Have you ever looked at the creative work of others and thought, “I wish I was that creative”? Just the other night, my wife and I were watching some bonus features about how they made the movie “Interstellar.” The thought processes behind stories, sets, and props was incredible. You couldn’t help but be amazed at the level of work and creativity that went into that movie and how appealing it looks to work in that kind of environment.
Later on, I realized that a part of me, watching those men work, had resigned myself to never being as good as they are. “I’ll never achieve that level of creativity,” I thought. But then I thought, “Why not?” I may not work on a giant blockbuster movie, but that doesn’t mean I can flex my creative muscles to make something amazing. Maybe I’ll be one of very few that will see or enjoy whatever it, but that doesn’t make it less worth doing.
God has gifted each one of us differently, and made us thoughtful, and yes creative, in different ways. Just like me, your gift may not be designing amazing movie sets and props. But that doesn’t mean you can’t write a great short story, or sew a blanket for someone, or design a fort for your kids in your backyard. The problem isn’t our ability to do those things, it’s our inability to tap into our creativity. As adults, we often bury it, thinking it’s only for kids. But if you want to be more creative, here’s a couple of ideas to get you started.
1. Check out creative things. Someone once told me, “Creative in, creative out.” They meant that the more creative things like what I wanted to do that I exposed myself to, the more likely I was to come up with my creative ideas. Maybe that means reading some good books or listening to creative music. It probably doesn’t mean watching another episode of something on Netflix (unless it’s a related show; then maybe).
2. Free write. Sometimes you don’t feel like you have good ideas because your brain constantly feels like it’s running 100 miles an hour. When you set aside some time to just sit and think for a bit, that can help you slow down. Start writing down every idea that comes into your head. You won’t use every one and not every one will be amazing. But the very act of forcing yourself to write down ideas for what you want to do will get you in a creative mode.
3. Play with your kids. Being a parent obviously helps with this one, but if you need borrow someone else’s kids. (With their permission of course.) When you were a kid, you looked at the world differently, and it wasn’t embarassing or a big deal to pretend with dolls or Legos or any of your toys. Give yourself permission to let loose, pretend, and play. If nothing else, you’ll unwind a bit and your mind will free itself up to come up with other creative ideas.
That’s just a few ways you can get your creative juices flowing. What ideas have you used that worked for you? Share your thoughts in the comments, and then get out there and make something!