Many of us go through our day-to-day lives not realizing we’re creating everyday. Maybe your boss wants you to come up with a Powerpoint presentation, or you create an advertisement to sell you stuff on eBay. Maybe you make up the best jokes at the party or have a fix-it-up project going on at your house right now. That’s creating something that wasn’t there before.
But what makes the difference for something average and something amazing that people won’t stop talking about it? Finding your creative voice.
Three Elements that make up Creativity
- Fill It Up
Understanding these three elements can help you find your creative voice.
Fill It Up
I was driving one day, listening to the radio when I heard a rattle, felt the car lurch before it died. I hadn’t paid attention as my gas gauge fell below empty, but my car definitely had. No matter how much gas I put in her, she always needs more if I want to go all the places I’ve planned.
Creating is like that. When we are filling our lives with busyness, jobs, emails, errands to run, we’re not putting in the right fuel for our creative juices to flow. In order to create, we must surround ourselves with books, people with ideas, nature, and time to reflect. Whatever it is that inspires you.
Earl Dickson was an employee at Johnson & Johnson in 1913. His wife was a cook who constantly burned or cut herself. Mr. Dickson prepared gauze strips with surgical tape ahead of time so he would be prepared to help her. This led to the creation of the Band-Aid. Mr. Dickson was inspired by the events around him.
When we pay attention to our surroundings, we may end up inspired. For many, prayer and reflection are a great way to do this. Reading quotes and poetry often inspire. Sometimes, just going for a walk or reading a great book may offer the right opportunity.
Most people have a moment when inspiration strikes. The brilliant idea that will be the next bestseller or the next million dollar invention. But they don’t do anything with it.
To truly capture the essence of a creative life, you must do something with your creative ideas. Otherwise, they’re merely ideas that will die with you. There’s no product we can hold or see, no words we can read if they’re not written out.
Talk does not equal action.
When an idea hits, write it down. You may not know what to do with it right away, but when the time is right, it will be there. Your idea may need time to grow and develop. That’s okay. It’s all part of the creative process.
Stir Up Your Creativity
This week, do something to stir up your creativity. Read that book you’ve been shoving aside. Write that short story that’s been nagging at you. Set up a creativity journal and write down at least three ideas. Go for a walk.
Ask yourself that really hard question – what is it I want to create? Why am I really writing this story or novel? You’ll come up with a lot of reasons and start to see your themes come to life.
Fill yourself up. Get inspired. And tell yourself, “I am creative!”
What do you do to get inspired?
For more reading: