More than any other element, the core of being as creative as you can be – in both quality and quantity – is to create every day.
I found this recently again with my own writing habits, after getting a little too causally confident. It turns out that one little word was the secret to making me seven times more prolific as a writer.
Here’s the story:
Back in February this year, I began this blog by committing to writing a new post every day, so there’d be a good body of material for you the reader as soon as possible.
Some days were easier than others, but the more you get into the flow, the more naturally the new ideas and the writing comes.
I wrote 70 posts in 70 days, and then, nonchalantly I thought I would ease off a little and maybe go for three posts a week. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if I didn’t write some days, I’d still be able to keep that steady input of new material, and it’d actually give me more ideas to develop, as I would develop them less frequently. So I thought.
The problem is, for me, choosing which days to create and which not to always brings its dangers.
Would I write a new post Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays? Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday? The days, it turns out, were irrelevant. The issue came from having given myself too much choice, and too much freedom.
When it came to writing blog posts, I’d consider at the start of each day: “Shall I create today?” and this immediately allows escape hatch answers like “No, I’m not really in the mood today, I’ll write tomorrow” or “I have some good ideas today, but maybe tomorrow some even better ones would have come to me. I’ll wait until then.”
And, yes you’ve guessed it, the next day I’d have exactly the same kind of internal debate.
When I was creating everyday, writing and posting a new article every single day, the question in my mind was different by just a single short word.
But that word that made an incredible difference to my creativity.
Instead of asking “Shall I create today?”, when I’d made that commitment to write every day, the question became “WHAT shall I create today?”
A simple trick, the good old presupposition. Instead of asking if, and giving yourself the option to say no, you ask what, or how.
As I’m writing this, halfway into May, I have just two published posts this month. Which averages out to about one every seven days. In March and April, I wrote a new post every day.
Seven times more creative.
The secret is down to that single word. WHAT shall I create today. The fact that I will create today is never in question. The option to not create is removed, along with all the associated angst, debate and opportunities to procrastinate.
Before you come up with a list of excuses about not having enough time to create for hours a day, it doesn’t need to be anything like that long. Just 10 or 15 minutes is enough.
Create every day for the next 14 days – asking yourself “What shall I create today?” and you’ll likely see your own creativity soar like mine did.
(And yes, as from yesterday, I’m back to a new post each and every day. Why mess with what works?)
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