Imagine that your creativity was a person, its own individual being. What kind of person would it be? What would be its main personality traits?
And, more importantly, how happy, and motivated, and fulfilled would you say your creativity is right now?
Your creativity of course is not separate, it’s an integral part of you. But thinking in this way for a moment allows you to see just how alive it is, how freely and joyfully it dances.
Or, maybe how, half asleep, it occasionally manages to stumble into life for fleeting moments, before fading again into virtual unconsciousness in a fit of disappointment, frustration and self doubt. Hmmm.
The secret to making your creativity come alive is to simply understand what motivates it, what moves it, what it enjoys.
The only way to find this is to experiment, to try different things and see how you feel about doing them, how much you love them.
What we can easily get drawn into though is getting so frustrated and stuck that we suddenly take on a dozen new projects in a dozen different media, throw all the enthusiasm and energy we can into them at the beginning, then very quickly burn out, because we’ve completely overwhelmed ourselves. So we give them all up, and feel even more frustrated than when we were originally stuck.
Be kind, be gentle with yourself and your creativity.
You won’t find the perfect formula for being at your most creative overnight.
It takes time. It takes a lifetime. It evolves and grows as you grow, it’s not a static set of instructions or conditions.
What you enjoy creating when you’re an eager teenager ready to take the world by storm with your new band, won’t be the same as what you love to create when you’re 25, 45, 65 and beyond.
Accepting that you will change, and that your creative life is a big experiment, means you’ll be far more relaxed about it. You’ll enjoy it because part of the experiment is trying out different stuff and discovering what makes your creativity thrive.
Again, be patient though, and don’t take on too much at once.
Scientists experimenting with a certain species of plant and looking to find the optimum growing conditions won’t simply do one experiment where they throw everything they think will help at one plant and monitor the results.
They’ll have one sample that is grown under controlled conditions, where nothing is changed. Another sample where just the amount of sunlight the plants receive is increased, but every other factor remains constant. They’ll try another where they water the plants more, keeping everything else the same. Maybe another where they just add a natural nutrient.
Because they experiment in this controlled way, when one batch of plants grow much faster and more abundantly, they know exactly what factor it was they altered to stimulate this growth. Then they take that new result, and carefully experiment further, finding better and better ways of growing plants.
If they just had one sample and gave it more light, more water AND more nutrients, and it flourished, it’d be a great result, but they wouldn’t know what it was that helped most. Or, this same sample might have done worse than the sample where nothing was changed, and in that case they wouldn’t know what made it worse – the light, water or nutrients, so again they’d have no idea what to alter next.
You and I only have one life so unfortunately we can’t run multiple experiments like this alongside each other in multiple lives to find what works best.
But you can try altering a few different aspects – one at a time – to find out what stimulates your creativity’s dancing legs and what makes it want to go to bed, hide under the covers and sleep.
Be bold, don’t be afraid of experimenting.
We’re not born knowing exactly what we’re supposed to do with our lives and with our creativity.
We’re not handed a detailed set of instructions in the delivery room outlining what we must create and what we should avoid. We only find out by trying stuff out. That’s part of the whole experiment, and part of the fun.
Take on this approach, and before too long, you won’t be able to hold your creativity back from that crazy dancing in the streets until the early hours. It might even do a bit of singing too…
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