Are you a Creative who struggles with two creative idea extremes:
Lack of ideas?
Both leave the Creative paralyzed and often frustrated. There’s all kinds of reasons each can happen, but regardless of the cause, it stinks!
I don’t know about you, but when I get in either of these ditches – and I still do – it’s a yucky feeling.
Although I firmly believe every single person is creative, some types of creativity don’t come with the “internal rush” when you just need to create and can’t make things click in your head – or you have so many ideas bouncing around that you can’t grab a single one and focus.
Are you with me? (I really don’t think I’m unique in this.)
Let’s look at each of these problems and find some solutions because they can both hit Creatives at different times. Having a plan to combat each is crucial to getting over the hump and getting creative again!
Lack of Ideas
Coming up with great ideas – from nothing – is tough, but I’ve got a simple solution you can use the next time you’re out of them.
Did you use mind mapping when you were in school? You can use the same technique to kick-start your creativity. You only have to come up with one single idea and you’ll end up with enough to last you a while – probably longer than you need.
Pinterest is likely the most popular online creative idea destination, wouldn’t you agree?
So let’s hop over, type in a search, and see how this works.
Let’s choose a single idea. What about DIY?
Under the search bar, you get a list of sub-subjects in tabs:
- home decor
- for teens
So we have 10 directions we can go, and a mind map would look something like this:
Now it’s time to narrow it down even more. We’re going to click on the home decor tab, and look what we get:
Now you can draw new lines under home decor for:
- on a budget
- for apartments
- dollar store
- living room
- for renters
Maybe some of these ideas don’t appeal to you. Just add the ones that do.
Do you get the idea?
The further you narrow your search, the more specific your results will be.
So how does this help generate creative ideas?
The more you wiggle ideas around in your head, the easier it will be to find something that clicks. And by using this method, you only had to come up with one single idea to generate perhaps hundreds of pinned inspirations!
Something is going to catch your eye, click, and you’ll no longer be without ideas.
Here’s something important and encouraging to remember: everything starts with an idea.
Maybe you think some people pull amazing projects out of their heads, but if you really think about it, aren’t a lot of projects just tweaks of something else – to one degree or another? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel! Just take an idea, give it a personal tweak, and go with it.
Getting out of the ditch of no ideas fuels your creative mind and pushes you toward designing ideas of your own.
The more you feed your mind with ideas, the easier it will become to generate your own unique projects and get out of the idea famine.
On the other hand, sometimes you may find yourself with so much inspiration that you actually feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to even start.
I’ve been here lots of times and it’s just as frustrating as having no ideas at all because there’s no way you can do everything at once.
Maybe you’re also one of those people who operates in the “open window” mode – when the window is open and the ideas are flowing, it’s time to get busy. But once that rush of creative flow gets broken, it’s hard to get the same momentum going again.
If you find yourself with idea overload, you need to develop one habit: keep whatever form of organization you prefer with you!
- Are you a physical paper and pencil person? Keep a notebook handy to jot down all those ideas when they come.
- If you’re more of a digital note-keeper, create a special folder for organizing your ideas or download an app specifically for your creative project inspiration record keeping.
With your ideas on paper (or device) and out of your head, you free your brain of the clutter of so many popping ideas and can apply that mental energy to seeing a project to completion instead.
Make a prioritized list of what you want to work on and set the lower-priority projects aside for now.
This may seem like a simplified solutions, but the next time you’re overwhelmed with ideas, give it a try. I think you’ll find it to be a handy way to ditch the overwhelm, without losing the collection of ideas.
Does it seem strange that your creativity needs some guidelines – instead of abandoned freedom?
While the expression of your creativity needs unhindered room to move around, the practical side needs a system to beat the challenges that clutter it or keep it stifled. A little planning makes all the difference between having the space, time, and mental energy to express it, or being frustrated by the abundance or lack of ideas.
Give your creativity the room and freedom it needs to grow by following a few practical, organizational steps. You’ll be amazed by how much difference it makes.
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