Calling all my fellow creatives!
Are you the creative type, always full of ideas and inspiration? Do you have a constant need to create, and sometimes feel overwhelmed by the possibilities and endless to-dos?
If so, this one's for you.
Being a creative is a huge blessing. I always think that creativity comes from inspiration, and the other way around.
Chances are, if you consider yourself a creative, you’re also someone who loves to inspire, just as much as you like seeking inspiration yourself. You're constantly looking for new ways to make your ideas come to life, hoping to inspire others in the process.
Inspiration is what makes creativity so fulfilling, both in life and in our careers. Personally, being creative has given me a sense of purpose—it's a part of who I am, through and through. Creating things is my calling, and the opportunities are endless:
I create through my writing. I create through my photography. I create through my music. I create by helping others.
Creativity comes in so many forms, no matter if you make a living from it or use your passion to create in other areas of your life. Whether you’re a professional or hobby painter, writer, photographer, musician, or designer (or artistic in any other shape or form)—what we all have in common is our love for creating things.
However, artistic creation can get messy.
Creatives are known to be a little unorganized and chaotic, usually following their own creative process that no one else can really understand.
If you don't already have your own process figured out and are a little overwhelmed by all of your ideas, here are some tips on how to make the most of your creativity:
Give Some Structure to Your Ideas
I have about a million ideas every day, and they tend to be ALL over the place. What if I start a podcast? What if I write a book? What if I start my own business?
I get incredibly excited about all of these ideas, and often act on them impulsively. I’ll admit to having bought a domain that ended up just sitting there because the momentum of my brilliant idea was over...
Does that sound familiar?
Lists, Lists, Lists
Having lots of ideas is exciting! But it can be overwhelming as well. Some of them end up in the back of your mind, just piling up. Some are forgotten completely until coincidentally, something reminds you of the billion-dollar idea you had the other night.
So, start writing down your ideas as soon as they come. Save them in your notes on your phone, or better yet, on a piece of paper.
Don't have any paper on hand, or no time to make extensive notes? Record a quick voice note on your phone, the way you sometimes see brilliant authors recording their thoughts in movies.
Once you’ve done that, make sure to keep a clean overview of all your notes and ideas. If you want to be extra organized, make specific lists for each of your areas of creativity.
Here's what some of mine would look like, for example:
Photography: Set up online print shop
Writing: Write a first draft for article xyz
Music: Learn that difficult finger-picking guitar intro for song xyz
Other: Create picture collage for mom's birthday card
Add to the list whenever your ideas pop up, and keep it structured. It's basically a to-do list, but only for your creative to-dos. Some of them might be urgent (mom's birthday card), while some of them might have time (learn new song on the guitar). If you're already a notorious list writer (then you probably won't need these tips), it might be smart to separate between urgent and non-urgent. I add urgent stuff to my general to-do list, and non-time-sensitive creative ideas to a separate one. Sort your ideas however works best for you.
Now, if you're anything like me, your list of ideas is probably messy and long. Most of the time, I can't even remember half of them (which is why I'm glad to have written them down!).
Review your non-urgent creative ideas every once in a while, when you find the time.
If you’re still set on a particular idea, go for it! Prioritize which one to start with. You won’t know what might become of it if you don’t try.
On the other hand, you might notice that the sudden, brilliant idea you had recently actually sounded a lot better in your head.
Schedule Your Creative Endeavors
Do your ideas tend to come through right after you’ve switched off your lights to go to bed?
Yeah, same here.
This has cost me HOURS of sleep... and I’m not even kidding. I’ll close my eyes and BOOM—some random idea hits me out of nowhere.
Why don’t I start a new blog, RIGHT NOW? Of course, I need to quickly check that my domain is available... oh look, it is! (But I've learned not to reserve it right away, so that's one improvement. See?)
Hmmm... What could I name my blog? What could the logo look like?
Next thing I know, it’s 3AM.
Know the feeling?
It’s hard to resist the adrenaline rush when your creative juices are *flowing*, but you need to get some sleep!
Here’s what to do: Again, write down your ideas. In this particular case, if you're a night owl like me, it’s even better if you have a piece of paper on your nightstand. That way, you won’t give into the temptation of your phone.
Write down your idea and any thoughts you’re worried you might forget overnight.
Then, make a mental note to revisit the idea first thing tomorrow, or at a scheduled time—it will trick your mind into dropping the urgency. By doing this, you'll make sure that you definitely won’t forget, and you’ll have something to look forward to the next day.
I hope these tips help you put some order to your thoughts! Always remember: They might be the start of something big.
How do you deal with your countless ideas? Share your tips in the comments!