Lately we have all been enduring rapid and massive change and most of us are attempting to adapt as quickly as we can. As we modify our personal and professional lives, creativity plays a very important role.
The medical world is working hard to find new ways to accommodate the growing number of patients that need them. Businesses are trying to find new ways to make money in order to stay relevant during this quarantine and after. Some people have been rapidly forced into trying to find new means of income. Now more than ever (at least in my lifetime), we need to find new solutions to many everyday practices that we have all grown accustomed to. Not only do we need to find new solutions, but we need to find them immediately in many cases. In order to solve new problems, we must be creative.
Saying it is one thing– but how to achieve? Unless you work in an actively creative field, you may not be familiar with the kind of pressure that comes along with forced creativity. To have to come up with a fresh idea, a novel concept, a unique design; what are the steps you need to go through in order to do this on command? I would say for each individual these steps could vary, but there are some common methods I’ve noticed successful creatives use.
Looking Outside Yourself
Have a favorite song, movie or book? What do you love about it? Is it a feeling it gives you? A method that the artist used? Getting inspiration from elsewhere is a great way to loosen up your perspective. Artists know that going to museums can provide amazing insight, as well as musicians listening to masters of their trade. If you are neither of the prior, maybe think about your peers, people you admire and maybe ones you don’t understand: how do they approach a similar problem that you might have?
Write It Down
Lists help me clarify, remember, and organize my thoughts. At the same time, new ideas often emerge as I process. If you are not a list-maker, just writing freely might be an option. Emptying the words from your mind onto a page might provide an enlightenment or stimulation that you otherwise couldn’t have arrived at.
Work on Something Else
Years ago I remember reading an article about a famous writer/director who was experiencing her first mainstream successful film. She said she had been in a creative block on another project, so in order to loosen herself up, she began working on a little side project. The lack of pressure involved in the side project allowed her creativity to flow freely – and the side project became her major success.
A tried and true method of finding inspiration: going for a walk. Some of you might prefer running or other active sports. How about cranking up some music and dancing? What works for you might be a slower or faster pace, and it might vary. Experiment, try new activities and be silly if you feel like it.
Above are just a few ideas. I don’t want to sound tone deaf; some of us are trying to solve way more serious problems than others. But we all have problems. Sometimes finding a solution takes a long time. Enduring a lengthy period of dead-end ideas can be disheartening. You will get frustrated. You will get tired. You might feel like it’s hopeless. Feeling like you are failing over and over again often can make you feel like giving up. But the key is not to give up. You can do this. We can all do this. You’ve probably heard it before but all you have to do to succeed is: Never. Stop. Trying.