For a writer, it's about the pleasure of turning a great concept into a story worth sharing. For a business is about trading its knowledge asset to make better promises.
Many have asked me over the years: How do you face that empty screen, the blank digital canvas that stares back at you?
Day in, day out looking to come up with ideas. You power up the computer, open your program, look at the white space and what do you see?
Make creativity a habit and what you see is possibility.
Choreographer Twyla Tharp has made a career of it. You can, too.
Contrary to self defeatist thoughts — it doesn’t take extraordinary talent to be creative. It takes discipline. When you set daily routines, you have the opportunity to transform what you think a rate gift into a habit — your creative habit.
It does takes work, and it takes commitment. When you decide to blog for money it takes healthier doses of both — for example, look at what Darren Rowse at ProBlogger has done. The good news is that it is possible for you as well, if you're willing to crank up creativity.
First, you need to learn how to prepare to be creative. It’s about much more than quality of presentation, it’s about being able to bridge between what you see in your mind and what you present to the world — skill is how you build that bridge.
And you build your skill with practice. Based upon Tharp's work, I have found some ways to change my process to embrace and build upon creativity.
(1.) Immerse yourself completely in what you are doing
No multitasking, no background music, no distractions from what is in your mind. All of those activities are mere crutches that delay your moment of truth — when you start typing and the words flow onto the page. Listen to what your mind is saying.
(2.) Discover what is the one tool that feeds your creativity
Then find a way to make it portable. For a writer it may be a pen and a pad of paper to be able to jot notes. I type my posts, but I like to jot down notes anywhere I am to capture moments of inspiration.
(3.) Reveal yourself
Learn to understand your patterns, sources of inspiration, what makes your writing work. The real secret of creativity is to go back and remember. Use your memories to rediscover new ways to talk about topics. Here's me thinking about revealing yourself to others.
(4.) Start a creative box with your notes, images, and all the sensory information you need to store your ideas for when you’re ready to retrieve them to tell a story
We tend to do that in rapid fire format, it doesn’t have to be that way. Sometimes a topic becomes much better with the passing of time. The box is your preparation.
(5.) Improvise and see what happens
I wrote some of my best posts on the spur of the moment. Let your inhibitions go and just write. Want to know my secret? When I start feeling the tingling in my belly, the thought of being a little scared, I am certain I’m on to something. Trust your gut, it’s an excellent guide. If you never dare write it, you’ll never know.
(6.) Build a bridge to the next day
Never completely finish everything you have on your plate. You may notice that your moment of peak energy is just after you have written a killer post. Start another one, begin outlining the idea before you leave it for the next day. You will be glad you did, as it will be provide a launching pad for generating more material when you start working the following day. It’s a jump start. I try to work at least two days ahead of myself so I have time to edit, tighten, research, insert that inspiring phrase.
(7.) Find your very own validation squad
This is a group of people that does not have an agenda and you know will be candid with you. Seek their counsel, test drive ideas with them. Sometimes all we need is for our idea to be heard to tackle it.
Confidence is a trait that can be earned and needs to be refreshed constantly. Make writing your creative habit and your will uncover limitless opportunities to generate content and have fun with it.
In closing, I found this TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity to be very engaging.
[first published at The Blog Herald]