The creative process is a skill. And like any other skill, the more you practice, the better you get at using that skill.
A fun and easy way to practice is to create something everyday. The course, Creating Your Life, teaches a specific way of doing this so that not only am I getting my hands into creating things, I’m also integrating the creative process into the way I go about attaining any goal.
Here’s how it works:
Every day take 5 to 15 minutes to create a “little work of art” using these three basic steps:
- Spend some time imagining what it is you’re going to create. For example, if I were going to draw something, I’d look at the blank piece of paper and imagine what the drawing will look like.
- Take the actions to create what you imagined. Using the drawing example, I would draw the picture. This may include more steps than drawing. I might need a straight edge, a pencil and pen, maybe something to smudge the lines to soften the lines.
- Look at what you created. Is it what you imagined? Why? Why not?
This practice sounds deceptively simple. How hard can it be to think up something small and easy to create and then create it? Some things I’ve learned so far:
- The time limit kicks my perfectionist tendency right in the ass. I have to take action regardless of how ready I feel.
- It’s gotten me in the habit of creating something whether I’m in the mood or not. I’ve gone, literally, for years without drawing or creating anything because I didn’t have the right idea or didn’t feel inspired enough.
- I’m remembering how much fun it is to create stuff. When I was little I was always drawing, crafting, writing…whatever struck my fancy. I find myself looking forward to the time I spend creating.
- It’s strengthening my “creator muscle.” More and more I’m coming up with creative ideas that would be fun to do and jotting those ideas down.
- I’m good at this creativity stuff. It feels fluid and easy.
- Finally, I’m completing my ideas. Some of my “crafty” friends laugh about their “UFOs” Un Finished Objects. How well I understand! I have so many projects that I started and stopped because I lost interest or hit a difficult spot. I feel discouraged and think “what’s wrong with me that I never finish anything? This practice shows me, yes, I can finish creative projects.
In fact a major benefit of this particular process is to provide a structure that promotes completing creations. A point Robert Fritz makes throughout the course is the weakness lies not in our character but in the structure support or not supporting our ability to create what we want.
It’s the reason I chose to do the course and I’m putting so much energy into applying what I learn.