Creativity often is mistakenly considered to be a destination — a mental state you need to reach.
This is where many artists and creators become “blocked” and engage in paralyzing self-sabotage. How often do we hear that someone is “waiting for inspiration to come to them?”
However, creativity is not something static. It is a fluid process that we can connect to with the right mindset.
Here are 5 ways you can reconnect with your inner motivation and desire to create art, finish your novel, choreograph a new dance, or add an extra part to your piano composition…
5 Tips to Reconnect with Creativity
- Understand that creative ideas become better over time.
It’s easy to get discouraged when you begin to work on something and quickly become your own worst critic by thinking something like “this is a bad idea” or “this has been done before.” Creative ideas, artistic flow and divergent thinking become reinforced over time and through firing of new mental associations. The first idea may not be that good, but the second will be better and the third even better than the second and so on.
- Keep asking yourself why you want to create.
It’s common to forget why you set off to do something in the first place. Motivation slowly gets lost and you lose track of what you initially hoped to achieve. Whether it’s to become smarter, to heal from past trauma, to get in shape, to make money or to be more marketable in today’s job market, it is important that you keep asking yourself — and reminding yourself daily — what motivates you to become creative.
- Minimize distractions or reasons not to create.
Naturally, you might be facing some environmental circumstances that make it difficult for you to create. Your children may be sick, you may be feeling depressed, there may be construction in a nearby building or you simply may feel burned out from day-to-day responsibilities. Whatever it is, it is very important that you identify what these distractions are and tackle them one at a time in order to resolve or minimize them.
- Get external stimulation.
When you are waiting for inspiration to “come to you,” you are setting up a trap for yourself. If you want to write a poem, reread your favorite poets. If you want to put a dance group together, go to a dance show every week for a month. If you want to add another chapter to your book, watch a movie, go to a museum, have a discussion with a friend, anything that will add some extra mental stimulation to your thought process.
- Talk about it.
An artist often may feel compelled to keep his or her creative journey internal, to quietly and discreetly surrender to the gradual decrease of his or her motivation. This could be because it is too painful to bring up, or because it is embarrassing to admit to a block, or even due to denial that low motivation exists. However, by talking about it to a friend, a mentor or a counselor, one’s intentions become more concrete, the obstacles to creativity become more apparent and the problems begin to seem more manageable.
Daily life can slowly chip away at your desire to create, to improve your skills and to become successful in what you do. Hopefully, these five steps will help you reconnect with your inner motivation to do what once may have seemed like the most natural thing.
Olga Gonithellis, MA, EdM, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with artists, performers and creative individuals. She lives in NYC where she works as a psychotherapist. She is also a singer and a songwriter with years of performing experience. She is a member of the Performing Arts Medicine Association and the Creativity Coaching Association. Visit www.creativityandperformance.com for more information.
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