Checking in with your creative self is like flossing: you’re probably doing it less often than you should. Without some good old introspection, your process may become more ho-hum than “hooray!”—and it’ll reflect in your work.
Which is all the more reason to brush up on habits for minty fresh excellence:
Since Adult Society™ values working on weekends and burning through to-do lists, taking time to play is vastly underrated. But that which brings you joy can reinvigorate your work, too. As writer Tracy Brower found, “the distance from ‘Ha ha’ to ‘Ah ha’ is short.” (Bonus points for putting this on your letterboard.)
So break out the Silly Putty, revisit your favorite viral videos, and flex your funny bone. It’s all grist for the mill—or inspiration for a series of faux luxury car commercials.
Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like An Artist, offers some solid ways to stay motivated in this insightful talk. He references Anne Lamott, the Jedi master of all things creative: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
Next time you’re banging your head against a wall, go for a nice stroll, connect with your community, and explore with all your senses—free of digital distractions. Your future self will thank you.
Like any meaningful skill, developing your creative talent takes time. Growth mindset, much?
Once you’ve completed a project, think through your process and log your experience. Ask yourself: Did you enjoy this project, and why? What did you learn from your successes and challenges? Were there any aspects that could’ve gone better?
Apply your learnings to the next project. And the next. And the one after that. Eventually, ground-breaking genius will become part of your routine. You know, like flossing your teeth.
Have a highly hygienic weekend, everybody!
– Your cavity-free creative friends at Brokaw