The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.― Edith Södergran
Everyone is capable of creativity. EVERYONE. The real question is not whether you can be creative, but whether you want to be creative. If you want to be creative, you can and will be.
There are 4 simple steps to building your creativity.
UNDERSTAND WHAT CREATIVITY IS
The most common roadblock that I see is a misunderstanding of what creativity is. Many people see creativity as a mysterious, magical process where one moment there is nothing and the next moment – brilliance! That is simply not the case. Creativity is not magic, it is a skill that can be learned with a little effort and a little patience.
It is important to realize that creative people do not dream up massive ideas or schemes out of thin air. Creativity is a process of baby steps that tip-toes from small idea to small idea. Over time, the build up of these numerous small ideas creates a large and powerful idea. This is the essence of creativity – the consistent development and accumulation of small ideas.
EMBRACING YOUR INDIVIDUALITY
If you look in the dictionary, creativity is defined as `the use of imagination or original ideas.` Creativity is you, and developing your creativity starts with understanding your own individuality. Individuality is the mother of creativity.
If we were all alike, no one would think or do anything worthy of distinction; we would all be the same, think the same, act the same. It is our differences that give us our value. There is no one like you, plain and simple. Individuality is something that we were all born with whether we like it or not. You have unique experiences and unique perspectives. If you can acknowledge this – that you have singular traits and singular ideas, your creative output will explode in both volume and distinction as you embrace who you are.
MAKING TIME TO DEVELOP YOUR IDEAS
This step is the core of your creativity; it is where the creativity happens. All the other steps are facilitators of this step.
If you respect and embrace your own unique perspective, you need to make time in your schedule for nurturing it. Like a plant, your individuality will grow if you water it and wither if you neglect it. You are surely very busy as you juggle responsibilities between work and family. And as a creative person, you likely struggle with your obligations to other people as you try to find time for yourself. I surely do.
Try to schedule a regular time when you can be alone with your thoughts. Half an hour after dinner or during the lunch hour or a walk in the afternoon. Some prefer the peace and quiet of the early morning before anyone else is awake. What’s your ‘creative hour’?
Make time so that your mind can wander and ramble. No idea is too small or too big.
DOCUMENTING YOUR IDEAS AS THEY COME
Documentation is the final step in harnessing your creative powers. Now that you are able to recognize the value of your small, unique thoughts, it is equally as important to recognize that these thoughts and ideas often go as quickly as they come. Sure, you will remember some of your ideas, but the process of creativity relies on being the sum of small thoughts, and these thoughts are often small enough to forget in the tumult of everyday life.
Do not be fooled into thinking that you will remember your ideas later. They will seem too significant and wonderful to possibly forget, but who knows when you will have the opportunity to write them down or revisit them. It could be days or weeks. Your best bet is to write down the ideas when they are fresh in your mind. Write them down with as much depth, clarity and context as you can. It will help you pick up the thread at a later time so you can build on the idea.