Lately I have been wondering just how creative I really am. I mean, I feel like I’m really creative—- I always have these zany ideas that keep me occupied on my weekends, but I wonder if that could translate to “creativity-on-demand” or the type of creativity that would be required if I were to attempt to earn my livelihood off of artsy ideas. I guess I don’t have to worry about that…. YET! But the thought did lead me to question how creative professionals maintain their creativity at a consistent level.
The common answer that I found: Creativity is never maintained at a consistent level! Creative professionals have days that they don’t feel so creative just like any other ordinary person. However, from what I could tell, smart creative professionals take advantage of their very creative periods and use them as a type of “bank” for when they aren’t feeling so inspired. Not everyday needs to be wasted when you can’t come up with a new idea—- those days can be more focused more on technical execution or something of the sort. And on the days that creativity does strike, then you just take advantage of it while you can.
There are some tricks for getting yourself back into the creative mood— some more effective than others. Walks, road trips, museums and books have all been commonly suggested ways of regenerating creativity. In my own personal efforts to be more creative, I have made an conscious effort to get myself off of “auto pilot”— or any activity that I find so routine that I can do it with my eyes closed. In my most recent example of this, I decided to change up the way I walk to work— instead of walking through the financial district in Boston from the subway stop I walk through Chinatown instead. This might not sound like a big deal, but I had told myself that I would walk through Chinatown every day last week—– and only managed to do it once! The other days I found myself half-way through the financial district before I would even remember my intention. My brain wants to take the easy way out and I want it to have practice navigating new (and potentially creative) situations! Let’s hope a quest for a creative life doesn’t lead to an all out battle between me and my lazy brain in the future!