3 Tips to Get Those Creative Juices Flowing

June 24th, 2013 | by | creativity

Jun
24

Stuck for ideas? It happens to us all, is it writing songs, books or just simply trying to find something to do. We all have those times when we get a ‘block’ and just can’t get started or finish what we have already started.

I have 3 great tips to help you get your creative juices flowing:

1. You don’t have to be completely original!
I know it sounds weird, but actually, most great artists in any field steal (borrow?) ideas from others all the time. They might call it a ‘clever reference’ in a book but actually they just stole a line from a film or a name for their character.

Steve Jobs said “Creativity is just connecting things“. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things’. As his technological holiness said, it’s about the way you use these ideas not where they came from. I especially like how he describes the way an idea becomes obvious to us even though it seems genius to others as we have connected two ideas.

2. Take a break from what you are doing, and don’t try to think as it is impossible.
True inspiration happens when you let your mind wander; it’s the subconscious that comes up with great ideas. I promise that if you do something else then eventually you will be struck by an idea and be motivated to finish/start what you were stuck with. This quote from Ray Bradbury sums it up: ‘Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.’

3. When you are unsure whether or not something is going to work, just do it.
How bad can it be and you can always try that bit again. I’m sure that when top music artists like Eminem are composing, they don’t always get it right first time. It takes mistakes and I was inspired by the way Scott Adams put it: ‘Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.’

When I’m stuck for ideasm sometimes I also like to read creativity quotes (here are some I really like). They seem to sum up what I need to do in a really succinct way.

No Comments »

Fueling Your Creativity Through Substance Abuse

November 28th, 2012 | by | creativity

Nov
28

I can’t help but think that the title of this blog post makes it seem like I’m preparing a tutorial on how to abuse alcohol. That’s not really the point. My main intention was to simply draw attention to a common problem amongst creative types – alcohol and drug abuse.

For whatever reason, there is an unusually high % of addicts in the artist population. If you think about it, how many famous writers, artists, and musicians didn’t push their drinking/drug use to the extreme? It would probably be quicker to list the names of those who didn’t than those who did!

If you’re starting out in an artistic field, whether its something more commercial like web design or copywriting, or more “pure” art like painting, fiction writing, or sculpting, don’t think for a second that you need to abuse substances in order to maximize your creativity. Sadly, its a belief that’s shared by many aspiring artists.

Don’t believe me? Well, how about you take Stephen King’s word for it? King has stated that even though he once thought he needed his drink and drugs to do his best work, he’s had no problem continuing his massive success after getting sober. Living a life of sobriety doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be just as creative.

Why Are So Many Creative People Alcoholics?

At first glance, one might draw the conclusion that being an alcoholic gets the creative juices flowing. On the contrary, it might be that people with a predisposition towards alcoholism tend to be more creative and impulsive.  In other words, alcoholism is a disease that afflicts creative types. The same personality traits that might make someone more likely to be an alcoholic also tend to produce highly creative people.

This by no means mean that all alcoholics are creative, or that all creative people are destined to stumble through life in a drunken stupor. But it certainly explains a lot.

What it does mean is that there’s no need to get into a drunken haze in order to create your best work. If you enjoy a nice glass of red wine while you write/paint/scult/design, then by all means, enjoy. But don’t make the mistake of turning to alcohol or drugs as a crutch for creativity. If you’re doing this, by all means, quit while you’re ahead! You can enjoy creative success without severely compromising your health, you relationships, and your life.

If someone you care about has an alcohol problem, don’t be afraid to confront them about it.  You could save their life.  If you’re not sure how to go about it, you can find some tips here.

No Comments »