Are you more of a numbers person than a creative type?
Do you find it hard to get into a creative space, with all the distractions in your life?
Perhaps you’re a left-brain, practical type who likes to dot your ‘i’s and cross your ‘t’s, or you have the challenge of juggling a busy family while juggling a home office, or small team. Whatever makes you feel creatively challenged, today’s post may give you some encouragement and tips to help you tune into your inner Picasso and start creating powerful content for your content marketing.
The good news is, you can do this no matter what your circumstances, and sometimes the best inspiration comes from embracing your way of thinking, your tendencies and your life.
But first a little story
I wrote recently about the fact that I haven’t blogged much since the New Year, but you may have noticed that’s picked up a bit over the past few weeks. I am a creative person by nature, but overwhelm left me feeling unable to put fingers to keyboard. I knew I had to do something to turn that around, so rather than feel guilty about it, or feel pressured to perform, I simply let go of the need to churn out content and listened to my body and my heart.
I’ve been a workaholic for the past few years, throwing myself into work so that I didn’t have to think about all the things that were causing me pain. I found that if I stopped, I’d get anxious, so I just didn’t stop. The problem is, life has a way of catching up with you regardless.
So, the past couple of months, I slowed down a little. I restructured my business and started outsourcing work that I wasn’t enjoying (but that still had to be done) to trusted colleagues. I let go of the need to get everything done now, and even the need to be consistent (shock, horror!). I started taking more naps and stopped trying to fit in a zillion meetings into one day. I spent more time just talking, playing and reading, and less time sitting staring at my screen. And then an amazing thing happened.
The more I nurtured myself, and the more time I spent away from the computer screen, the more creativity flowed through my veins…go figure! I was able to play songs on my piano for the first time in years, able to draw and paint and able to think of ideas for blog posts and get going on finishing my book (Yes! It’s coming! I promise!).
So, what’s the secret to being creative?
The first one is awareness
Simply tune into the fact that you’re finding it hard and stop trying to be creative. Look at the aspects of your life that make you feel pressured. If you’re a left-brain type, you’ll find this easy. Just make a list of all the things that make you feel under pressure to perform.
Once you’ve made that list, look at it and see if there is anything you can do to take the pressure off. Can you outsource some of your work? Can you get a babysitter in once a week? Can you turn your notifications off on your phone?
Pressure is the enemy of creativity, so when you free up some of your time and free up your mind from unwanted distractions and stresses, you’ll be able to move on to step number two.
The second step is to let go
Do not use that free time you now have to sit and stare at the computer. No, no, no! Instead, use it to do something you enjoy, something you relish or even just something mundane that will help you feel clearer, more organised and less pressured.
Why? Because when you are happy, relaxed and enjoying life, that’s when you are at your most creative. Our brains don’t switch off just because we’re going for a swim, hanging up the laundry, or taking a long walk. What happens is your mind wanders and you let go. That letting go is what often sparks a new idea or a creative solution to a problem that has been bugging you for awhile.
Sometimes, when I have a creative problem to solve, I simply go out for a coffee and people watch. Sometimes I go for a walk, sit down and draw whatever comes to mind, or simply do the dishes or hang up the laundry. You’d be amazed at how many creative ideas have just flowed while hanging the kids’ undies on the line.
Over to you
If you’re feeling creatively challenged, open yourself up to the idea that taking the pressure off and doing something you love will help get those creative thoughts and solutions flowing. And, if you’re really struggling, perhaps one of the things you can outsource is creativity itself. Creative content is part and parcel of the work that content marketing agencies do.
What do you do to get into the creative zone?