Am I creative enough?
Hey readers, here is a piece I had written a little while ago about my story with creativity.
To be honest I think I’m stupidly creative. Ever since I was a child I always had mountains of ideas fusing in my head, making me dizzy in the process.
In photography, people told me that “I had the Sight”. Same thing when it came to writing, strategy building or even programming : “you’re really good at what you do Mathieu, I hope you continue!”. But why didn’t I?
Was it because I was not good enough … or rather because I was not brave enough ?
But just like Inan with his magic in Children of Blood and Bone (by Toni Adeyemi, highly recommend!), it actually takes more energy to block my creativity. It hurts and it tires me. I would rather let it flow through me and channel it: make it a friend rather than a foe.
To solve this, I had to build systems
To solve my creative blocks, I found solutions in … systems. A few set of rules and a lifestyle made to ensure that I feed (and use) my creativity everyday.
1 • Plan
As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry says, “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. So, if being creative, and making stuffs out of nothing means something to you, plan it as an active part of your days and weeks.
See your creativity as a plant : don’t let it just rot in your drawer without any sun or water, it needs both. So, plan time to actually work on your craft and sharpen your saw. I personally try to write for 10 minutes every morning, because it matters to me and… if I can’t find 10 minutes in a day to do something I love, then what am I living for?
2 • When an opportunity comes, seize it
Oftentimes inspiration comes when you least expect it. This very post is there to attest it: I didn’t plan to write it. I was just inspired on my way to school so I wrote down a few (hundred) words on my phone.
You never know when inspiration might knock at your door so, whenever it happens: be ready. And, by that I mean: more than just having an app or a notebook to write down your ideas, be on the lookout for them. Listen closely and recognize them for what they are.
3 • First make it functional then make it pretty
Easier said than done? I know, right. When you are a perfectionist you often have a drive to make things perfect on your first try. At least, I know I do. But, sadly it’s not the always the way life works.
First make it functional… Bad writing, dirty code, even blurry pictures count. You have to confront your ideas to the real world without the pressure of perfection. And who knows, you might even be satisfied on the first try!
… then make it pretty. However, in the eventuality that you aren’t satisfied, it’s time to make it pretty! Now that it is all “out there”, you’ll have an overview of everything: what works and what doesn’t, what is just good and what could be great.
That’s what I try to remember everytime I block: I will never create something great if I don’t at least try.
It’s only a work in process
Now beware, I’m not there yet. It’s only a work in process and, it might work most days but there are indubitably days when I fail… hard and I have to start everything again from scratch.
But this is what being creative is after all, isn’t it? Trying, failing loudly, but not being afraid to try again, and again.
Creative minds will always find a way to solve their problems in unique ways, so…
— What is your creative story ? —