The Secret To Creativity
Do you feel like being creative is this elusive “thing” that you only dream about experiencing?
Or is it an occasional bolt of brilliance that strikes at random, completely out of your control?
Or maybe you feel split in half with art as your passion and the rest of your day sucking the soul out of you?
Wherever you’re at, read onwards if you wish you felt more creative.
I hear you.
Creativity can seem like this alternate state of being that’s coveted, maybe even feared.
And, why does it have to be SO mysterious?
If you’re able to experience it, you feel lit up, but then, for whatever reason, it just goes away.
“Where did it go?”
“How do I find it again?”
“And, once I find it, what do I even do with it?”
Creativity is like a wild tiger that people go on safaris to find, but can’t ever quite keep up with.
And, if you do ever come eye to eye with the tiger, there’s a good chance it might eat you alive!
Yet… without it, you feel like a part of you is missing.
Creativity is risky. Unknown. But, essential.
So you might be thinking… “Why does she care?”
I love creativity. To me, it’s like breathing.
But, it wasn’t always like that.
I’ve tried it all.
Clinging. Pushing. Neglecting. Packaging.
I thought I knew what to do with my creativity, but it wasn’t until a physical and emotional burnout that I was forced to start over.
To relearn who I was.
I began breaking down my inner walls, challenging my habits, and rediscovering my purpose.
After years and years of wandering. Lost.
I found myself at a new doorway to the vastness of creativity.
Enter… Living Quirky!
A creation in and of itself, but also a celebration of creativity.
I hope to share more about the epic plan for an upcoming Quirk Invasion, but my mission for today…
Is that you take away at least ONE thing that will help you feel more creative in your life, right now.
Let’s dive in!
How do you define creativity?
Creativity, defined by Merriam-Webster: is the ability to make new things or think of new ideas.
We usually associate creativity with artists and label certain fields to be more “creative” than others.
But, let’s look closer.
If the act of creating is: to make or produce (something) : to cause (something new) to exist
Why is that confined to a painting or a piece of music?
Why are some “things” or “ideas” perceived as creative works vs. others as non-creative works?
When you cook a meal, it becomes something that didn’t exist before you made it.
– Sounds like the act of creating, right?
– How about when you walk?
Imagine all of the hidden brilliance happening in sync within your body for you to be able to life your leg.
And, when you watch the sunset,
– is that the creation of a moment of beauty?
Do you play a part in that creation?
I’d like to propose something crazy…
Whether you realize it or not,
(let that soak in for a second and then we’ll continue…)
Maybe that’s a concept you can follow, but still you’re thinking…
“If I’m already creating, why don’t I feel like it?”
Your desire for more creativity is real.
But, the issue is you are looking for it in the wrong place.
The secret is awareness.
Eeerrrr… hold up!
Did you think I was going to tell you to bust out some colored markers and paper?
You could, but have you ever thought about why that might make you feel more creative?
I believe there are two reasons:
1. you associate it with creativity already and are aware that you are creating.
2. in order for “creative expression” to feel satisfying, there is a specific mindset needed.
Isn’t awareness everything?
If you’re not aware of something, it’s reeeally hard to believe that it’s happening.
Let’s say you are sharing a story with a friend over coffee and your friend is nodding and smiling.
You are aware of her enjoyment of the story and you start to feel like the best storyteller, ever!
Now, let’s say you share that same story in an email to that same exact friend.
She reads it and is still nodding and smiling as she’s reading it, but gets busy and can’t reply at that moment. Later, she forgets to respond altogether.
You are not aware of her enjoyment of the story and you start to wonder if maybe you’re the worst storyteller, ever.
Same thing applies to creating.
It’s not about being “more creative”.
If you don’t pay attention to how you are already creating in the world, you are going to feel like it’s not happening.
Crack open your awareness. Be intentional with your interactions.
2. Creative Satisfaction
Still, there’s the question of:
Why do you feel more creative when you do one thing versus another?
Or going even deeper:
Why do you feel more creative when you do something one day, but less creative when you do the same exact thing on another day?
Imagine doing something that inspires you creatively…
Maybe it’s writing mystery novels.
A pen + blank pad of paper and you sail away with Dan Brown in your mind.
Do you feel the same way when you try to write a resume?
So, what changed?
– a collection of words
– crafted to tell a story
– where you hope the reader will be following in anticipation.
When writing a resume, you focus on the rules and try to prove yourself to a stranger.
But guess what…
there are rules of writing a mystery novel too and you still need to prove yourself to a stranger so they will continue reading your novel.
The difference is how you view writing a resume.
There is nothing inherently different about a resume vs. a novel other than the perception associated with each.
And, some days when you sit down to write that novel, the blank page is equally as terrifying as a resume!
So the question becomes,
can you shift how you view something?
Our minds are incredibly dynamic.
We’re not even entirely sure what we are capable of.
Ever heard of the placebo effect?
Same principles apply here.
It’s about reframing what you tell yourself the outcome will be.
You have to believe you can.
It begins as an experiment.
If you view something as being “the way things are” then there will never be any other way.
If you’d like to implement these concepts, here are a few questions to brainstorm reframing your views on the things you create:
1. What is one thing you created today?
How did you feel as you were creating it? And after? Did you even notice how you felt?
2. What is one thing you wish you could create?
What qualities about creating it would feel satisfying?
(think more about the feelings associated and less about the actual outcomes)
3. What is one thing you will be creating tomorrow?
How can you alter the way you create it so you can feel more of the qualities you answered previously?
(remember: awareness + mindset)
You’ve done it!
You’ve already shifted how you view creating.
After introspection, there needs to be action.
So, go ahead. Implement. Experiment. Challenge yourself!
This is just the beginning…
Sharing your experience can help you integrate and process more deeply. In the comments below, what’s an insight YOU have about creativity?