182 – Halfway (creativity tips)

Today marks the halfway point of the year and of this project to do 365 posts. I thought I would take some time to share some of the things that I’ve learned while doing this thing-a-day project. Here they are:
1. You can’t wait for creativity to strike.
Some days are easier than others, but I have learned that we all have creativity and we can tap into it.
2. Stop judging your work and just create.
You can edit later. One of the biggest hurdles that I used to face was that I would always reject my work before I had even gotten started. Looking back, I’ve realized that I like a lot of the work I’ve done more than I did when it was originally created. You can cherry pick the best things later – just focus on making something.
3. Hold yourself accountable.
I’ve done this in the form of a blog so that I would be consistently creating something, but you could do this in a journal. I find that making my goal public provides a little bit of pressure so that I can’t just give up easily.
4. Limitations will free you.
Doing a lot of the Disquiet Junto projects has helped me to see this because each project has a set of limitations. Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategy cards also have helped me when I’m stuck. Limitations give you a sense of focus and direction and eliminate endless choices.
5. Even the failures will teach you something.
As long as I put thought and energy into a project, I usually can look back and find value in it. Making mistakes or creating something I don’t like is ok.
6. Stay inspired.
Read books and listen to music that keeps you inspired. It’s important to have passion and remember why you want to create. You can also revisit things that have inspired you in the past. It’s helped me tremendously to have creative role models to look up to and help push me forward.
7. Be healthy.
Feeling bad takes energy away from creativity. I’ve been eating way more fruits and vegetables and I’ve eliminated dairy and mucus-causing foods (including peanuts). I don’t feel as sluggish and I’m able to focus much better now. This is a personal choice, but there are many scientific reasons why this is working for me.
8. Learn new things.
I’ve tried using new software or apps to force myself out of my usual routine. Reading books about topics that I don’t know much about has helped me to make new connections.
9. Go to new places.
I’ve been trying to do this more and more. I’ve always wanted to go to Frank Curto Park in Pittsburgh, but I doubt I would have done it without this blog forcing me to come up with new projects.
10. Make new friends and meet new people.
I’ve made new friends and met a lot of new people who share similiar interests and it’s been really rewarding. Other people will enrich your life and expose you to more great things and ideas.