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Creative Contrarian

I’m sure you’ve heard it all when it comes to creativity and the creative process. I know I have. So I want to share some things I do that are outside the norm in the hopes that you may try them and have success or not feel like a freak because you do something weird to get good ideas.

1. For all those people who say they sit down and write first thing in the morning (and early in the morning at that) I say sleep in and do some simple tasks to warm up. Check some things off your to-do list. Score some easy wins. Stretch your mind into shape with a few mindless warm up tasks. If you like to get your ducks in a row to start your day, I say go with what works. It’s not procrastinating if you would have to do these mundane maintenance tasks later anyway.

2. In baseball the harder you try to swing or throw a ball the worse the results are. Sometimes with creativity trying too hard is also counterproductive. There are all kinds of explanations why this is, but in a nutshell we sometimes need to occupy the critical part of brain (distract it in a way) with something unrelated to our artistic endeavor so that our creative brain can provide us with wild ideas. Taking a break may be the best thing you can do to be productive. I know, counter intuitive, but it works. (Always carry something to jot ideas down when you are out and about.)

3. Let go of the outcome. Most recording artists (outside of the Beatles who once said to each other, “Let’s write a swimming pool”) can’t just produce a hit song on demand. If they could, they would, right? With any form of art worrying about how something will be received usually impedes the creative process. Just write, paint, or create without thinking about what will happen when it’s done. You can go back and polish the thing up and make it more marketable (if you want, or better yet, find someone who wants what you want to create.)

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