It’s hard to be creative on demand and planning creative time is almost an oxymoron. How do you plan WHEN to be creative? Sure a deadline can be a great motivator but getting creative on a timeframe is often a challenge. Many artistic people will talk about “when inspiration strikes” or about waking bolt upright in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea. But how do you manage being creative when you’ve only a limited amount of time in your schedule? How do you create creativity?
Your medium (whether it be art, music, the written word, website design or creating great advertising copy) and the team that surrounds you (or lack of team if you’re a solopreneur) will influence how you go about flipping the creative switch to “ON.” Today, you can troll the Internet for inspiration and certainly you can look inwardly for significant events that might be turned into working material. Blogging for a consortium of dental professionals I was able to turn a recent uninsured $1350.00 dental bill into two separate blogs: one on how to negotiate the financing of treatment costs and the other concerning the various pain management techniques used during dental procedures. So, writing from life experience is one way to get the creative juices flowing, especially if you’re alone in running your business. If you’re part of a team however, you have the luxury of huddling with them behind closed doors – engaging in “free-thinking” or “thought-shower” sessions – talk about generating creative energy!
With either method, creativity, like almost anything else, requires work. You need to put the effort in to get the end product out. You need to invest time, you need to fuel your mind, body and soul appropriately and you need to practice it like you practice any other skill. That might mean that while your “brainwave” struck at 3am, you need to work at the process of refining your great idea during regular business hours. When working, you also need to ensure you are properly rested, adequately hydrated and running on a “full tank.” Sound familiar? Whether you are an athlete or in advertising, you’re still a human being and we work best when we take the best possible care of ourselves. It may sound simple but it’s also true. It’s hard to be creative when the tank is running on empty!
How often have you heard “Practice, practice, practice?” One of the best methods for encouraging “spontaneous” creativity and improving your creative potential is to do EVEN MORE WRITING. Take note of every idea you have and jot them down. You can always review each one later to flesh them out and see if they’ve got “legs.” Not every idea will have merit and some should die a natural death. However, that idea you typed into “Notes” on your iphone when you saw a trucker pull his air horn for a bunch of school kids? You might well turn it into a humorous “Back to School” article about the iconic things kids like to do while riding the school bus. Whether you use pen and paper or an electronic format, keep some form of ongoing diary or recording of your many ideas and one day, when your stuck for inspiration, a search through one of your “old” notes might prove fruitful.
The idea of being creative can be particularly hard on the entrepreneur who wears multiple hats while supporting their business. If you’re multi-tasking, coming up with good ad copy, blog material or website content might seem daunting. My simple suggestion here is to “write what you know.” Throw everything you know about your product or service at the screen and once all the words are there you can start the process of weeding out what you don’t need and playing around creatively with what you choose to keep. It’s a bit like planting a garden: you sketch the plan, dig out the border, plant, tend and water and then – you occasionally have to pull out some weeds. It’s work and it might take some time to see the results of your creativity. So you can create creativity, it just takes a little planning, a lot of tending and some careful culling.
As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed? Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.
Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.
Writing Right For You
Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!