We all get flashes of creativity from time to time. We all hear those whispers inside. The trick is to capture the creativity as it arises. And, just like an exercised muscle, the more often we do this, the stronger our ability to do it becomes. Here are my top 10 tips for tuning into that creative force, and capturing some of it for yourself.
2) Be Quick! Like dream memories upon waking, new ideas are very fragile. Hesitate too long and they will disappear forever. Get your creative idea, whatever it is, recorded into more concrete form as soon as you possibly can.
3) Reserve Judgement: The birth of creativity is not the time for analysing or criticising. Adopt a non-judgemental attitude and simply record everything that comes out. You can always return to evaluate it later on.
4) Go Gently: Relax. Don’t try to force creativity. Instead allow it the space to grow and to work its way through to you. Simply breathe and be mindful and it will come.
5) Occupy Your Body: Oftentimes when working on something new, I find that it helps to occupy my body, and to a lesser extend my mind, on a simple task. Walking, swimming, preparing a meal, or even tidying up the house. When we are busy with something that can be done almost on autopilot, we get out of our own way and free a path for creativity to travel through.
6) Be Mindful of Hot Spots: Creativity hot spots, or times when we seem to be at our most creative, also tend to be those times when we are most relaxed. For example when driving home from work or when taking a hot shower after a long day. Don’t lose your ideas because you didn’t have pen and paper near the shower!
7) Watch Your Self Talk: Be very careful how you speak to yourself, and how you speak about yourself to others. As in all things, this has a powerful impact on your thinking, your beliefs, and your experience. If you find yourself thinking or saying “Oh I'm not very creative at all really” you need to change that to something a little more positive. Instead try something along the lines of “I’m nurturing my creativity and helping it to grow”.
8) Get Emotional: Do you have an emotional response to your idea? Excited? Happy? Tearful? Sad? If so, you’re probably onto something good.
9) Just Do It! Take action, and then do it again. Capture something, anything, every day. Write a sentence, draw a quick outline, or take a few notes. Whatever it may be, just by taking action you will be opening yourself to your own creativity. Starting small beats not starting at all.
10) Practice, Practice, Practice: Like a muscle, our ability to capture creativity grows stronger as we work it. Keep at it, and you may just surprise yourself with what you can achieve.
I’m sure I could have made this list a lot longer than 10. What have you found that works well for you? If you have your own ways of capturing your creativity I’d love to hear them.