For anyone that works in a creative capacity, there’s probably a “process” involved. Some people, like hip-hop artist Lil Uzi Vert, have recognized the actions that get them into a state of flow to allow them to create great art. Some even describe it as “not having to think at all”.
Creativity is like a muscle. It must be stretched, challenged, and occasionally pushed past its comfort zone.
While it means different things to different people and is especially conditioned by the field that you work in, in its purest form, creativity is a phenomenon (an ability or a process) by which something different and new is made.
This “something” can be either a physical object (painting, sculpture, invention)) or something intangible (a theory, joke, melody, idea).
Today, we’ll be discovering three ways by which your creative process can be improved, to make it easier for you to flex your creative muscles and avoid roadblocks.
Keep a journal
Journaling, a practice once thought to be for teenage girls or Victorian gentlemen, has gained immense popularity over the past few years.
Many Youtube channels have been built on journaling, with some creators showing off their journals and helping others create theirs.
The practice of keeping a diary or journal that explores thoughts and feelings surrounding the events of your life is nothing new, but journaling in its current form has evolved from boring old notebooks to highly personalized works of art that allow creative expression in many forms.
Use your journal for whatever you want: as a traditional diary to record your thoughts. or as a bullet journal for boosting productivity. You might even use it as a canvas, where you doodle as you please.
Step out of your comfort zone
You may not realize it, but doing the same thing every day (e.g. working on your novel for 6 hours) without a break can stop you from improving your creativity.
As creatives in modern society, we’re treated the same as more analytical roles where things are a bit more straightforward (and even they need a lot of breaks).
Try something new: take a painting class or even just try making a Spotify playlist. Read a new book that’s not in your field (I always go for Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson because it’s difficult concepts explained simply). Or attend an event completely unrelated to your field (virtually, of course).
Take a hike, visit a museum, or travel to your nearest cafe (or country). A change of environment or routine will always improve your creativity. And you never know what you’ll see that will inspire your next masterpiece.
You’ll find that trying new things always leads to a significant boost in creativity. It takes your brain out of routine and urges it to work for new scenarios.
Sometimes, the best ideas come out of doing nothing. When you don’t have anything on your mind, and you’re just going through the motions. Those little moments will allow some great ideas to form.
Isaac Newton’s story is a great example of this. He was sitting under a tree and taking in the scenery when an apple fell on his head and he discovered the laws of gravity. Yes, this isn’t the whole story but you get the idea.
As Alan Cohen once wrote, “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”
Improving your creativity doesn’t have to be super stressful.
If you feel like it’s lacking, unplug. Relax. And let your brain do its magic.
Don’t overthink it. Literally.
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Tamilore Oladipo is a strategist and freelance content marketer with an eye for what great content should look like. You can reach out to her for guest contributions or just to talk about strategy and content.