I’ll admit, I never thought I was a creative person when I was growing up. I grew up with a mom who could sing and sisters who could draw and do makeup. Everybody was stylish. Even my dad could draw. Personally, I always associated creativity with artistic talent. It wasn’t until I started taking photos seriously that I realized I, too, am creative. It wasn’t until people were amazed by what I could do that I realized not just anybody can pick up a camera, shoot a perfect angle, and edit the photo to perfection. Not everybody can write a poem that will bring a cold heart to tears, or a recommendation letter fit for a queen. It was then that I realized I am creative.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I wake up every day with a million ideas running through my mind. Some mornings the only idea I have is to go back to bed. It’s taken me some time to realize that even the most creative people out there still struggle with coming up with new ideas and concepts. Entrepreneurs struggle to find the next steps for their business. Authors can’t figure out the climax of their novels.
And guess what? It’s totally normal!
Once I embraced my creativity and that I wouldn’t be creative 24/7, no matter how hard I pushed for it, I felt far more relaxed. Which, unsurprisingly for most, allowed for more ideas to flow in.
So, what do I do to spark creativity for myself?
First, I stop pushing myself to be creative. If ideas aren’t coming, I don’t push them. I focus on something else, like reading a book, and let my mind wander away from what I’m trying to create. A perfect example is this specific post. It took me almost a week to write today’s post because I was so distracted all last week. No matter what words I wrote, they all sounded wrong. So, I stopped forcing it, allowed myself to focus on the distractions, and now you have a lovely post today!
Second, I work during my peak creativity hours. Now, I understand everybody has different peak creativity/productivity hours, and some of you might have to work during those hours. I happen to be fortunate enough that my peak productivity hours are first thing in the morning (we’re talking 4:30am people) and so I take advantage as much as I’m able to during the week. On a weekend I most definitely don’t wake up at 4:30am, and I fit in my creative projects when I have the time or when I feel motivated. Again, this won’t work for everybody because some of you work weekends and weekdays so you don’t have a lot of time in the first place. This just happens to be what works the best for me.
Third, I make sure to take on creative projects I want to do! Some of you might be freelancers so you don’t always have a say in your projects if you’re working for a client. However, I would encourage you to sprinkle in some passion projects so you aren’t losing touch with your creativity. When you’re being creative daily, in my opinion, you’re more likely to be in touch with your creative side and will run into fewer dry spells. (This is not proven, just a personal opinion based on what works for me.)
And last, but not least, always make sure to write down ideas whenever you have them. I work full time, 7:30-4:30, plus I have a house to manage, a dog to care for, a fitness regimen, and Zumba classes to instruct. Add in sleep, family time, and work travel, and I have a pretty packed schedule. I’m not sharing this to brag, I’m sharing this so you can see that I don’t always have time to just sit and work for hours on projects I want to do. Some days, I have zero time to do what I want to do. But, I ALWAYS make sure to make notes when I have an idea, or someone I want to talk to, or a creative project. These notes are always messy and need some deciphering. But, by writing everything down, I get re-inspired when I see the ideas, which brings my creativity to the front of my mind and I’m able to knock out some great content, photos, or whatever it is I was planning on doing.
That’s all I have! What are your favorite ways to spark creativity? Have you ever tried any of the above methods? Did they work? Let me know!