3 Useful Tips to Be More Creative
Since I started blogging over the last couple of years, I’ve gained many insights into the creative process. Here are a few of them I thought I’d share with you.
See yourself as a creative person
Many people have a mental block when it comes to creativity and usually associate it with artists, musicians, writers etc. For the majority of my life this was the case with me, as I never actively engaged in any creative endeavours.
But creativity is not a special skill that some people are born with and some aren’t. Like any skill, it’s something you can develop.
Creativity is like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the better you get at coming up with creative ideas and insights.
Our subconscious tends to act in line with our self-image, and therefore by seeing yourself as a creative person, you will improve your creative capabilities.
Don’t wait around for inspiration & motivation
A common misconception surrounding the creative process is the notion that you need to feel inspired to produce good creative work.
I believed this to be true, so when I initially decided to start blogging, I thought all I have to do is write articles when I feel inspired and motivated.
But I soon learned that if I only wrote when I feel inspired or motivated, I would hardly get any writing done. I realised that forces like inspiration and motivation come and go like the wind and cannot be relied on.
Around the time I began blogging, I read a wonderful book about the creative process called Big Magic (by Elizabeth Gilbert) which emphasised the importance of having a routine and being disciplined (instead of waiting around for inspiration), and this advice has proved to be helpful.
Author James Clear has remarked on his blog that “Motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it.”
My experience with writing has taught me that just like motivation, inspiration is often the result of action, not the cause of it.”
To quote Clear again “Getting started, even in very small ways, is a form of active inspiration that naturally produces momentum”
Embrace silence & solitude
There is something about silence and solitude that helps to stimulate creative thinking, and I have noticed that I get some of my best ideas and insights when I am alone. One of the great inventors of the 20th century Nikola Tesla, described it aptly when he said,
“The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion, free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born."
When we are by ourselves and away from other people, we tend to let our mind wander and day dream.
When we day dream an area of the brain called DMN(Default Mode Network) lights up and helps us make all sorts of creative associations and join different ideas that may not occur in our normal waking state of consciousness.
I have found that it’s always best to jot down ideas the moment they arrive because ideas tend to come in a flash, and if you don’t record it in the moment, you won’t be able to recall them later.
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