I've been staring at a blank screen for the last couple of minutes trying to write something of meaning. I know that I want to write a blog. I know that I should, and I believe creativity is as much about discipline as it is about inspiration. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that inspiration is a creature of habit. Often we think of inspiration of a mythical beast, a magical unicorn that randomly appears. We like to think of inspiration as a flash of lightning, and I believe we like to do this to take some of the pressure off.
We tell ourselves that it is not our fault. We weren't inspired, we can't create or innovate, the moment was right. What if we stopped thinking that way. What if inspiration wasn't a mythical beast, but instead was a product of discipline and the output of that, for better or worse, was born of hard work, creativity, and consistency?
Here are three ways to tame the Mythical Beast Known as Inspiration... amazingly these are the same tools we can use to beat CREATIVE BLOCK
1) SCHEDULE YOUR CREATIVITY
The first thing we can do to combat CREATIVE BLOCK is schedule our creativity. I am a classic procrastinator. In college, I would always wait to write my papers until the very last minute, mainly because I failed to understand my own creativity. I was convinced that the pressure of the clock combined with the magical late night hour would cause my creativity to crystallize, when in reality, I just wanted to avoid the work until the last possible moment, and maximize the amount of time I had at my disposal for non-academic activities.
If we are being honest, you and I both know that there are any number of strategies to maximize your work/life balance, and procrastination isn't a top performer. Because our inspiration seems elusive and mystical, we like to hide behind our own artistry. But what if we took a blue collar approach? I believe It's time to punch the creative clock.
Schedule a time. Every day if possible. Set aside all other distractions, you have to remember that this is the most important meeting of the day. Go to your happy place (we will get to that in a minute), roll up your sleeves and get to work. Somedays, you are going to strike gold, other days you are going to plug away, and in a strange twist of events you will find other days where you find yourself thinking, reflecting, and creating things far beyond your current realm of mastery. Your craft is your day job. So get to work.
2) BUILD YOUR CREATIVITY A HOME
So now that you have a time for your CREATIVITY, it's about time that you built your CREATIVITY A HOME! Depending on your craft you may or may not already have a place to create. It might be a workshop, or a garage, a coffee shop, or a studio, no matter what that space looks like, you need a place where you can go to create. CREATIVITY IS A CREATURE OF COMFORT.
President Obama keeps a very limited selection of suits, dress shirts and ties. He has limited his wardrobe, and limited his selections, so that he can better channel his decision making and deploy his creativity in matters of National importance , and not his fashion sense. Your creativity needs a home, so that you can be free to create in the comfort of some place safe, familiar, and some place that tells your brain when I am here, it's GAME TIME!
3) THE CREATIVE PROCESS
It is called the CREATIVE PROCESS for a reason. Do you have a process for your CREATIVITY or do you just do your best to ride the wave, if and when you can catch it? The latter method is a lot like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks. If you have a TIME, and you have a SPACE why not create a PROCESS for your creativity.
Their are all sorts of great tools to help you get organized and to capture those world changing ideas. I mentioned earlier that I get the worst case of CREATIVE BLOCK when trying to chase down one of those ideas that got away, that I forgot to record! Why am I self-inflicting these blocks on myself, wasting my CREATIVITY on recollection inside of inspiration? I am self-inflicting by failing to have a process.
Whatever your craft is, it is time to find the best tools available to capture your CREATIVITY and start putting them to use! Personally, I am a huge fan of EVERNOTE, and unfortunately, I am not even getting paid to mention them. This tool allows me to capture all of my ideas, and media, and even allows me to present them (Evernote Premium)... this one app has revolutionized my CREATIVE PROCESS by becoming the HUB of all my productivity.
Not all that long ago, Apple released a new MUSIC MEMO App that is going to change the game for all of my songwriter friends. The truth is, we are in a golden age of technology that is enabling us to CREATE like never before.
If you have a tool you love, be sure to share it in the comments below or send me a message, I would love to hear about it! Most importantly, I'd love to hear about the next big thing that you are working on, and how you are owning your process to create more quality, consistently!
Brett Esslinger is a Husband, Dad, Son, Brother, Pastor, Speaker, Leader, Writer whose life goal is to help people unlock their potential and fulfill their life's purpose.
Follow Brett on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook: @brettesslinger and of course over on Snapchat at: brett.esslinger