Tapping into your creativity is not something that always comes easily. The stressors of life can often sabotage creative energy making pursuing your artistic craft challenging. Believe me, I know. There are so many times, especially after a long day at work, when writing is the last thing that I want to do.
But when the creativity flows, it is a wonderful thing. I was asked just recently what inspires my creativity and it got me thinking . . . what is the catalyst that triggers this creativity? In reflecting on this, I realized that there is one critical element . . . BEING OPEN.
Being open to possibilities,
And to advice.
It is being willing to try new things,
And explore other avenues.
To being willing and able to look at our work with a new, objective pair of eyes.
To give an analogy, I have a word game app on my phone that is quite addictive. The object is to find words (they must be in a straight line) out of the blocks of letters given; only other letters may block you from using the intended word. You can, however, utilize a SCRAMBLING option that re-arranges the letters to give you a new perspective on the letters. By doing so, words that you hadn’t seen earlier may then appear. It is this fresh new viewpoint that allows you TO SEE SOLUTIONS.
That is what often happens in life. We sometimes become so stuck in our routines that we become complacent and comfortable—perhaps too comfortable. Case in point, our commute to work. Do you find yourself on autopilot in the morning? Sometimes even driving the route to work when you meant to drive somewhere else?
My son had to do a school project two years ago. On his own, he came up with the idea of a YES Challenge. It was designed to challenge others to try new things—to help others step outside of their comfort zone. I liked his YES Challenge so much that I added it to this blog site.
The YES Challenge provides a week’s worth of challenges emailed one per day. The challenges are not scary or difficult; they are simply suggestions of new things to try—like taking a new route to work.
In doing this challenge, I discovered that my regular path to work was not the fastest or direct route. This challenge allowed me to discover a better route to work (not even Waze-endorsed).
Not only that, I discovered a lot of new interesting sights on the way—newly constructed buildings and buildings with elaborate paintings on the side, a row of storefronts I hadn’t seen before, college students interacting . . . new stimuli that could possibly help me with my writing.
I am in the process of editing the first draft of my next book. Not fun at all. This editing (and I will write about this later) requires a willingness to change and often delete content. To make creative work better, you have to be willing to let go of things that you might hold dear. You have to be open to edits. I recently decided to rearrange a sequence of events and delete a scene in my book. You could say that I scrambled things up. And the result is much better.
Being open means that we are willing to look at things through a new lens. That is when we RECEIVE.
We receive ideas.
We receive flow.
We see things differently and become inspired.
If you are looking to scramble things up and get a fresh new perspective on your life, then I encourage you to take the YES Challenge. Every day, for the next seven days, you will receive an emailed challenge. Give it a try. Shake things up and be open . . . I think you will be pleasantly surprised.