How to Unlock Your Creativity and Stop Feeling Like A Failure
You’re a creative person with ideas bursting at the seams of your mind and your synapses are firing like the fourth of July.
But it’s a lot of fireworks with little to show for all the stimulation.
Let’s change that and unlock the creative you.
Creativity takes courage.
~Henri Matisse – Click to tweet this quote.
Writing as the example
You’ve imagined the story, you can visualize it vividly and although you’ve tried time and time again you simply cannot write it. Not all of it, just a few notes here and there and, if you’re lucky, a few partial chapters.
Showing up isn’t the problem for you, not usually, but the frustration causes you to show up less and less. You’ve got all the tools, but something continues to hold you back.
What is it?
You’ve taken the classes, read the books and tried your best to use all of the advice and yet you remain stuck.
There may be an answer simpler than you think.
Answer these questions:
- Have you created an outline?
- Are you taking notes and keeping them in an organized manner?
- Are you doing everything you’ve been taught to exactness?
- Are you spending at least 1 hour every day creating, even if you don’t feel like it?
If you’re doing everything above, basically following the “rules” then that might be why you are stuck. But, if you’re not doing those things then that might be why you are stuck.
I know, confusing, but you’ll get it in a moment.
One of the problems with being a creative today is standardization and step by step processes. You must have an outline, you must be organized and you absolutely must show up every day. Right?
Right for some. Wrong for others.
It’s good to have guidelines and basic rules to follow, and we understand why we are taught to use them, but for too many of us, trying to connect the dots and color within the lines are handicaps which erodes our desire to create.
And yet, for others, connecting the dots and coloring within the lines works fine.
Perhaps you’re like me and an outline freaks you out and fills you with anxiety.
You might not even realize the issue, but if you feel dread at the thought of adhering to one of the ”rules” for creating art, then perhaps you should stop using it.
You must create in your own way. Break some rules.
I hate outlines and when I use them I can’t write to save my life. For those who live and die by the outline this may seem insane and I totally understand why.
However, for me writing from an outline is like trying to open a lock for which I have no key.
I like structure, but less detailed than an outline so my ideas have room to breathe and come alive.
The reality is that we are not all the same (and thank goodness for that).
Each of us must embrace our own unique way of creating.
Some people are left brain dominant and some people are right brain dominant and others are somewhere in-between.
And you know what, that’s okay.
What has curbed creativity the most, is the belief we must all work the same way.
Let’s be real, at least with ourselves.
What works for you may not work for me and what works for me may not work for you.
We know that already, don’t we?
And yet we insist on enforcing rules on ourselves that don’t work for us.
Why did we learn rules if they don’t work?
The answer to that question is perhaps best answered by Captain Barbossa:
The code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.
~Cpt. Barbossa – Pirates of the Caribbean
Creativity is not something you can turn into a numbered list of to-dos and expect everyone to suddenly be the next Michelangelo or Da Vinci.
That would be nice. Wouldn’t it?
No. I don’t think so, because then art would become bland and boring.
The reality is that if you find your own method you are far more likely to create something remarkable and become crazy productive.
If you continue to use rules and methods to an exactness that doesn’t work for you then you will remain stuck.
And let’s face it, being stuck is depressing. It’s really a terrible pastime.
This doesn’t mean you should throw out every lesson you’ve ever learned, completely ignore rules or that you can’t learn from someone else who is leading the way.
What I am saying is you should use what you’ve learned in ways that work within your own PBC.
Personal Brand of Creativity
You and me, we are naturally gifted (indeed, we are), but each in our own unique and special ways.
And yes, it does take a bit of courage to trust, let go and step outside of the rules.
How to start finding your way
The odds are that you already know and if you reflect on work, any work will do, that you have accomplished you’ll find the answers you are looking for.
- Consider something you’ve shipped consistently. (Raising children, maintaining a garden or even just washing the dishes.)
- Reflect on your process and write it down. Your personal, natural process is there if you look for it. I promise.
- Find ways to incorporate your natural process into your creative work. And guess what, raising children, gardening and even washing the dishes are creative processes that are unique to each of us.
- Be true to yourself.
- Don’t fight it and you will unlock yourself and your creativity!
Sometimes we spend too much time trying to find a new formula or system that we miss the best one. The one we already have.
Now go, create courageously in your own way, make it your personal brand of creativity by being the awesome, unique artist that you are.
Are you ready? Share in the comments.
About Bryan Hutchinson
I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I encourage writers and all artists by means of practical, workable strategies on how to slay the beast of doubt within and create work that matters. In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.