Creativity isn’t something artists should take lightly. We’d like to believe there is a never-ending flow of it – that it’s a faucet we can just turn on and off – and when the water isn’t flowing, there must be something wrong with us. But while creativity isn’t a faucet, there are things you can avoid doing that hinder the creative process. Protecting and nourishing your creative mind is essential for the best ideas and the most success.
Here are five things that are killing our creativity.
1. Self-Doubt: I know of nothing that can kill creativity faster than constantly entertaining negative thoughts about your work. Everyone has weaknesses. Everyone. Thinking upon your self-perceived weakness while attempting to create will result in frustration and an uninspired product. When you find yourself thinking “I’m not very good”, respond with “Perhaps I’m not yet where I want to be, but I will get better!”
2. Comparing Yourself to Others: There will always be someone who you believe writes better, has more Twitter followers, has a better blog, sells more of their product, (insert your own sentiment here), but comparing yourself to other people is a waste of time that usually results in discouragement. Focus on your own journey. Compare yourself to the person who you were yesterday.
3. Focusing on the negative: When you get feedback from a critique partner, editor, agent, or (insert your own), what do you focus on? People have the tendency to notice the negative more. Someone tells us five things they liked and one thing they didn’t, and we fixate on that one thing they said. AND THEY’RE OH SO WRONG!! … Even the most creative people in the world get criticized. Learn to glean the positive from feedback (tips for growth, recommendations for stronger work, etc.) and discard the rest from your memory.
Instead – Hang on to the positive, along with the things that will make you better. Forget the rest.
Wellness Activity – People tend to forget compliments faster than criticisms. Start a word document where you log any & all compliments or encouragements you get no matter how small. Read this right before you decide to work on something new.
4. Neglecting Our Body: When your body has to expend energy healing itself from lack of care/negligence (it sounds so negative, but we likely all do some of these things – poor eating, lack of exercise, poor sleep habits, substance abuse, etc.) you can’t expect to function in a way that is going to yield peak results. Most people don’t get much accomplished on a day when they’re sick, but a day when you’re feeling refreshed you suddenly can crank out better work. Be proactive in caring for your body and watch your creativity increase.
5. Not Practicing: Creativity doesn’t normally just appear from nothing. Sure you might sometimes get that one awesome idea that came from nowhere, but sometimes you have to work with nothing. For the writer: If you want to write great scenes, schedule time in to write every day. Write when you don’t feel like it. Write when you’re not inspired.
Let’s Chat! – Do you notice any of these things stifling your creativity? Leave me a comment in the box below.
You may also enjoy…
|6 Tips to Write Your Novel in the Vibrant Way Your Brain Imagined It|