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We've all been there.
Drumming our fingers, wracking our brain, trying desperately to come up with an idea. Summoning creativity can seem like an impossible task. Whether you're staring at a blank page, hoping to come up with a blockbuster screenplay, searching for a solution to a problem at work... even brainstorming about next year's Halloween costume ... don't despair. There are easy ways to become more creative.
Here is a secret that creative people know and use instinctively. New and innovative ideas need a little nudge. They do not drop from the sky (as much as we would like them to).
Read books and watch videos on the subject for which you want to become more creative.
Awaken Your Brain
Something magical happens when you saturate yourself in a subject. It seems to awaken a part of your brain. Once you get your thought processes flowing on a subject, you'll find that you are thinking creatively about it, without trying.
Have you ever spent a few hours watching cooking videos, then found your creativity in the kitchen has taken a new life? You're not copying what they made. Instead, you're using the creative spark that the cooking on the video ignited in you. It's hard cook the same way after being inspired by someone else's creativity.
It's the same with creative writing, or becoming more creative on the job. Immerse yourself in the work of creative people that have gone before you. The flow of inspiration from skillful people's work can breed creative ideas in your mind.
Training Your Mind
Unlocking the potential for your own creativity through reading the work of other creative people is like having a window into the other person’s mind. More than merely gaining inspiration, someone who reads a great deal and then writes has trained their mind to think creatively.
Sci-fi author Ray Bradbury, who wrote The Illustrated Man, Fahrenheit 451, and many other imaginative works of fiction, said, “When I graduated from high school I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library 3 days a week for 10 years.”
On a page or screen, the words of a master writer can ignite a creative spark in your own writing. Reading books to open your mind to new heights of expression is a pleasurable and easy way to become more creative.
If you're interested in becoming more creative to improve your performance on the job, you have your priorities straight. In an article for Psychology Today called, "Is Creativity the Number 1 Skill for the 21st Century", author Mark Batey PhD writes, "A raft of recent research studies demonstrates that creativity is vital, from the shopfloor to the boardroom, and at the level of the individual to the organization as a whole."
New Ideas at Work
Creativity on the job is a valuable skill, but many people struggle to come up with new and creative ideas. An easy way to become more creative is to spend a little time brainstorming what won't work.
When it comes to innovation, the gears of your mind can come to a dead stop if you focus on finding one perfect new idea. Instead, make a list of 100 of the craziest ideas pertaining to the aspects of your work that demand a fresh approach.
The list will tap a place in your mind that really is brimming with ideas. Your creative ideas haven't yet had the chance to breathe and take form. Let them leap from your mind to your fingertips.
Use the List
It's not enough to list the 100 new, sometimes wacky, ideas. You must use them.
For example, maybe your boss thinks your little coffee shop would sell more coffee if you and the one other guy on a shift worked faster to move the lines along. If you know that the quality would suffer if you hurried more and you're already hustling as fast as possible, brainstorm the problem. Once you've written 100 solutions that quickly came to mind, look at the list to see if anything at all is useful. Chances are good that more than one item on the list could be a creative solution to your employer's problem.