Creativity is not only an integral part of a writers make up, but is a mindset and skill in high demand within the work market, regardless of the career path. Having worked within HR and recruitment, I understand some of the mindset of employers who are seeking candidates with that ‘little bit extra’ – the skills they don’t ask for, but all want. While many of us would love to make our living from writing, the reality remains that we head out most days to a job which has very little to do with writing and we become despondent with the small amount of time we afford ourselves in pursuing our creative outlets. Most of us blame the lack of time and disappearance of our muse for the lack of writing. There are ways, however, to boost and uncover creativity and perhaps after reading this post, you may integrate some of these tips to enhance not only your work life (thus freeing time up for your other pursuits) or your job search prospects but it may also release the muse and allow you to fully indulge in your creative side.
Any manager will tell you that a valued employee is one who can work independently, but also one who can solve problems creatively. The key aspect in releasing creativity is seeking the calm within the crazy of our normal lives. Whilst many of us may ‘know’ this, it’s the execution of being mindful during our daily lives which can prove more difficult.
Be self reflective and mindful
It is easy to be distracted and connected by constant social media distractions, office politics (gossip) and community fluff (gossip). In all the time spent in responding and reacting to other influences not in our immediate environment, or not immedialty relevant to a project, it’s easy to become disconnected with the present. Not only do these distractions take your focus away from the task at hand, but it sucks what creative energy you may have away.
Take a breath and slow down. If you feel your life is like a train rushing ahead; make the choice to step off; even if its for a moment every day. Open your eyes to the space and time you have, as though its the first time you have seen them. Pretend for a moment that you are a young child discovering the room or an item for the first time. You may be surprised at how much detail you see or the different views you uncover.
Reconnect with nature and fine tune your senses by taking a walk through untamed beauty. This walk doesn’t need to be an 800 km trek in order for your inner creative voice to begin to speak to you. The key is to be surrounded by quiet in order to hear it. Being alone in nature is one of the quickest ways to do this.
Take longer and linger over breakfast, a shared coffee or take a walk in the morning to reset your mind and be open to the opportunities of creativity. I hate getting out of bed earlier than I need to more than anyone I know, but even five mins of quiet reflection and freeing the mind will allow a flow of uninterrupted thoughts and clarity, making the rest of your day not feel so rushed.
Don’t engage in gossip; be it on social media or face to face. Apart from the negative energy it creates, it takes up precious would-be creative space, which would be better used in plotting the world’s next bestseller. Allow yourself a full day a week which is social media free. Notice the resistance you may feel, and question the validity of it; and then try a social media block out – even for a few hours.
We operate in highly volatile and uncertain environments within our workplace and in our presence online as writers. Being creative and uncovering our creative spirit may be the best avenue to navigate these unsteady seas. Paying attention to the small moments which occur during your day will often lead to a treasure trove of idea gems and in turn give you clarity. Perhaps this clarity will uncover the next biggest bestseller; perhaps it will shoot you straight to employee of the month. Either way, a dose of creativity in your life enhances and balances the craziness we tend to experience normally.