Photo by Dragos Gontariu/Unsplash
Will you ever come to a point in your creative life when you feel like you have nothing more to contribute to the world?
Can you ever exhaust all your ideas?
Is there a limit to your creative potential, and a ceiling on what you can ultimately accomplish artistically?
No, there isn’t. As hard as it may be to believe, your creative wells will never run dry.
Here’s what I’ve discovered from my own experience.
You Can’t Bottle up Your Passions
2011 was an eventful and exciting year for me.
By July, I had joined two network marketing companies (something you’re not supposed to do), and I was brimming with a ton of other business ideas. As result, I honestly could not decide what to focus on.
I sought to “empty myself creatively.” Gradually, I let go of some of the things I was doing.
And whenever I had a new idea, I started sharing it on Google+ (remember that old chestnut?).
The problem was that the ideas just kept coming. And I could not stop them from coming. So, I would always have something to share on Google+, which was supposed to be little more than a thought catalog.
Whether it was to do with my blogs, podcast, businesses, or otherwise, no matter how hard I tried, I could not empty myself creatively and force myself to focus on one thing.
Focus is a virtue. But in my experience, some people are either more predisposed to focus, or are more strongly motivated to focus.
I know people who’ve built five-figure businesses in a year, simply because they knew their parents would be retiring and wouldn’t be able to sustain their lifestyle on their pension.
It's easier to focus when you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish.
Which segues nicely into my next point…
One Idea Will Branch off into Another
I do a lot of writing, and I find one idea often branches off into another.
Within one blog post are usually several more points worth elaborating on.
So, for instance, we’ll say one post spawned three more post ideas.
Well, it’s not unusual for each of those three posts to inspire three more ideas each. You started with one idea and ended up with 12 additional ideas. You can guess where things go from there.
Creatives fear repeating themselves, but by the time you’re ready to repeat yourself, it might be a good time to revisit an idea or topic. Maybe you have new things to say, and maybe you’ve changed your perspective.
And even if you don’t have anything new to say, maybe bringing it to your audience’s attention again would benefit them.
It doesn’t matter what type of creative or creator you are. There are always going to be fans or followers who haven’t seen all your work, and if no one else, it will certainly be fresh to them.
As well, revisiting old ideas or projects might just elevate your status as an expert in that field. Or you may end up becoming known for it.
But generally, one idea quickly branches off into another, and a wise person always knows to capture those ideas before they are gone.
Not all ideas are good ideas, but by the time you circle back to them, you will probably know.
There Will Always be Something New
New social media sites are popping up all the time.
Technology is developing at an unprecedented rate.
Current world events and politics are keeping people on their toes.
Why does this matter? Because it means you will basically never run out of things to take inspiration from.
Sure, whatever comes next will basically be an iteration on something that has already come and gone. But that just means you’re better poised to leverage the knowledge you’ve accumulated to tackle the new.
Social media is the perfect example. Every year, there are new social media platforms.
But based on your knowledge of social networks that have come and gone, you’d be better positioned to talk about the new ones.
For instance, if you had a good handle on how to get Messenger subscribers, you’d be able to help people get Telegram subscribers now.
Past failures can be leveraged to create future successes, assuming you’re tapped into the opportunities.
You may not always catch the waves as they are coming. But if you ride them out, your knowledge of the past could end up benefiting your future.
Growth Will Stimulate New Ideas
If you do not think of yourself as an idea person, you may be surprised to find that idea people are just those who engage in their self-development continuously and ongoingly.
Although a complex process, it does not take long for a neural pathway to form in your brain. Simply consuming new information can lead to new thoughts and discoveries, and thus, ideas.
If you do not engage in personal development, there is the chance you will experience some stagnancy in your creative life.
But not so if you continually engage in growth.
There is something to be said for taking a break and living life too, which can stimulate new ideas.
Singer-songwriter John Denver was said to have come up with his best ideas while skiing and being outdoors. The least prolific period in his life was when he stopped doing those things.
It was motivational speaker Tony Robbins who ultimately helped him sort this out, and once Denver got back in the game, he started writing some of his best work.
As a musician, I released my first album in 2006. I had high hopes of recording and releasing a new album every year, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
After investing all my energy into writing new material in 2005 and 2006, I felt stuck trying to come up with something new in 2007.
But all sorts of things happened in 2008 that ended up inspiring an avalanche of new music – personal growth, anxiety, love won and lost, and more.
It’s still easy to see, though, that living leads to growth, just as engaging in articles, books, podcasts, courses, workshops, seminars, and other events lead to growth. They are both valuable.
As you form new connections and neural pathways, you will be prompted to create new things.
I have been writing and publishing daily since July 28, 2020. Some days, I publish multiple times per day. I plan to keep up with this habit for at least a full year.
So far, I cannot say I have run out of ideas. Yes, I have certainly had days where I did not want to write or publish.
At times, I have been exhausted. At other times, the words just didn’t seem to flow.
But I was not out of ideas. Not even close. I have many more ideas stored in a spreadsheet, and that number is sure to keep growing as I continue on this journey.
Whether you want to be prolific or work on things slowly is up to you. But if you’re worried about your creative wells running dry, don’t use that as an excuse to create less.
It's possible that the only difference between you and someone more successful is the number of times they've gone up to bat.
· CNBC – Tony Robbins says this simple technique is the secret that can spark your creative genius at work, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/27/tony-robbins-says-this-is-the-secret-to-spark-creative-genius-at-work.html