For us as creative people, everything begins with an idea. Without any ideas, there is no creativity, no raw material to mold and shape into wonderful artistic creations. But often, it feels like we haven’t had a great idea in ages, and we may even wonder if we’re capable of having ANY idea again, let alone a great one.
So here is your 3-step guide to having a steady stream of new creative ideas:
- The idea mindset. First of all, you need to believe that you are capable of having an idea at any moment, wherever you are. When you believe, “I never have any good ideas,” obviously it’s not the most fertile ground for ideas to naturally develop. Imagine a red diary, a torn photo of a derelict shack in the middle of the woods, and a woman stumbling along the roadside. What stories could you come up with combining those 3 elements? Whether you’re a writer or any other kind of artist, your creative imagination kicks into gear as soon as it’s invited and starts making connections with what it’s been presented with. That’s the beginning of the ideas mindset, believing that ideas can appear at any time, as long as you're open to welcoming them in.
- Being prepared. Ideas are swimming around in your mind the whole time, and when you claim you never have any ideas, what in fact you mean is that you never record any of those ideas, so yes, it feels like you never have any. There are a few easy ways to be prepared to capture your ideas and the simplest is to just carry a small notebook with you wherever you go. Then as soon as you have an idea sparked off in your mind by something you see or hear or experience, you have a way of capturing it. Other alternatives are a voice recorder of some kind or a camera. Use whichever you’re most comfortable with and best suits your main creative mediums.
- Capture. So you have the mindset, you have the device(s) to record your ideas--it’s time to capture them. The moment an idea hits, capture it in its essence. The key is to get down the details in a concise form, and with all of the energy and possibility of the idea captured. This is so when you return to that idea, it leaps off the page and fills you with the same excitement and promise as the moment it first came to you. If you want to order your ideas in some way as you go, you can, but the most important part is to get down the core essence.
Follow these 3 steps and you’ll find the more ideas you capture, the more will flow to you to fill their place. The irony is, your creative mind won’t actually be working any harder – the ideas have always been there bubbling away – just now you have a way a skimming the surface and gathering up those ideas to use for any creative projects you wish.
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