. Seek out Succor
With all the scariness floating around creative types need help and support. We need to reach out to others doing and feeling the same. We don't have to face the fear or the success alone. There are others to cheer us on, to offer advice and a shoulder to cry on if necessary.
3. Beat the Bitching
I do it. You do it. Everyone does it even those who think they don't. (If we listened we'd be like "Oh, hell no.") Bitching results because we are all wrapped up and concerned about something that either a) doesn't matter or b) we're not minding our own business.
If you're not feeling creative and all you've been doing is bitching about the coffee barista that put whole milk into your caramel macchiato latte with soy, stop. Accidents happen. There are going to be days that are bad. Leave the past behind you and focus your time and energy on the more important task of creating a masterpiece
4. Nix all Naysayers
If you've surrounded yourself with bitchers and moaners. Remove yourself from the group ASAP! You're already dealing with fear, ridicule, self-defeating behaviors, negative thoughts and beating yourself up about how all your creative endeavors are crap. (Well, I know I am. I'm my worst naysayer. It's a constant battle.) You and I have enough on our plates. Why add other negative Nancy to your social circle. See #3. (Apologies to any Nancys who are not negative.)
5. Resolve to Relax
Today it seems like the world is on non-stop fast forward. Everything has to be fast and done faster. Creativity has to include the slow, the lazy, the staring off into space because I'm in deep thought. Having energy because we are excited and passionate about what we do it awesome but just make sure to throw some down time in there. We all need to breathe because #1, #2, #3, and #4 require a lot of time and effort.
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