Creative thinking takes energy, courage, dedication, discipline, and a ton of hard work. It's easy to lose focus.
Getting lost, down, frustrated, discouraged, and demotivated is a natural part of the process, but no matter how tough it gets, quitting should never be an option.
Get past the ugly times and keep focused during the good with these five tips guaranteed to beef up your creative muscles so you can produce work you're proud of.
"Guides 11-15" is the third of three posts. There are 15 creativity guides total.
Creativity Guides 1-5
Creativity Guides 6-10
11. Use the Stairs
It takes more than just avoiding half-assery to produce something of value. Not only do you have to give your all in personal effort, enthusiasm, and accountability but you must also respect the creative process.
Few, if any, great ideas were brought to life easy. Research and revisions, incubation and inspiration, set-backs and failures are unavoidable. If you think you can shirk the process or there are hidden shortcuts no one’s discovered, you’re going to struggle more often than not.
12. Take Another Look
Sometimes we are so close to something that we can’t see anything. Obvious solutions, problems, and opportunities become needles in the hay stack. If you’re struggling with a project, walk away. Take a breather. Come back later for another look.
Get a ladder. Look at it from a bird’s point of view. Or lay down. What do sprouting daisies see? It’s easy to get stuck in our own bubbles yet surprisingly difficult to burst out, which is just another reason to carry a sharp object on your persons at all times.
13. Help Helps
Ask for help. Get verification. Seek opinions and critiques, but be mindful of who you ask. Look to others whose work you admire. Know your work can always get better, so don’t sweat a harsh critique. Though easy to forget, it’s not personal. Learn what you can from it, and let the rest slide off your back.
15. Make Time
Time slips away. Suddenly, you look up and three months have passed yet that project still isn’t finished. Instead of binge-watching the latest episodes of whatever new show pops up in your Netflix browser, make time to create.
Get up an hour earlier, stay up a little late, and scrounge up some spare minutes in between. Opt to stay in when friends ask you to go out for a third night in a row. Pass on Pinterest. Forget about Facebook. Ignore Instagram, and toss Twitter to the side. Decline the urge to slip into sloth. Creativity is about choices. When it comes to how much time you spend creating, choose wisely.