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 6-10" is the second of three posts. There are 15 creativity guides total. Creativity Guides 1-5
6. Be Organized
Some of the most creative people are also some of the most organized. Being organized means different things to different people. Some like to label and file. Others prefer to stack. Whatever the method, being organized is about knowing what you have and where to find it.
Timing plays an important role in the creativity process. What wasn't a good idea five years ago might be better idea today, so label and store computer files and handwritten notes where you can find them again.
Being organized also helps reduce the amount of time and energy you waste looking for something, and it can be a life-saver when juggling multiple deadlines.
7. Be On the Lookout
Ideas and inspiration are everywhere, if you're paying attention. Gobble up as much experience as you can.
Read the news. Pay attention to pop culture. Be aware of the world around you and dive into to worlds that are different than yours.
Be passionate about life and inspiration and ideas will present themselves to you at every turn.
8. Be Sober
You get better ideas when you're sober. Sure alcohol loosens you up, gives you strength to muster courage, and makes you think you're funnier than you are, but it's rarely the answer to coming up with ideas.
Alos, to have creative ideas you have to be thinking or producing or collaborating. It's a major time suck. You don't have time for the hangover.
If you do happen to have ideas you remember after indulging in a creative drinking session, verify they still make sense when you're sober.
9. Be Silly
The creative adult is the child who survived, someone once said. Someone else said we're all born creative, but the trick is to stay creative as we grow up. Or maybe it was artist. The point is, a major component for creativity is channeling your inner child.
Being organized, making deadlines, paying bills, and staying sober are all adult responsibilities that suck our creative will to live. That's why no matter how old you are, do like Katy Perry and build a fort out of sheets.
Set up a Nerf commercial in your backyard. Run through the sprinkler. Build a sandcastle. Sled down a hill. Dress up for Trick-or-Treating. Toss a grape and catch it in your mouth. Just try it. You'll be surprised by how much you've missed playing.
10. Write It Down
When it comes to journaling, concepting, problem-solving, and coming up with ideas try not to let your pen hover while you stare aimlessly at a blank page until it's time to go make lunch. Instead, put pen to page and write down anyway.
"But the idea's silly." Write it down. "No, it's off task." Write it down. "That could never happen." Who cares, write it down. Get all the sparks, cliches, and random thoughts out of your head to make room for the better ones pinned down underneath all that crap.