1. Creativity takes time and silent space.
Each of us, who have creative talents needs to stake out some quiet time regularly. You can schedule time daily or a couple of days a week. This needs to be an appointment and commitment you keep with yourself.
2. There are cycles of creativity.
Just as there are seasons in a year and cycles in preparing, planting, nurturing, waiting and harvesting – there are creative cycles. We are not always in the harvesting phase. We do go through the dormant cycles of winter that feel as though nothing is happening. When we honor this, we complete the cycle and move into the planting and harvesting phases.
3. Select mentors, friends and dream partners wisely.
I will paraphrase Helen Gurley Brown’s quote “Don’t expect anyone to be happy for your success or big dreams. If you have a loved one and a friend or two who are happy for you, consider yourself lucky.” Other people can stop your project or idea before you even act on it. So, carefully select who you invite to be on your creative team. Yes, still be friends with lots of people. When it comes to working creatively, choose like minds and train them to be honest, yet unconditionally constructive.
4. Commit to yourself.
Many women feel guilty when they take the time to engage in their projects. It may mean having a messy house, not over committing and saying no. In one study of women and creativity the biggest fear was fear of lost or weakened relationships. We still need to be connected. This may mean speaking with friends, lovers and children about staying connected and nurtured during this process.
5. Set strong boundaries.
“I say no to many things, so that I may say Yes to what gives me life.” paraphrased from Oprah Winfrey – We need strong boundaries so that we have energy and time for our creations.
6. Work from your strengths.
“If you were to spend 80% of your effort to become good at a weakness you might improve that area 20%. But if you were to spend that same 80% of your effort to improve an area of strength, you might improve it 100-400% or more!” Cheryl Lackie
7. Fear is a companion of creativity. Make friends with fear.
Unless you have a high risk, thrill seeking personality you will experience fear when you venture out into unfamiliar territory. You can pause, look at it, slow down for a moment. However, do NOT let it stop you! Susan Jeffers wrote in her book, FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY, that the only way to lessen the fear is to do the thing we are afraid of. We are always in a higher state of emotional arousal when we try something new. Expect it, redefine it as performance energy and move on.
8. Stop criticizing yourself.
We can defeat ourselves before we start by constantly feeling we come up short. When you try something new always stay positive about your performance. Yes, you can polish it and improve, but you don’t have to make yourself wrong to make something better.
9. Get over perfectionism.
When you have to do something perfectly, you will rarely try something new….because you can’t do it perfectly the first few times. Yes, do great work, but don’t hold onto it until it’s perfect. By the time it’s perfect, it’ll probably be outdated.
10. Play, have fun, feel joyful, get in the flow.
Finally, creativity is about play, fun and flow. When you lose track of time and have boundless energy, doing the thing you love, you know you’ve found your highest creative expression.
**NOTE** I didn’t write this, it was something that was sent to me via email many years ago (email date was 2003) so I’m taking the time to post this because I feel it is something well worth posting for all to read in general.