Creating more Creativity

Trying to be creative is sometimes very frustrating. Sometimes it is as if the muses have died out completely, while we sit there waiting for some inspiration. In articular, it can be hard to get in touch with our creative self if we have been neglecting it for some time. It goes into hiding if you don’t massage it on a regular basis and keep it awake. If we leave the creative self hanging out to dry for even shorter periods—even if we have years of experience in the creative field behind us—it gets back on us but short circuiting the creative connection. The muses die out on us.

The reality is that nothing encourages and develops creativity more than creating—being creative. It doesn’t matter what field you are exploring creatively, be it photography, writing, painting, design, performances, music or any other creative activity. Whatever we do, we need to keep doing it on a regular basis. If we want to develop our creative skills, become better and more profound in what we do, we need to keep creating—all the time. And we need to work creatively even when the result is mediocre and not what we want it to be. If we stop and just wait for inspiration to come, we only stagnate even more. Even more so, when we feel we have lost the inspiration—that’s when you have to push yourself through the wall of self-doubt and discouragement. Make mediocre art if that’s what comes out of your creative self. And don’t worry about it—and certainly don’t whip yourself for it. It’s only a temporary state, anyway. At some point the muses kick in again, and you become inspired and your creative skills start developing again. It’s like playing on the beach. As soon as you start, it’s hard to stop.

Being creative encourages creativity. That’s why I have made it a rule for myself to do at least one personal photo shoot or project each week (I am a photographer after all!). I usually shoot much more, being assigned to do so. And that’s adding to the creative equation, too. But I want to make sure I develop my personal photography as well, and once a week is what I can spare of my time during busy weeks, and when it’s less busy, it still forces me to go out and be creative. It’s been a good way to keep my creative spirit going—and developing.

How do you keep developing your creative skills and staying inspired?

88 thoughts on “Creating more Creativity

  1. It’s so true. There are days when I find inspiration lacking, when I feel as though what I’m writing and creating is far from perfect but it’s so important to persevere. Pushing through barriers and creating anything at least keeps those juices flowing. Have a great week Otto.

  2. You’re so right, Otto. You have to keep “showing up” or your creativity will wane. Pick up the camera, sit at the computer, pick up a sketch pad, etc. etc. Even when you’re not feeling at all inspired. 🙂

      1. Yeap u r absolutely right but with determination and undeterred can still make that invisible light takes only You to do that

  3. If one only infrequently uses creativity, it’s going to be difficult. On the other hand, regularly being creative doesn’t mean blocks won’t occur. For them I would say step away for a little or return to the basics.

  4. I like what you’ve said about doing mediocre work. Do it, and don’t whip yourself for it. Maybe you burn it afterwards, but do it anyway. It’s one of the positives of being creative as a job, it forces you to keep going even when you don’t feel like it, but in the end it keeps you going and eventually you end up with a better relationship with your muses.

  5. For the past 3 years I have participated in a year long photo challenge. Different prompt every week, and it makes me find something, see something, that I can shoot. Otherwise, there would probably be times I didn’t ever get my camera out.

  6. I can certainly identify with this. Whenever there is that lull that lasts too long, it takes a major effort to get back in. When we try to keep doing a little something regularly, it doesn’t feel so hard. Mind you, there are times, even when you do try to create something regularly when the muse snubs her nose at you!

  7. Hola a Todos 🙂
    I think Creativity is Permanent state of mind to Us all. Without Creativity, our living would not make any sense.
    Living requires Constant Creativity.
    Sure, human being has many creative skills; either for Creating the Beautiful or for Creating the Ugly as widely demonstrated throughout his whole History. (ain’t no talkin’ about Art!:P)
    But to me, and ‘sorry if I’m off topic Otto 😉 can I say that “Staying Alive” to us All truly implies Creativity on daily basis, and no matter what our Lives are made of…
    Make it Last! 😉
    and Enjoy your Day!

  8. It seems like to get “creativity” back we can give up and keep at it.. It needs a lot of discipline not to get discouraged … that is hard!

  9. I took a trip to see my family and took lots of photos-some were very bad because it wa so bright and I could not see my settings. I spent a lot of time editing when I got home and neglected actually going out to do some shoots. It is peak birding season-time to get out again, and with Canada Day coming, time to shore up my skills at night photography.

    1. There is always so much one can do when practicing photography. And there is always a conflict between wanting to shoot more and spending more time with the editing process.

  10. Agree. Creating creativity and sustaining its disciplined repeats, is an effort in itself. Otto, please share your secret, (if it may be possible) to boost our dedication over creating uninterrupted creations to let continue the Creations create further creative aspirations for the rest.

