You don’t have to create a masterpiece to enjoy your creativity. You can just do it for the sake of it. Indeed, one of Kurt Vonnegut’s best pieces of advice was to spend an evening writing a poem, and then crumple it up and throw it in the trash. It’s the act of creation that’s sometimes most important, not the outcome.
However, if you’re serious about your craft, then you’ll naturally want your creations to be good at worst, brilliant at best. And there are definitely things you can do to push your creations in the right direction, as we’ll see below, where we run through some tried and tested methods for improving the quality of your creative endeavors.
Fill Up Your Creative Well
Most people have some creativity to draw upon. Life experience will take care of that for you. But it’s still only limited, and once it’s gone, you’ll be trying to draw water from a dry well. If you want to continue to improve your creations, then you’ll need to fill up your well of creativity. The easiest way to do this is to consume creative content. That means watching interesting movies, finding obscure music, taking yourself to art galleries, and things like that. Even if you don’t think that you’re aiding your creativity by consuming this stuff, you will be!
Add New Tools
Anything that helps you make more interesting, creative works of art should be welcome. Regardless of your chosen medium, there’ll be a whole host of options available to you. For example, if you’re an artist in the conventional sense, then you may look at working with different brushes and art supplies. If you’re a guitarist, then investing in a loop guitar pedal could help to really transform the quality of the music you produce. Even things like writing have their own tools. For example, there’s the Hemingway application, which will highlight any errors and make recommendations.
It’s hard to say if your own work is good. You’re too close to it. While it is important to learn how to critically evaluate your own work, it’s also recommended that you get some feedback from time to time. Someone who views your creation for the first time might spot some things that you’ve overlooked. Of course, it’s not advisable to get feedback from just anyone. You should trust the opinion of the person you’re asking. But if you know that someone has great taste in music, then you can have confidence that whatever they tell you about your own song will have merit.
Pro tip: learn how not to take negative feedback personally. It’s not about you; it’s about the creation. And in any case: do you want the final product to be as good as it can be, or not?
Go for a Walk
There’s a lot of power in going for a walk. Some of the best artists of all time have relied on walking as a way to stir their creativity. There’s just something about moving that gets the creative juices flowing, and really all you need is a little bit of time. You just have to aimlessly walk and let your mind wander, and see what happens. It won’t work every single time, but it’ll probably work more often than you think. For the most effect, it’s recommended that you go into the great outdoors, away from the city. But even a city walk will do the trick.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably got a long list of unfinished projects. The process normally looks like this: you have an idea, you start working on it, and then eventually you hit a block and then just end up forgetting about it. It happens all the time. The key to actually bringing your best ideas to full fruition is to learn how to keep going even after you hit that initial block. You’re not going to complete a song or a text in one sitting. It’ll take time. If you can push through those difficult moments, then you’ll achieve great things. It just takes time and effort.
Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome
Finally, remember to keep your mind focused on the creative process, not the outcome. You want to achieve something great, sure, but if you’re too preoccupied with that, then you’ll just put too much pressure on yourself. Instead, get the basics of creativity down, and then just wait for the brilliance to arrive. It will!