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5 Tips To Get Your Creativity Flowing + Bonus 6th Tip
1. Accept and embrace your own uniqueness, your own unique voice and style and outlook on life.
This can help shift you out of comparing yourself to others in your field and coming up short.
Your creative work might have a smaller or bigger audience than your creative heros – and that’s okay! I might not be the next Charles Dickens, but I can do a great job of being Laurie Lamson, if I accept myself and become the shepherd of the creativity that wants to come through me.
Years ago I was in a writing class where I read a short story out loud and it got trashed by the class. That was rough, very hard not to take it personally. Of course, I did take it personally. And couldn’t help ask myself, why can’t I write like the guy who read last week? Everyone seemed to love his story.
But when I got all the written feedback notes, I saw that about 20% of the class really got my story and loved it – even though they didn’t speak up in class.
A friend pointed out that my story might not be for everyone, but I should appreciate my audience rather than worrying about those who aren’t. And it’s true – you don’t have to be a blockbuster. And if you have something to create, it’s your responsibility to give your audience a chance to experience it. I’m grateful for that friend helping me see more clearly.
2. Omit the words “good” and “bad” in describing your work.
Easier said then done, but get creative and find other ways to talk about it.
One of the biggest gifts I got from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron was to understand that as an artist or creative person, your job is just to do the creating work and leave the judging to others. This is not to say that you shouldn’t edit your work. It does mean that if you have the burning desire to create or perform, it’s your responsibility to your soul to take steps in that direction.
Another key to getting into your creative groove is to:
3. Consciously give yourself permission.
If you will grant yourself permission to be yourself and to express yourself, to allow the creative work that wants to be born through you – that will make your soul very happy.
You don’t need anyone else’s permission, period. We live in a free society, so don’t censor yourself – you can make adjustments and edits later. Recognize that you’re free right here and now. If someone else doesn’t like what you do, they are free to look the other way!
It’s part of the artist’s job to demonstrate what freedom of thought looks like.
4. See yourself as a student of your artistic discipline.
If you can replace a goal of “perfection” with a goal of “mastery and excellence” then you remain a student who is ever growing and improving.
Even an expert can continue to find new and deeper ways of looking at life and human nature, and expressing it through their work. This way you can more easily access the creative spirit of a child who enjoys the process rather than being overly focused on the outcome. If there’s always more to learn it can keep you from feeling stale and stagnant about your creative process.
5. Trick yourself.
Tell yourself you’re just going to read one scene, type up what you wrote before, explore color combinations or whatever is something that is related, but not the direct creative work.
A light, un-invested attitude without any commitment to actual creative work helps free your mind to taking those baby steps and letting the creative inspiration flow. Regardless what occurs, celebrate that you spent five minutes on your art.
BONUS: 6. Honor your inspiration.
When you feel inspiration, act on it.
Take a baby step toward expressing it or realizing it. It doesn’t have to be perfect! It just wants to come out and play. And be aware, you may become overwhelmed with ideas once you prime your creative pump.
If you honor them by thinking them through and/or noting them down for the future, perhaps keeping them in a special treasure box, they will continue to flow. And if you focus deeply on a particular project, the inspiration will start to focus on answers for that project – pay close attention when you first wake up in the morning to answers and creative solutions that pop into your mind.
I look forward to helping you manifest more of your creativity and to explore the creative life path in a healthy, joyful and productive way.
– Laurie Lamson