Today, as I sit here writing this, I am tired. My brain feels dull and sluggish and my body weary from my newly restored commitment to physical fitness. The heat and humidity outside are sweltering.
I feel like mud.
Not the most productive or inspiring energy to sit and write a few posts about being creative. At times like this, I wonder if I ever had a creative bone in my body, or if it was all a crazy dream. It would be easy to walk away and forget about it.
But I can’t. I have no choice.
It’s My Job to be Creative.
If you own a company that depends on your creative energy, (or, if you have a creative job working for someone else,) you have been in my shoes. You have felt that moment of being trapped with a need to produce and a desperate desire to run away and hide. You have struggled with the fact that nothing you do feels right or seems to be working. Procrastination has seemed like a darn good playmate. Maybe you have even become best friends.
Here is some good news. You aren’t alone. Every artist in every field has shared this feeling with you at one time or another. It doesn’t mean you aren’t good at what you do. It doesn’t mean the muses are angry or that your talent has fled like a burglar with your creative gifts.
And feeling this way doesn’t mean you need to go work for the MAN. It only means that you need to take a moment and remember some very important facts. It isn’t that we feel this way, it’s how fast we can get back on the right track to productivity. Here are some tips to get your juices running again so you can get the job done.
Ten Helpful Tips about Creativity for the Busy Entrepreneur
- This Too Shall Pass. It is important to remember that feelings don’t make something true. Feelings are fleeting and so is the loss of your creative juice. Watch and observe the emotions but don’t feel the need to own them. Feelings are a way your body has of communicating with you, but it doesn’t mean you have to accept what they say as the gospel truth. Don’t let the negativity bog you down. Remind your emotions of the TRUTH. You are an awesome Creative Force to be reckoned with!
- Creativity is Energy. When you are drained and tired, creativity is most often a no-show. The number one thing you can do to restore your creative power is to restore your personal energy. Chances are, there is something lacking in your personal care. Are you hungry? Over-tired? Stressed about something that has been not getting done? Take a really good look in the mirror and see what you can quickly do to restore some power. Chances are, you might need a nap.
- Clutter Kills Creative Juice. Are you working in a mountain of mess? Do you have to go hunting every time you need a pen, paintbrush or piece of paper? Nothing interrupts the flow more than the disruption of disorganization. Take a few moments and clear some creative SPACE, so that your mind can get back to work.
- Just Start. Often, it is the Discipline of Starting that breaks through mud the best. Sometimes we need to just warm up the creative flow and get the wheel turning. Yet the idea of sitting there for hours, without a clue, leaves us frozen. Set the timer for five to ten minutes and do a brain-dump. Promise yourself a mini-break on the other side of completion. Let random thoughts and words fall out on the page without any judgment. Chances are that by the time the bell has rung, you won’t need the break, you will find the spark you needed to keep on going.
- Create Crap. Sometimes our need to do it perfectly the first time out, stops us from creating at all. We forget the concept of the Rough Draft and think our first words are supposed to be awesome. They’re not. Rough Drafts are placeholders while your vision and clarity are sorting themselves out. That goes for all kinds of creativity, not just writing. When you free your mind from the need to do it RIGHT, you open up a world of awesome possibilities that didn’t exist before.
- Fill the Well. Artists aren’t meant to create in a vacuum. Solitary Originality is a rare thing. The truth is that creativity springs from other creativity. The creative energy of others sparks more creative juice in you. If your well is empty, fill up on other inspiring, creative artists you admire. Go on a creative field trip, even if it is on your computer.
- Get in Your Client’s Head. If your business demands that your creative juices need to be sold or produced for your clients, then a quick recovery tip is to Think Like Your Ideal Client. What do they need? What is their immediate problem and how can you solve it for them? What would you say to them? How would you help? Before you can create for them, you have to know what they need and how they think. Can’t figure it out? Ask them.
- Create an Outline. But not an organized one. Forget that outline stuff you learned in writing class. Pick a topic or a thought and then quickly jot down every thought that pops in your mind as a separate line. Don’t worry about getting it right, or getting it in order. Just one line thoughts without any expansion. If one thought leads to another, that’s ok, just start another line. This is an outline shape of a mind map, or a brain-dump, but it is very useful for getting the juices flowing.
- Tell the Truth. Some creative blocks happen when we are trying to write what we think people want to hear, rather than writing from our heart. Creative writing and creativity in any form has to come from a place of honesty and inner authenticity. Get quiet for a moment and listen to your truth.
- Start Where You Are. If the only thought in your head when you begin is… “Today, as I sit here writing this, I am tired…” then write THAT. It may not make any sense at the moment, but trust your reality and see where the thought leads you. Where you are, others have been too and will relate to your moment and experience because you will be sharing your heart-felt experience and emotions. A lot of the time, we can’t jump from HERE to THERE unless we acknowledge where we are at. Letting the words out on the page, or expressing the current emotion in some creative fashion may be just what your spirit is crying out for. Trust your inner voice. It always knows what to say if we are listening.