How to be more creative.

According to Seinfeld, Ogilvy, Stephen King and Virginia Woolf.

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“Piranhas”

Fifteen years have passed and while I never became an artist, I did become a writer. And, as I make a living as a storyteller for brands all over the world, I still find myself dancing (and at times stumbling) with creativity.

What is creativity?

Creativity is a complicated subject and one you can approach from a wide array of angles.

“It’s not creative unless it sells.”

In other words, while playing the ukulele is certainly creative it’s not in the context of this article because playing the ukulele can’t sell our products.

Capeesh?

Good.

“The creative process requires more than reason. Most original thinking isn’t even verbal. It requires a groping experimentation with ideas, governed by intuitive hunches and inspired by the unconscious. The majority of businessmen are incapable of original thinking because they are unable to escape from the tyranny of reason. Their imaginations are blocked.”

So, there you have it. Business people aren’t creative because their imaginations are blocked. So, to be more creative, it might be as simple as unblocking our imaginations.

How to unblock a blocked imagination allowing your creativity to flourish.

At Honey Copy, I get paid by brands to be creative. So, to keep making a living in this game, I have to avoid catching the disease Ogilvy describes as a “blocked imagination”. Here are a few ways myself and far more creative people than myself keep their creativity racing and running free like wild horses.

1. Don’t break the chain… focus on consistency rather than inspiration.

For a long time, I had the misconception that creativity was sparked by inspiration. I’ve since come to discover that this is anything but true. Creativity is sparked by consistency.

“I won’t be able to get your ad copy to you for another month, the inspiration just isn’t there yet…”

The professional creative knows she must show up every day at the same time, sit down at the page and bring something to life.

“Don’t break the chain”.

At Honey Copy, I don’t get paid to write… I get paid to write well. And, in order to write well, I have to be consistent, I have to be writing every day.

2. You are what you eat, keep your creative tank full with good creative nutrition.

There is a saying. I don’t know who the hell said it. But, it’s worth writing down. Do you have a pen and paper in front of you?

“You are what you eat.”

Our minds aren’t unlike our bodies.

“You have to read widely, constantly refining (and redefining) your own work as you do so. It’s hard for me to believe that people who read very little (or not at all in some cases) should presume to write and expect people to like what they have written, but I know it’s true. If I had a nickel for every person who ever told me he/she wanted to become a writer but “didn’t have time to read,” I could buy myself a pretty good steak dinner. Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

King’s words are obviously tailored towards writers, but they hold true for creative directors, graphic designers, savvy growth hackers, product photographers, entrepreneurs and freelancers… if you’re in a creative field you should constantly be consuming creativity otherwise you have no business expecting to be creative.

3. Walk away from your work… give your creativity and your ideas time to marinate.

I adore Virginia Woolf.

“Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”

Just magic.

A few final thoughts on creativity.

The last thing I would say about creativity has to do with the original definition I gave…

“It’s not creative unless it sells.”

Through all of this, it’s important to keep this idea top of mind… especially if you’re thinking about creativity in the context of business… which I imagine most of you reading this are.

Written by

I write pretty words and sometimes sell things. https://coleschafer.com/subscribe

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