Friday, January 1, 2010

How To Be More Creative (or If You Snooze, You Lose, So Use Your Muse)

Since it's the beginning of a new month, a new year, and a new decade, I'm sure there are lots of you out there thinking about the future. You're probably making new plans to better yourself somehow, so I'm here to help.

But what could I possibly impart to you that will help you with all your new plans? Not much, I confess. But lately I've been bumping up my creativity levels, so I thought I could share with you some pointers on how you, too, can be more creative (or find your muse, if that's what you like to call it).

1. Learn to Let Go

I don't know about the rest of you, but I like being in control of things. That's what we adults do best. But being creative requires a bit of flexibility. So learn to let go a little. And don't expect perfection, either. Being creative and being perfect aren't very good companions. At least, not when you first pair them together. So, let go and enjoy the process.

2. Experiment

Creativity comes in many forms. It could be sculpting or painting, drawing or etching glass. It could be sewing or crocheting, knitting or doing needlepoint. It could be writing poetry or novels, essays or love letters. It could be playing an instrument or singing, dancing or songwriting. It could be magic tricks, or basket weaving, or landscaping the garden. Experiment until you find what works for you.

3. Start Young, Stay Young

Young children are masters at creativity. They attack their creations with reckless abandon. And it's been said that those who are creative when young tend to be creative when they are older. So it's a good idea to start when you're young. (It's a less painful place to start, anyway.)

But that doesn't really help those who aren't still children, does it? So for the rest of you, find your inner child and learn how to feel young again. Find a way to stay young when you're being creative, and you'll have a whole lot more fun that if you try to be a stuffy adult.

5. Try, Try Again

Creativity doesn't come easily, especially to those who haven't exercised it in a while. So don't give up if you can't think of something to paint, or aren't sure which type of basket you are going to learn to weave, or you're staring at an empty page instead of the poem you intended to write. Creativity takes practice, so keep trying. Eventually you'll thank yourself. And you'll have a finished product you can be proud of, too.

6. Have Fun

If you aren't having fun, then what's the point?

May your year be filled with lots of creativity, and may your muse visit you soon! Happy New Year, everyone!

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