If you haven’t seen part one, find it here.
17. Practice, practice, practice.
Practising is indeed important, regardless of how talented someone is. Inspiration can pop up suddenly and there can be so called ‘golden moments’ where creating something seems to come naturally, but masterpieces generally don’t pop out of nowhere. For every great idea you come up with there will probably be ten other ideas that didn’t quite make the cut, and even great ideas require some effort to get going.
18. Allow yourself to make mistakes. (a.k.a Number 6: Quit beating yourself up)
This also ties into the theme of practising. The idea is to make mistakes in order to improve or discover new things (see no. 23). Great ideas sometimes appear when your original idea starts to go a bit wrong anyway.
19. Go somewhere new.
This is a great idea if you’re stuck in the doldrums. Go somewhere new, and experience something different. Maybe you’ll write a poem, a story, or a song (or nothing). Being unfamiliar with a place can stimulate your ideas. Perhaps take a camera too, you will most likely already have one on your phone.
20. Watch foreign films.
I’m a bit sceptical of this one too, depending on what the thought process was behind this suggestion. It could be that it was the stereotypically introspective western movie-goer suddenly believing that there must be wisdom between those subtitled lines of dialogue. Which in that case, no. Just because it’s not in English, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be an overly complex and philosophical art film that will inspire you. However, this suggestion could also have been a point to get people to move outside of their comfort zone when watching films (sound familiar?) as a lot of people tend to avoid films from other countries, especially if they end up having to read subtitles. Try it.
21. Count your blessings.
I’m guessing this could be a suggestion for being grateful for what you’ve got. I would perhaps put that in a different perspective and say that you have to be prepared to work with what you’ve got. Which is, hopefully, at least the determination to do something (even if the fairy of inspiration hasn’t visited you yet). I’ve previously made the excuse of not having the right equipment or materials to get something started, and I can definitely say that if it’s not essential, then that’s just a procrastination tactic.
22. Get lots of rest. (a.k.a Number 7: Take breaks)
Now this list is going to start to seem repetitive, but I suppose it differs from number seven as making sure you’re well rested can avoid the major pitfalls of a stressful lifestyle. Being a creative person or someone who is searching for ways to express more creativity, there are probably many things you probably wish you could do. You may even have ten different projects that you’d attempt to take on simultaneously if you could. On the other hand in my experience, time constraints such as having a full time job and a frequent migraine-like headaches can indicate that resting can also sometimes be the sensible option.
23. Take risks (a.k.a Number 24)
This is arguably repeated in the next one, but the most important thing to take away is this: how can we create anything new without at least taking some sort of risk? It’s probably not anything to do with something that we would stereotypically consider risky behaviour, but to take the risk of doing something that we wouldn’t usually do e.g. not so much the idea of bungee jumping but rather travelling to new places.
24. Break the rules.
So… essentially taking a risk is breaking the rules, right? However we can say this differs slightly, as in each creative medium there always seems to be a set of basic rules that work beautifully in their simplicity. Then (to continue in a manner that is worryingly cliché), by learning these rules we can then break them. A thorough understanding of the medium you’re working with can help you find opportunities to innovate.
25. Do more of what makes you happy. (a.k.a Number 32, which will be in part three!)
I find that two big factors in creativity block are stress and boredom. Most people are able to experience both at the same time. Doing more of what makes you happy can help you feel more prepared to take the time out to work on creative projects, which frankly can feel like more work on top of the usual everyday challenges of not walking into things, getting to places on time, etc. However the key thing is to avoid procrastination. Do things to relax, but don’t just wait for the right time or circumstances to get started.
To be continued in part three!