    1. I don’t think there are any secrets to creativity and to being disciplined about it. It’s all about doing. The secret may be to not be too concerned about the result and others’ opinion about it at any given time.

  11. As far as my own creativity goes, I reflect back on my last “project”, be it an oil painting or some cgi artwork or gardening or cooking recipe– what became of the original idea, which evolved into something that hardly resembled that idea… but I was satisfied with its final result. I also must give credit to other “artists”, whose works have inspired me into being more “courageous” with my own tools and imagination– all of which keeps me motivated into all that I enjoy in my everyday life.

  12. In periods of ‘creative frustration’ I find that narrowing down the subject or area of interest is helpful – perhaps choosing a very restricted area, just a few metres across; a specific theme; a pictorial element such as line, texture, colour, shape; viewing the work of other artists etc’ I don’t fund wandering out with camera in hand wondering what I can photograph to be a very productive approach! Having a purpose sharpens the attention and awareness.

  13. Lovely post, Otto, and I think it’s true that we can get out of the creative habit. Our muses fall asleep and we have to make a commitment to wake them up. 🙂 I write every day, and when the creative stream feels blocked, I push myself and write anyway… for hours. Sometimes it’s torturous, but eventually, the dam opens and things start flowing again. I love the idea that you purposely take time to develop your art, and it sounds like you enjoy it. 🙂

  14. Hello Otto,
    Such a relevant and poignant topic for me.
    Thank you for the gentle reminder.
    After a period of busyness with travel and some courses, my photography has certainly taken a back seat. I seem less inclined to take my camera out lately, whereas when I was shooting regularly, I could feel a sense of ‘I need to go out and capture another image’…
    Here’s to creative inspiration for us all
    💐💐 Di

      1. Thank you Otto,
        I think I am, in a totally unexpected way.
        But I did get out to capture flowers again on Wednesday…
        Have a lovely weekend,
        Di 🙋🏻💐

  15. This is so true. You have to continue practicing what you want to perfect. Because of my job, I haven’t had as much time for photography or writing or blogging as I used to have, and I can feel the effect when I pick up my camera or try to write. It’s much harder, but still so worthwhile!

  16. I agree with you, Otto. I did let my novel writing muse die and it hasn’t come back to life. I’m afraid the same happened to my guitar playing muse as well. We just need to keep at it even when we feel the results are not what we’d like them to be.

    1. However, it’s never too late to wake up the sleeping muse again. It just takes some time to get it really going. I haven’t been drawing since I was in my twenties, but I did start to draw again not long ago. Nothing spectacular, but that is not the point. Just wanted to get back into the habit again.

      1. I trust what you say is true. I’ve been wanting to play again, but somehow the guitar box lock doesn’t seem to open 🙂 On my way to Stockholm shortly…hopefully I’ll find some new inspiration there.

  17. Like you, I just make myself get out there with the camera. Usually that’s not difficult! These days, with all the packing for the move, I’m not getting out much at all, but I still pick up the camera at least a few times a week, probably more, and look around with fresh eyes.

    1. And I am sure when you have settled again you are going to shoot a lot more. However, it’s great that you are able to keep shooting with all the packing going on.

  18. Even though sometimes it is so difficult to find the time time, or worse, the inspiration, this is so very, very true, Otto.
    As always, a wonderful post.
    Thank you.
    Have a great week ahead!

  19. “And we need to work creatively even when the result is mediocre and not what we want it to be.” That is the most difficult part to stick to, but such a necessary reminder.

  20. I’ve been struggling a good bit since Memorial Day, when I took time to visit family in Kansas City, and then spent two weeks with a cousin I’d invited to come back to Texas with me visit for a while. It was the hardest two weeks I’ve had in years; I discovered she didn’t enjoy being outdoors, had no interest in nature, and didn’t seem to have much curiosity about anything. By the time our visit ended, I was exhausted, and felt as though I’d been completely sapped of fuel for my creative engine.

    Of course, that brings me right around to your question: how to get that engine started again. I have topics galore to write about, and piles of photos waiting to be processed and shared — yet I sit down at the computer and stare. I suspect part of the trick, for me, will be to opt for short projects rather than large, and look for whatever feels like it might be fun — even if it seems a little odd or quirky to everyone else!

    1. Short steps are always easier to start with than the big jumps, isn’t it. Sorry to hear about your exhausting visitor, but hopefully you will find the way back to your creative well.

  21. This year has been very hard on me creatively… every day life keeps getting in the way. This weekend I made the decision to stay home and work on my photography… just messing around in Lightroom and Photoshop to get the juices flowing. Yes, it’s very easy to fall asleep creatively but I know even doing something tiny can keep it alive… I keep telling myself that and now I need to act on it!

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