7 Ways to Stay Creative
We all have to struggle sometimes. If it’s not with motivation it’s with creativity. And on top of that, you often struggle with both at once – or at least I am.
But just dream for a moment. Imagine how productive you’d be and how much you would learn if you just could stay creative and skip all of the dreaded slums. That’d be the dream.
So, how do you kickstart both your motivation and creativity at the same time?
Through the years I’ve read countless posts and lists that promise to teach you how to stay motivated and inspired. And honestly, when I read a post that says that I just need to visit a museum or take a walk I get demotivated instead. Because that’s not helpful, no matter how nice, appropriate and artsy it sounds.
So, how do I get inspired to stay creative for real? This is what I do when I need to kick myself out of bed without forcing myself to stay creative.
How to stay creative and get more creative stuff done
1. Batch Ideas
I know, this sounds boring and not creative at all. But I don’t say that you have to go through with all of your batched ideas. You just need to make the list so that you get all of the stuff out of your head and onto paper.
More often than not we have a hard time staying creative because of bad or boring ideas. So, when letting your mind go, pumping out an endless array of ideas, you can get through that first shitshow so that you can reach the ideas that are actually important and interesting.
And then, when you have a paper with at least 50 different ideas, I promise you, there will be at least five that you’re so excited about that you don’t know where to start.
2. Create with Someone
I don’t mean that you need to create with someone. Because, in my experience, the process of creating is often something you go through alone. But when I say that you should create with someone I mean in a kind of collaboration where you’re aware of each other’s goals and progresses and can support and motivate each other. Like accountability-partners.
This accountability-partner doesn’t even have to be a specific person, it can be a creative community where you share your struggles and victories. The important thing is that you find someone who is on the same journey. In this way, if one of you can be creative – both of you can.
3. Look at old Creations
The only one you should compare yourself to is always yourself. No one else is comparable – we’re all like pears and apples. We’re looking alike but we’re actually completely different. So, how can looking at old work, and comparing yourself to yourself, help you to stay creative?
It can both get you to remember why you loved to create in the first place, and it can remind you of the badass that you are and raise your confidence. Because often when you hesitate or feel unmotivated, it’s because you don’t believe in yourself or your ability. If you want to dig deeper on this topic, I have a post all about impostor syndrome and how you can fight it here.
4. Have everything Up and Ready
You don’t think that this is that important. But, oh yes, it is. You probably already have massive amounts of mental obstacles – you don’t need physical obstacles as well.
If you’ve ever read any tips on how to get motivated to go to the gym you recognize this point. Because the first thing you read in all of those lists is that you should choose your workout outfit and pack your gym bag the day before. Because if there are fewer physical steps for you to take, there are going to be less resistance.
So, prepare for creating. Prepare everything so that it’s easy for you to access and use whenever inspiration strikes.
5. Share your work
You don’t have to share for the praise or acknowledgment (even though it can be encouraging to get some positive feedback). You just have to share for the experience of sharing.
Let others get to know your creations and get in the habit of creating so that you can share. When you publish, even though no one has to comment, like or praise, you get more and more confident in what you do.
And when you start to share, you start to look for inspiration in everything around you so that you can continue to share. You’ll start to wonder what you should show your audience next and how you can top your previous creation (but just compared to your own standards, do never let likes or followers decide your worth).
6. Change up Your Process
And by the process, I don’t mean that you should change surroundings. This is not another “ go to a coffeehouse”-advice. When I say process, I mean the way in which you’re creating. Because the process is the heart of creating, and when the process becomes rigid and dull, it’s quite clear why your creativity suffers.
So, how do you change up your process? You start doing things differently.
If you like to write, maybe you start your text from the middle instead of the beginning – or write by hand instead of on the computer. Or if you’re an interior designer you start by choosing the pillows instead of the furniture. Basically, either you change your equipment or you change the order in which you create. Check out Pinterest, there are a lot of inspiration on routines and creative processes.
7. Find a mission
This one is all about finding yourself a goal, forcing yourself to produce so that you can build your confidence. Because your best work isn’t created when you get a burst of inspiration – your best work is created when you sit down and work your ass off because you know how important it is to create.
So, how do you find a mission?
You search for competitions, exhibitions or other ways in which you can show what you’ve created. You can create your own mission as well by setting goals to display your work. Maybe you can publish your own book, or display your creations at a local venue. Or you can create an online portfolio to share with friends and link on your social media.
Let’s help each other to Stay creative!
And finally, I’d love it if you could share your work in a comment – link to your portfolio, blog or webpage and I’ll check it out. Let’s inspire each other!
Do you want to save this post for later? Pin this picture!