Happy May! April showers bring May flowers… and the chance to demystify your creative process. We’re spring cleaning together this month, but it’s going to be so much more fun than dusting behind your furniture. We’re going to talk all about accepting the responsibility of a creative process, looking at examples, and owning our individual methods. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about or how to get started, don’t stress, I’ve got you covered and I’ll be here to help you every step of the way.
Let’s start by defining the creative process. I like to think of it as “the how.” How you go about doing what you do impacts your ability to do it. When I first started working as an artist, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about “the how.” After all, “the what” is what everyone is after. The painting, the song… whatever the finished product, that’s what we want. But the more time that you spend working on “the what,” the more you realize the importance of “the how.” Your how – your planning, your organization and your methods – plays an integral role in delivering your art. We’ve talked a lot about the individual components of “the how” already this year because they’re the foundation of being a successful creative. You can be the most talented artist on the planet but if you’re not organized and working the business side of creativity, no one will ever know. (Remember those needs we discovered a few weeks ago? Those will come in handy here. When figuring out your own creative process, consider your needs, your niche, and your restrictions. Each of these will influence your process in different ways.)
This week, we’re looking at our how and taking inventory – what’s working well? What can I improve? The number one thing that holds creatives back from developing themselves and their process is the idea that they aren’t knowledgeable enough. You don’t have to be the smartest or the most knowledgeable person to be able to listen to yourself. Deep down, most of us know where we have room for improvement. If you see others investing in themselves and find yourself wondering what they’re doing or where they find the time – ask them! No two creative processes are the same, so don’t feel like you have to measure up to or compete with anyone else, but if you can catch a hot tip from someone you admire, that’s awesome. At the end of the day, you have to find what you need and what works for you and the only way you are going to do that is to keep trying until you find something that feels right.
Speaking of time, how many times have you said, “I wish I could ____, I just don’t have the time?”. When it comes to the personal and professional development that will accelerate your creative process, you have to make that time. So, ask yourself – do you really want to learn and grow in your creativity? If you’re here and you’re reading this blog, I know the answer and so do you. Find ways to make the time and be intentional about what you’re doing with it. No one says it has to be hours a day – who has those to spare? But when you come across something you know would benefit you (a podcast or a YouTube series on something you’ve been looking to learn about, for example), make a note to give yourself time to dig into it. If you find yourself in need of something (maybe new software or materials for your work), make the space in your schedule to do the research and learn more. You are in control. Make time work for you!
I challenge you this week to take a look at “the how.” What are you doing great lately? Give yourself a pat on the back. Where do you have room for improvement? Think about how you can tweak those things to make them better. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone or your “normal” to establish a new, better normal. Just because you don’t know how to do something today doesn’t mean you never will – you just don’t know how YET. I also know that if you’re feeling stuck, unmotivated, or uninspired, I can help! Your Bravely Original self deserves to be able to freely express itself. My strategic coaching plan will give you the tools you need to finish your projects as well as clarity on what you want and how you can make it happen. Check here for more information!