Is it only for artists? Am I creative? Are some people creative and some not? Is it a gift that you are born with? How to be creative? What if you are not feeling it?
There are so many questions, myths, and advice around creativity, like no other topic. At the same time there is so much bullshit.
I am writing now daily for more than 500 days, you could argue that this requires some sort of creativity and commitment. So, I thought I'd give my humble opinion.
If I am saying WRITING in this post, you can replace it with any other form of creative expression, writing is just mine.
There is no Writer's Block
There is just a lack of priority and commitment. Whenever people complain about not having the time to write I could get furious.
We all have the same hours in the day, it's about how you use or waste them and how you prioritize what you want from your life. If you prefer watching TV for some hours a day, then this is the priority you choose, a bad one, but you choose it.
Look at how much time you spend on social media or mindlessly scrolling the internet.
A creative block does not exist, it's always a lack of giving it the right priority in your life. Even if you'd just spend ten minutes every single day, you could be somewhere else in a year. Do it in the morning, do it in the evening, disappear throughout the day and let people know that you need an uninterrupted hour. They first will give you a strange look but are likley to support you.
If you want to be a professional writer, think about other professionals. Does a professional accountant have an accounting block? Telling his customers, he just doesn't feel like doing the numbers today? That sounds absurd and you wouldn't accept it. Neither do I. Get your ass in the chair.
Most crafts actually don't need that much of preparation. And if so, then not consider it preparation, consider part of the process.
Don't tell yourself you need this crazy 10-step plan to start writing. Make it effortless to start your endeavor.
Here is my routine before I start to write: The alarm goes off, I brush my teeth, I get to my desk and start to write.
Outcome vs. Process
If you are listening to success gurus, or however you would call them, it's about visualizing your goal and manifesting that in your brain.
The problem with this approach is that you are attaching yourself to an outcome that may not exist and that is never going to happen like that. You are chasing an outcome and that's failure and won't bring you anywhere.
Instead, focus on the process, learn to love the craft.
I made that mistake too, I imagined how cool a blog with many articles would be and that whenever someone asked me something, I could point to that article I've written. That may sound cool, but that doesn't make me a better writer.
What makes me a better writer is the verb. I am writing, I am writing every single day, I am enjoying seeing word after word pop up on the screen. How the words form sentences and how the idea unfolds. That's what I live for.
And now I could also say, I have written quite a lot of articles where I am pointing people to.
Just Make Things
Even if it's quite attached to the creative rut or the writers block, this deserves an own area.
Some mornings I get up and don't feel inspired or don't know what to write about. I have two options now, quitting and arguing with myself that I am probably having a writers block, or I could just do something and pour my brain on paper or into my editor.
I'd choose the latter and just start with something. Just keep going for ten minutes, and you will see your "block" is gone.
To produce valuable work, you have to be alone, you need to have some time for yourself. If you don't have an extra room, headphones will do as well.
Set up rules with your spouse or the people you are living with, they should not disturb you for the next hour. Don't use your phone, email or any other infinity pool for the next hour.
Set the timer to sixty minutes and purely focus on your work. Only use calm music. Here is my playlist, it's still growing.
By being with yourself you have time to explore your thoughts and what's going on within yourself without any distraction.
Get into a fight
Let's do the opposite. The counterpart of solitude is as important as being alone.
Share your ideas and work with other people.
Discuss, fight, argue and learn something new. Learn what you missed, pick other peoples brain about their opinion and learn what they know what you didn't know.
I am always carrying something to take notes, if it's a phone or a small notebook.
This is not the time to create or talk, it's the time to listen and understand their view of the world and the WHY behind it. This gives you so much valuable input for your work.
When you started, keep going, don't stop. Keep doing it every day. Don't break that streak, even if it's only some minutes a day.
Soon you will see how it adds up in multiple ways. The articles you write will give you more ideas and make your brain wander in other directions. The articles you share will lead to discussions and feedback.
It's like creative compound interest.
Creativity is nothing magic, or better said, it's pure magic when you are in the flow. To get there is no magic at all, it's a muscle that you can train and grow, but the most important part is to get started and give it the right space in your life.
Make your craft a priority.