“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” –Mary Lou Cook
Welcome to Day 2 of my new series on 30 Ways to Build Creative Confidence. All of us are creative beings, we are meant to create!
The problem is that somewhere in our life, we stopped listening to our own creative spirit! Why? Perhaps you were criticized for being too imaginative or too curious. Perhaps you were told you couldn’t draw or paint and decided that meant you were not creative.
“Let’s get this out of the way to begin with: you are creative! Saying you are not creative is akin to saying you are not human. Creativity is a governing force in humanity – an innate function of the mind. It is, at its essence, your outward expression of an inward thought or emotion,” writes Jordan Driediger.
I love this definition of creativity as an outward expression of an inward thought or emotion. I think where we get stuck is how to express our creativity without fear of judgement from our own inner critic or from other people. Today’s tip is to keep an ideas list.
No matter what you’re doing creatively, it’s essential to have an ideas list.
Your ideas list is just a list that you jot on whenever you get an idea. The idea can be written as a word or short phrase. You don’t need to go into any kind of explanation (although it might help).
For example, if you’re a songwriter, you might jot down titles when they come to you. You could jot down ideas for paintings or drawings. If you are a writer, blogger or poet, write down your ideas. The idea could just be a word or phrase that brings an image to mind. If you’re an entrepreneur, you can jot down business ideas that come to you.
Keep a special notebook, binder, folder, file on your computer, or even a box that is just for your ideas. Every time you get a new idea, write it down somewhere—just be sure to collect all your ideas in one place. If you are a visual artist or designer, keep a visual record through photography, sketches, or magazine images that you add to your idea file. Say thank you to each idea and set it aside for later. In her book The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp suggests creating a box to collect all the ideas for a particular project. She writes:
“The box makes me feel organized, that I have my act together even when I don’t know where I’m going yet. It also represents a commitment. The simple act of writing a project name on the box means I’ve started work. … Most important, though, the box means I never have to worry about forgetting. One of the biggest fears for a creative person is that some brilliant idea will get lost because you didn’t write it down and put it in a safe place. I don’t worry about that because I know where to find it. It’s in the box.”
What successful creative entrepreneurs understand is that all ideas may have value at some point, but we can only focus on creating and monetizing them one at a time. By documenting the ideas, we can hold onto them and honor them without allowing them to distract us from the current project. A creative combination of flow and focus is necessary to sustain both creative genius and success.
How do you collect and celebrate your ideas?
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