“Slow down” says your mom.
“Sit and be quiet,” says your teacher.
“Caution” says the wise man.
You listen, yet you can’t truly obey, because the creative juices in your brain demand that you keep moving fast and furious.
(this post is part of the Writers: How to Be Creative resource page)
Your brain has the need for speed that begs you to take action even when you’ve been told to slow down; to wait your turn. And, over time this conflict renders you creatively paralyzed, which means your brain races on but you stop doing.
And once that happens, as a creative freak (and I say that in the kindest way, like genius), you have two choices:
1 – you can decide to spend your energies trying to cover up and hide your creativity, pretending that those voices in your head aren’t still there or getting louder,
2- you can decide to get out of denial and spend your energies using your creative intensity to better your life and the world.
If you’ve made choice 1, there is no reason for you to read on.
If you’re made choice 2, this post is for you.
If you know you are super freaky creative and you are currently creatively stuck, here are some ways you can get moving-and moving fast.
To bust apart your creative malaise
Begin by twisting your assumptions on their ear
What are you working on in your writing right now? A book? An email? A blog post? Begin by listing all your assumptions. For example, if you’re working on a stale blog post you might be assuming: My blog post has to be friendly. My blog post has to be at least 1000 words. My blog post has to be informative. My blog post has to have the keyword extemporaneous in the content. Etc.
Look at your assumptions, start your post over and decide to do the opposite. Write an unfriendly blog post that is short and gives no information whatsoever and never mentions extemporaneous. Assumptions are creativity killers. Dump them. Shaking up your personal assumptions is a sure-fire way to get flow moving again – in any area of your life. Guaranteed.
Flip time around
Your creative paralysis may have brought you to the point that you are blaming it on time – specifically lack of time. Oh, you probably schedule “quality” writing time and yet, nothing good is happening. You go through the motions but you remain stuck.
You need to flip how you look at your writing time. Stop scheduling your writing time during your “free” time. Look at your calendar. When are you busiest? Decide you are going to do your writing then. Yup, pick that time slot where you’re sure you won’t get anything done. Do it on your lunch hour when you’ll only have 20 minutes of writing between eating and that afternoon meeting. Or, rather than taking 20 minutes to make the kids lunches, do it in half the time then write for the other 10 minutes. When you know you have very limited time you are more able to tap into your speed-racer brain.
Forget about baby-steps
Stop overthinking everything and act. You know what you love, you know what you want to do, so do it. And don’t take action in a small way, make it bold, make it count and don’t stop until you have succeeded. Your mom, your teacher, that wise man – all wrong for you. So, throw out the conventional wisdom on goal setting and just freaking leap. You are no longer a child in school who might be scolded for being too noisy so stop tiptoeing around in fear. The current world is begging for big bold creative people to step up.
People tell you to slow down because THEY are afraid. People see anyone that is different and want to squish them. Over time we believe them. We begin to fool ourselves and accept that our creativity should be squashed. Your mom told you to slow down because she was trying to keep you safe – keep you from breaking your arm or something. Go ahead and break it – you probably have 2. Playing it safe will freeze your wondrous speed-racing brain. Going big bold and risky, that is what will keep you unstuck, maintain your personal harmony, and make you a creative leader.