We all have a creative beast lurking inside of us, just waiting to be unleashed. Use these 5 exercises to help you unleash your creative beast.
Here’s the story.
Whether you believe you are a creative person or not (we can argue about that another day), within each of us is some untapped creativity. It’s time to let that creativity out. It’s time to unleash your creative beast. Easier said, than done, right?
Actually, no. It might not happen instantly, but if you start to practice your creativity, I promise you will see results.
If you start writing *everyday, you will become a better writer.
If you start knitting *everyday, you will become a better knitter.
If you start drawing *everyday, you will become a better artist/illustrator/other.
*You don’t actually have to do it everyday, but you need to practice with some regularity.
You get my point. If you want to think of yourself as creative person, you have to put in the practice. There’s no way around it – sorry!
But, getting started practicing your creativity can be a little intimidating, especially if you haven’t done it in awhile – or ever! So here are 5 quick ways you can use to get started practicing your creativity today. You probably won’t use these ideas forever, but it’s a good place to start. If you go through each of these, by end you will likely have come up with an idea of how you want to practice your creativity (writing, drawing, knitting, welding, jewelry-making, weaving, carpentry, painting, illustrating, card-making, photography, writing/playing music, singing, etc.)
Number 1 – PLAY WITH COLOR
Color is all around us, whether you find beauty in palette nature provides us with or if there is nothing more inspiring to you than opening a new box of colored pencils, this one’s for you.
Go on an adventure and hunt for colors. You get to make up the rules for this adventure: can they only be colors you find around your house? Colors found in nature? Colors you see as you take a walk around your block? You decide. Grab a camera or notebook and head outside. Let the world around you inspire you.
Now that you have colors on the mind, it’s time for your challenge.
Choose a group of people. It could be your friends, your family, or even your characters from your favorite book or TV show. Assign each person a color based on personality traits. Use what you know about this person to get it just right. Get creative – you don’t have to just use a basic color like “purple.” You can create your own specific names for a very specific shade of purple or combination of blue and purple. Try it now!
Number 2 – DO SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU
When it comes to creativity, many of us have felt the fear. It grips you and doesn’t let go until you decide to back away and not try that new creative practice. Or you decide to not share your work with the world. Or you decide not to stand up and say yes to an opportunity. Whatever the reason for it, it’s that fear that overcomes you, even if you are normally a confident person.
When I first started greens + blues co., I didn’t tell anybody besides my husband about it for a long time. It even took me a few months to share it with my best friend and my sisters. Why? Because I had never done anything like this before. What if they didn’t get it? Or they thought it was dumb? Or that I was bad at it? Specifically when I first started greens + blues co., I didn’t know really how to explain it or how to explain why I started it other than I wanted to and felt like I had to – it was calling me and I couldn’t escape. Also, I just felt stupid talking about creativity out loud because all of the previous conversations I had about it took place in my head.
Here’s the thing, I have never had a problem with confidence. But, launching greens + blues co. was so different than anything I have ever done before. It took me a long time before it got easier for me to talk about (almost two years, yeesh!)
Beyond just launching greens + blues co., every step I have taken a long that way was scary at some point – continually pushing my out of my comfort zone. However, I have not regretted any of it. Even when I have pitched people ideas and I get a no (or more often, no response). Every scary thing I have done has been beneficial for me.
Okay, enough about me. Back to you. What scares you when it comes to your creativity? That’s a great place to start!
Is it starting a new creative practice? Maybe you have always thought about painting, but as an adult it makes you feel so silly to take a beginner class or to just be bad at something.
Or does the possibility of sharing your work scare you? Maybe you have written story upon story upon story so you clearly have no problem practicing your creativity, but the idea of someone else reading any of it scares the shit out of you. In that case, you definitely need to share your work.
Or is it saying yes to a new opportunity that scares you? Maybe someone has asked you to collaborate on something outside of your comfort zone, or you have an opportunity to learn something new. Whatever it is – say yes and do it!
Your challenge is simple: write down what scares you and do it. It doesn’t have to be major like self-publish a book, but rather something you could do in the next five minutes, like email a friend a copy of a story you wrote. Or, Google “knitting classes near me” and sign up for one. Take the first step.
Number 3 – DO SOMETHING YOU ARE BAD AT
When it comes to creativity (and in life in general), many of us are guilty of never stepping out of our comfort zones. We stick to things we are good at because it’s no fun to suck at anything. Who likes that? No one. However, it’s the only way to eventually get to a place where you can create/make awesome stuff, you have to start with the ugly.
This is why I have been putting off learning to draw for about 15 years. I have always known deep down that I want to be able to draw, and I have started to learn so many times, but I have found so many reasons to move on to other creative practices. The only real reason I have always moved on is because I am bad at drawing. Horrible. But, I should be! I never practice. I really have never learned how. So, now I am. I have no major plans for it currently except I want to get past the point where everything I draw is crap. Not too lofty.
What about you? Make a list of some creative practices that you are bad at. Then, go back and circle the ones you want to be good at. Choose one. Now you know where to start.
Number 4 – SEE IT THROUGH
I imagine most of us start a new project or creative practice in a similar manner. We are super excited and inspired, we are going to learn everything about it, and we just can’t wait to create something! We get started with it, work on it for a few days (maybe even a few weeks), but then something happens or life just gets in the way and we don’t think about it again for months.
Then we get a new idea for a project or creative practice and the process starts again. We seem to be stuck in a cycle of excitement and inspiration, followed by a little bit of work, and then nothing. So how do we do it? How do we push past the part when it first gets tough?
Unfortunately there is no life hack for this one. Your challenge this time is to simply see it through. Often we give up way too quickly. The second a project becomes a little more work than fun or it is no longer easy, we are out. Quit on something because it doesn’t interest you or inspire you, not because you are too lazy to keep working at it. (sorry for the tough talk).
Think about a creative project or practice you have quit on recently (that you are still interested in). Pick it back up and see it through. When you are finished, see where your creativity takes you next.
Number 5 – LISTEN TO THE MUSIC
Music is a creative activity that most of us participate in everyday. You don’t have to play music or write music in order to be inspired by it. Many of us do our best thinking as we listen to music and let our minds wander.
Your challenge is to do just that: listen to the music. But, this time, do it more thoughtfully. Choose a song that you have always loved but haven’t necessarily paid attention to the lyrics. Listen more closely this time. Actually think about the artist meant by the lyrics and what you want them to mean.
Try one of the following challenges:
- Make up new lyrics to the song.
- Or is drawing more your thing? Listen to the lyrics and illustrate them.
All right, if you haven’t downloaded the workbook for these 5 ideas, you can do that here. Then get going! Start creating. As I mentioned, this is just a starting point. Truthfully, these ideas might not interest you, but they are supposed to be a jumping off point for your creativity – one of the first steps to unleashing your creative beast.
p.s. If you are looking for more ways to practice your creativity, check out this post – 10 ways to Inject Creativity Into Your Daily Life.
p.p.s. I stole the phrase “unleash your creative beast” from my cousin Jim. He’s the best.