Are you feeling creative but having trouble getting started? Are you wondering how to get your ideas flowing?
Here are 15 tips on how to be more creative.
1. Stop telling yourself you’re not creative
If you keep telling yourself you’re not creative, well surprise surprise you probably won’t be feeling a rush of ideas.
Even if you have great ideas you may not trust them if you convince yourself you’re not creative.
Everyone is creative. Have an open mind to begin with.
Doesn’t get much simpler than this one. Just start!
It doesn’t matter whether you are a writer, painter, sculptor, dancer, singer or cook you need to start somewhere.
3. Keep going
The more you do the work the more ideas you will have. It’s a case of one idea leads to 10 others.
People sometimes give up too early before they have hit their stride. Keep at it.
4. Don’t obsess about every idea being fabulous
Not all of your ideas will be fabulous. Some will be rubbish and that’s okay.
Some ideas will jump out at you more than others. They are the ones to work on first.
Others may need to incubate in your mind before you are ready to take them out for a test drive.
5. Don’t edit while you create
While editing is an essential part of a final product it doesn’t work well in the creative stage. Many of us over edit our creativity to the point of snuffing it out all together.
Get the work out in all its creative messy glory – then edit all you like. Just don’t edit something so much that you change its original meaning and feel.
6. Forget perfect
Nothing stifles creativity like the concept of everything having to be perfect. The minute you go down that road, you start doubting yourself and stressing over every little detail instead of allowing yourself to be creative.
Ditch the idea of perfection – it doesn’t exist anyway!
7. Keep an ideas file
I call mine a brainstorming file. It’s on my computer. Some people particularly novelists use index cards. Many people use Evernote or a similar product.
It doesn’t matter how you do it, just make sure you are capturing your ideas so that you can reference back to them later.
8. Steal like an artist
When I was in New York I read the book Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.
In the book Austin Kleon reminds us that a lot of ideas have already been done. The trick is to take those ideas and sculpt them into our own unique masterpiece.
9. People watch
When I was young my parents would drive to my grandmother’s house. At the time is seemed a long, long way (in reality it was about an hours drive).
While I was on this trip I would look at all the other cars and wonder where everyone was going and why they were all on the highway going somewhere. I knew each of them had their own unique story.
People watch and make up stories.
10. Be curious
Ask questions. Dig deeper. The world is a endlessly fascinating place. Be curious.
11. Hang out in nature
Nature is full of inspiration and life. Head for the mountains, desert, lakes, rivers, beach or wherever fills you with inspiration.
Read both fiction and non-fiction. Aim for books that are well-written. Avoid gossip magazines.
13. Watch less television
It’s not that watching television can’t give you creative ideas, it can depending on what you watch.
The problem with television is that it’s a huge time suck. The time devoured by watching television could be used for your creative pursuits.
14. Have your own creative space
This doesn’t have to be anywhere elaborate. It could simply be a chair in your garden where you like to read and write in your journal or it could mean having your own creative office space at home.
15. Spend time with creative people
If you want to go to the next level, spend some quality time with other creative people. Talk through your ideas. Get their input on things. Collaborate. Bounce ideas off each other. Revel and grow in a sharing environment.
What are your top tips on being creative? What works best for you?
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