Creativity can be fickle. In fact most days I am an average writer. Some days I have an abundance of creativity and some days there is not a creative bone or cell in my body. Even my cat is bored to death with me. For the creative moments, you never know when their going to strike . I could be in the checkout line at the grocery store when my brain suddenly goes into over drive as if someone tripped the switch. A stenographer couldn’t keep up with the ideas flowing at these moments. It’s like a light goes on and every one and thing rushes into their place perfectly awaiting reveal. I’m certain I can hear the choir in the background singing “AWWWWWW” very faintly.
But most of the time my creativity is well just average. Those golden opportunities are golden for a reason. They don’t happen that often but when they do, that’s when you need to capture them.
Learning how to tame the wild animal that is creativity can help you become more productive on days when it’s abundant, and build a reserve for when it’s not.
1. Become The Notetaker/Voice Recorder:
You could carry around a notepad and paper and jot down the brilliant ideas as they come to you (if you still know how to write). Or, the record button on your cell phone works too. If it’s something you must remember by heart without an aid then there is something to be said about the act of actually writing something down. It seems whenever I manually put the words on paper, I don’t need the list. I’ve tested this theory repeatedly. After creating the list for the grocery store so I won’t forget anything and then forgetting the list. Brilliant! AW but you see it is because I wrote everything down and so I remember everything I had written on the list. Sometimes you have to trick yourself into these things. It Works! Ahhh the irony of trying not to forget anything and then forgetting the thing you made to not forget anything. Wait, what was I talking about again? I forgot!
The record button on your cell phone is great for capturing stray ideas and is probably the thing you will most likely have handy when an idea comes rushing in like Hurricane Andrew. Unless your in the middle of pleading to the judge why he should not give you a ticket for going 90mph in a school zone. So much for being prepared to capture your ideas as they come. It’s okay, you’ll have plenty of time trying to remember your brilliant idea from your cell – and No that is NOT short for cell phone.
2. Organize Your Thoughts:
Sometimes it’s hard to channel the barrage of creativity that’s floating around in your head. Often mistaken for writers block, it’s the classic sign of a premature start. You are not ready to write yet. Almost, but not quite, you’ve skipped a step. In this case, but not all, an outline is in order. Refer to the basics on creating an outline in a previous post. It may sound like added work but it’s not. Once you’ve created the outline you’ll be able to write the piece in record time. How fast can you type? Building an outline helps you get a handle on the unsupervised ideas floating around in your head. It will also ensure that your content has flow and makes sense to a reader.
Tip: Before the outline, open the flood gates by simply jotting down all the ideas in your head in no particular order. Then from these ideas build the outline in the order that makes sense.
3. Hold Brainstorming Sessions or Provide a Creative Outlet:
Experiencing a dry spell? Has the creative river run dry? Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like brainstorming with other people. It really doesn’t matter who it is either, as long as they have a pulse and can speak, your good. Most often my creative ideas are sparked by something totally unrelated to the topics themselves. However, if you have access to a group whose common goal is business related then scheduling regular brainstorming sessions is not only fun, it’s the most valuable use of an employees time that I can think of. People are brilliant and have unique angles. Sadly, most of their brilliance is lost on lack of a creative outlet. Don’t be that company that stifles the very thing that could make it successful. Everyone benefits in these meetings too! Everyone gets fresh ideas for tackling their daily challenges.
Stay tuned for my next post: Get The Most Out of Your Brainstorming Session