Not how to make Chinese Raman Noodle Salad or How to Start a Fire at your Campsite, but ways to improve what you already know.
We really all do know alot. It’s just that sometimes we have to be reminded of how much we really know.
Lately I’ve been reading what to do before your first Arts and Crafts Fair; how to sell your product, how to fill the holes in the marketplace with your own goods.
In the past I’ve also read articles about how to bring more traffic to your blog, how to do research on the Internet (so you don’t waste half a day looking up things you already know), and what readers tend to go for in both style and topics.
Of course, I’ve also researched Faerie Circles and the Etruscan Civilization, so you can at least say I’m diversified.
Articles always say readers like lists. Lists of A, B, and C, or 1 through 10, of things they can do to do whatever it is they want to do better. In the past I’ve written a couple of blogs testing out these new waters: 9 Ways to Survive the Holidays, READ THESE (gimmicky) GUIDELINES NOW!!, and the Top 10 … no, 20 … no, 5 … List are all attempts to get a handle on how to do anything better.
They say people can’t resist lists. It’s like the best thing to be be able to check “things” off the list and show off how competent you are. Much easier than reading pages and pages of a book devoted to just one thought.
So here is my Creative List of 10 Ways to Spark Your Creativity:
- Listen to music. Plato says, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Find background music to suit your mood and let it play behind your creativity! And don’t be afraid to change it up! I’ve been known to write to everything from Japanese Traditional Music to the Beatles to Schumann, and lately I’ve been crafting to HorrorBabble podcasts.
- Set aside a special place to organize your thoughts. Although many of us try and plan out our next creative project, it’s hard when the kids are wrestling in the next room or the TV is blasting a terrible sitcom from the 80s. It’s hard to work at a messy kitchen table or a bed covered with cats and dogs. Take a break with your pen and paper and find a place that hits that special spot inside.
- No matter how wild, obnoxious, or impossible your project sounds, write it down. Don’t let the size of the task dictate the amount of enthusiam it can build. I mean, you know you can’t build a castle out of old buttons or peek into the livingrooms of Hemingway or Prince Charles, but you can imagine it. Work out those details as if you could! Start opening those creative doors.
- Don’t be a baby. This was me the other day. Making Angel Tears, I had run out of 1″ round mirrors. All I had left was 1″ square mirrors. I didn’t want them — I wanted rounds. I almost lost a whole day’s worth of work pouting that I couldn’t move forward without rounds. Finally I got off my stupid high horse and made some lovely Tears with the squares. What a waste.
- Quilters and collage artists already know this, but collect fabric and designs and objects that just ring a bit familiar to you but to which you have no use for at the moment. I know this leads to overflowing scrap bins and buckets of odd sea shells and ladie’s gloves that have no real purpose except to take up space. But something about your collection called you — pick up the feeling of why it inspired you and just do something with it. The project will fill out as you go.
- Everybody had done everything that could be done in the world of Art. Or writing. Or Photography. Everyone has taken pictures of clouds, written a novel, or painted a picture. Everyone has researched fabric, history, monsters, and recipes. Nothing you create will be 100% new. So take what someone else has done and make it your own. Put your own spin on timeless projects and put some of your soul in it. After all, that’s one organ that never runs out of energy.
- This is a hard one. Don’t let others influence what you want to do. There is no problem asking for advice, taking a class, or cruising the Internet on how others did it. There’s no problem asking for creative criticism, basic editing, or suggestions on alternative ways. Listen, understand, then do your own thing. There is a reason you picked red for the grass or the Courier font. If it’s too “out there” and you know it, be prepared to listen, promote, and accept.
- Share your enthusiasm. I know most of the people around me aren’t as creative, as flighty, as dreamy as I am. They all have their own things to do, and most of them aren’t in the Creative category. Find someone who loves their craft and share your enthusiasm with them. They need an appreciative audience, too. I used to belong to a writer’s association, and I always got a high from attending conferences and meetings. Just to be with your own blood pushes up your creative needle.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. I can’t tell you how many roads I’ve wandered down my whole life. I’ve painted with acrylics, stenciled walls, made throw pillows, painted murals, represented my BnB at the Renaissance Faire, written 6 novels and 30 short stories, crafted suncatchers, and collected second hand and Medieval eclectic furniture and wall hangings for my BnB. Don’t ever thing an idea you are really enthusiastic is too much to research. To pursue. If you really have a good feeling about your craft, study it. Research it Then make it your own.
- I never really thought I’d come up with 10 tips on being creative. I’ve rambled on for over a thousand words, and wonder if I’ve really said anything worthwhile.
Believe in yourself. Make a schedule, research, practice. Throw away, save, collect. Review, change, start over.
And above all — have fun. You deserve it.