When it comes to creativity, any endeavour takes courage, whether it’s writing a book or creating something from clay. Inspiration doesn’t always give the luxury of striking you in your sleep and you don’t always get inspired with the entire plot for the next bestselling novel, whilst eating your cornflakes.
Sometimes, you’re simply left staring at a blank page, wondering what the hell you’re going to fill it with – let alone the other 200 plus pages.
Putting it simply, creativity can be a bitch. She can awaken the urge to be creative, but fail to keep us topped up with ideas.
But here’s the kicker – that’s how it’s meant to be.
Creativity ISN’T meant to always be easy. You ARE going to have to work at it and sometimes, you’re going to fail.
Initially, we may get the odd creative spark or light bulb moment, such as a great novel idea or image in our head, in order to kick-start the whole process – but if you want to turn it into a roaring fire, you have to do the work.
This means being courageous, vulnerable and actually DOING SOMETHING!
Think of these sparks as gifts. They’re happening in order to open your eyes to the possibilities, a way for you to show if you have what it takes to explore them further.
We can be waiting for light bulb moments in every area of our creativity – from Ideas and inspiration, through to the act of doing the action (i.e. writing or other creative pursuits) through to the business side of things.
Often we use ‘waiting for the inspiration light bulb’ as a tool for procrastination. ‘I’m waiting for inspiration to strike’, ‘My muse is being fickle today’, ‘I’m waiting for the perfect idea’, ‘I don’t know how to do…’ – these are all phrases we use to illustrate three things:
Do you know what - it’s ok to be scared of failure! It’s ok to not know something, and it’s ok to feel as if creativity is something that happens to you – as long as you push on regardless. However, when it comes to creativity, it IS something you can control.
If you believe creativity happens to you, then show you’re worthy of it. If you believe a muse comes to you with those idea light bulbs, then show you’re worthy of them. If you believe in the Law of Attraction, then show you’re holding focus and space for the next light bulb of an idea. If you believe hard work inspires inspiration and creativity, then work hard.
If you wanted to catch a fish, you wouldn’t just sit by the riverbank and set good intentions – you’d take action steps to make it happen. You’d take a rod and line with you and look to land that sucker.
Simply put, if you want light bulbs – go get them! Complete actions to make it happen. Here’s how:
If you have a muse, train it to be around when you want it there. Do this by showing up at the same time every day, with a pen in hand and an invitation to sit their arse down on the chair next to you and have a conversation – and continue to be there until (and after) they do.
Get clear on your intentions. Never underestimate the power of your thoughts and intentions. Write in your journal, daily. Use a vision board to create a collage of things that inspire you. Visualise yourself writing or typing, whilst feeling happy and excited. At the very least, you’ll end up feeling positive – and you never know when those journaled thoughts might spark an idea!
Go and interact with the outside world. Carry a notepad with you and keep your eyes and ears open. Write down what you see, how you feel, what you smell. Listen for snippets of conversation that just beg to be written down and remembered for their weirdness. Chat to the person behind you in the queue and to the elderly neighbour across the road.
Immerse yourself in creativity. Go to the theatre, cinema, art gallery. Read a good book, take photos and experiment with a new creative pursuit.
Keep doing the work. Most importantly, if you want to write – then write. If you want to paint – paint. Whatever you want to do, keep doing it. Then do it some more. Experiment, try different genres, change the size, change the medium. Show that you’re dedicated. Expand your knowledge and just keep doing the bloody work!
Whilst you’re putting in the work above, remember; not all great ideas start with that light bulb moment – sometimes you have to do the work in order to create your own light bulb moment.
You may be a novelist who had a great light bulb moment for your first novel. You followed it through and wrote that book – great. But then you didn’t market it. Instead, you then turned your attention to waiting for the light bulb that contained the next great novel idea, to come at you.
Now you can argue that focusing on the next novel is a good idea – and it is – but you also have to make the most out of what you’ve already created. If you’re wanting to be a full-time self-published writer, you DO have to create a steady stream of new books, but you ALSO have to learn how to market and sell your existing work.
There’s also the fact that whilst you’re waiting and not acting, you’re not helping yourself to write that next novel; you’re waiting for a light bulb to deposit a gift-wrapped idea onto your lap.
And here’s a newsflash for you – if you’re waiting for that light bulb moment, you may well be waiting a long time. How do I know? Well, I WAS that writer detailed above and it took me several years to figure this out!
By looking to carry out consistent action steps on a daily basis, you’re increasing the chance of regularly creating something new. You’re increasing the likelihood of having more inspired light bulb moments and, just maybe – even creating those damn light bulbs for yourself.
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