If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.
Okay so today I sit down to write and I really, really don’t feel like it. But a promise is a promise. I had no ideas. No motivation. No clue where to start. Mark Twain is quoted as saying “write what you know” and today I know that I don’t feel creative. Here is the exact process I used to eventually come up with something today.
I open a new tab and have a scour through Medium for anything that piques my interest. Darius Foroux has an interesting piece on taking a holiday to increase work productivity (Darius’ Post) but I end up being side-tracked and look at potential holiday destinations (both Portugal and Greece are possibilities). I do the rounds of some of my usual blogs to get some inspiration (Seth Godin, the Creative Live blog and Wait But Why) and I enjoy some good reads but nothing has got me started on an idea. At this point, it is time to check my Google Sheet with blog post topics but ultimately nothing catches my attention. A break from sitting at my laptop and picking up a physical book is my go to but for some reason today I haven’t done that.
Look at Something Visual
When designing I like to look around the web for inspiration. I have a folder of images that I add to as I go. No plans to design today so this goes on the backburner and I turn my attention back to writing. Visuals are something that I always tend to turn back to regardless of what I am working on. Casey Neistat plays the Godfather films on loop in his studio, Jay-Z wrote an entire album after watching American Gangster. Using visuals as a cue for creative pursuits is nothing new. A photo could inspire a clothing design, an album, a film or a novel if you are open to the idea.
We all know we should exercise. A run usually jolts my brain into action but today I didn’t run so I won’t dwell on this point (note to self: get a daily run planned).
Take a Shower
Without fail the place where most of my ideas happen. I like to say it’s where I get my thinking done. There are studies out there that describe the release of dopamine in aiding creativity and I have read that your subconscious works on a problem whilst you are engaged in something else (I can’t find the reference for this at the moment but Buffer have an interesting piece). If in doubt, take a break and have a shower.
Just Do Something
To be creative it helps to be well rested, to exercise, to have some form of inspiration but even then it can feel like you are hitting your head against a brick wall. Scores of writers attest to a routine of just sitting down and writing every day, some of the best songs are written by hitting record and just playing, scientific discoveries have been made by accident. Sometimes the best way to create is to get down to it and create. I had no idea about what to write about today. If it turns out bad I’ll chalk it up to practice and learn from it. I still don’t feel like writing anything today. I mean I really, really don’t feel like it.