It’s a common question – How do I be creative? Where do I find creativity? What does being creative mean? Many people think they can’t write because they’re not creative. Many think creativity is something in you just naturally, either you have it or you don’t.
And certainly there are some people’s brains who lend more that way than others, but I’ve always thought as creativity as a muscle. Use it and it works for you. Don’t and it won’t. Use it often and you’re creative. If you try to push a cold muscle, that muscle is not going to be cooperative and that’s often misinterpreted as lacking in creativity.
Over at good.is they recently posted a link to a creativity list – 33 Ways to Stay Creative.
And while I’m not a fan of “lists” as a methodology to gain something, this one would work quite well for someone who is searching for creativity and not sure where to start. I like this list because it’s more practical and habitual rather than unicorns sliding down a rainbow into your brain and bestowing you with creativity. That’s where most go wrong because they’re waiting around for that unicorn. (Psst! The unicorn comes for no man. Sorry.)
Practical actions (don’t beat yourself up, get rest) and habitual actions (carry a notebook) are going to be way more useful to building creativity. Just as I am a believer that creativity is a muscle, I believe that creativity stems not from inspiration but from the habit of using that part of your brain over and over again. Our brain is a tricky bugger. It sometimes doesn’t like to do what it’s told the first time out of the gate. But if you, for example, free write every day for five minutes your brain is going to eventually realize that it’s being asked to come up with ideas quickly and it will help you do that. But it takes time for the brain to click in, once will not work.
I also like the point that says stop trying to be someone else’s perfect. That’s when creativity really breaks down, when we try to live up to the criteria of others, as if there are rules that define creativity. There are no rules. There are no rules that define a writer other than – write something. Five words, five lines, five pages it all counts in the creativity pool.
What do you think of this creativity list?