There are certain key elements that each of us need in place to enjoy a prolific and creative life, however different we are in how and what we create.
One of these Keys To Creativity is simply learning to acknowledge your creative progress, something most of us spend very little time doing.
What usually happens is that even if we’re highly creative, because we’re with ourselves all of the time, it’s very difficult to maintain an objective point of view and see how we’re developing.
How often do you feel – even if you’re creating regularly – that you’re work is pretty much the same, and you’re not really developing at all as an artist?
The issue in fact isn’t that you aren’t developing. It’s like we just mentioned, because you are too close to see, you don’t realise just how much you have evolved, and continue to evolve.
An effective exercise to help with this is to take an hour or so to just delve into your own creative history.
Take some recent work that you’ve created and been relatively pleased with. Then go back 6 months and see what kind of stuff you were creating back then.
What’s different in your latest work? How have you developed in what you’re creating? Maybe more importantly, how much easier to you find it to create now than 6 months ago?
You can use the answer to this last question to help you be more creative, whichever way it turns out.
For example if you find that it’s much easier to create now than you found it 6 months ago, notice what the key differences are. What’s the difference that’s made the difference? What are you doing now that you weren’t doing 6 months ago that’s enabled you to create more freely? How can you develop this even further as you go forward?
If you find the opposite, that you actually you were finding it easier to create 6 months ago, then again you can follow the same line of curious questioning. What was (or wasn’t) happening 6 months ago that is/isn’t happening now. Again, what’s the difference that’s made the difference? Once you identify the tiny details that help you be more creative, plan how you can introduce them back into your creative life more today.
You can then repeat this exploration into your creative history and go back a year, 2 years or 5 years.
By using this technique every 6 months or so, you’ll be amazed at how much you actually do progress in your creativity, even if you feel you’re getting nowhere.
Begin acknowledging your progress today. You’ll find as well giving you more confidence and encouragement, it will help you identify some of the most important tiny details that for you can mean all the difference in how creative you are.