Juicing Your Creativity

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelou

Creativity: the renewable and potentially exponential energy source within us all that allows you to transcend the traditional and explore the uncharted.

How you choose to express yours sets you apart from everyone else in your space.

So keeping your creativity stoked matters.

It’s such a personal thing, creativity. What makes it flourish for you might be utter madness for another. Still, there are a few universal ways to encourage your creative juices to flow.

Identify your power source. What inspires and fuels you—music, art, nature, a puppy pile, a walk with your beloved? Immersing yourself in your power sources regularly will drip-feed your muse, keeping it percolating so it’s ready at a moment’s notice.

Just start. The magic doesn’t happen until you actually begin. Your form of genius needs to get out of your head and into the world. The first version may well suck in some profound way, but you’ve birthed it. Now you can mold it and nourish it until it becomes part of something magical or you cut it in favor of where it leads you.

Drown out the haters. There will always be doubters—and sometimes the greatest voice of doom is our own. Learn to ignore all of it while in creation mode. Resist the voice telling you your work is crap, wherever it’s coming from. There will be plenty of time for feedback AFTER you get a first draft, a beta, a model ready for critique.

Beware of drowning yourself in the creativity of others. Absorbing the great works of others can leave you a path of breadcrumbs and imprint you with the courage to air your own unique voice. It is no surprise great writers are often great readers. But beware of leaving yourself no mental or physical space to unleash your own talent.

Cross-pollinate. You don’t need to stick to your genre for ideas. When I’m stuck—my flow is interrupted or my inner critic is running rampant—I drop what I’m doing and change it up. I might grab my always-up-for-an-adventure pup and take a walk, cook up a batch of jambalaya or pop in my ear buds and do a solo dance party. Plug into your power sources, no matter how interruptive it might feel in the moment.

It takes courage to be creative. To let your ideas, your creations, your babies out into the world. It’s not for the meek. But it’s the difference between those who play small and those who play big.

Go for big.

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