If you’re like me, you’re always searching for how you can build your creative muscle, to develop it and what you are able to do.
I asked myself how do we find our creative edge and what do we do when we are there.
I thought of this little exercise as a way to develop our abilities, both in our skills and in our mindset, for being on our creative edge.
There is any easy way to get used to the creative edge:
Find something you don’t know how to do and make it up as you go.
The goal is to be intentional about finding something you don’t know how to do. We are, of course, faced with many things we don’t know how to do every day, but this exercise is meant to focus on one thing and train your ability to find a solution on your own and in your own way.
I have made a few instructions about doing this exercise as a practice that I thought would be helpful.
Find something “safe” to do. Nothing that has any real consequences if you make a mess. Stay away from job projects and clients and go with your own personal projects, whatever they are. Art, cooking, writing, programming, crafts, hobbies, etc. (Preferably nothing that will cause explosions!)
It doesn’t have to be original. We often get hooked on that creativity means it must be original. Being super original is a big challenge and not necessary for this exercise. It only has to be original for you. Something you haven’t ever done or tried.
Don’t get a how-to book. The idea is to make it up as you go. It doesn’t matter if you choose something that has been done a million times. The main point is that you haven’t. No reading instructions or finding templates or looking for anything similar to imitate. This would defeat the purpose.
I like to get information too, so this is a challenge for me too. I often get stuck in too-much-information mode and never get to creating. So leave all the expert advice aside for now.
Start with a question. If you aren’t sure where to start, then begin with a question. What new thing would I like to try? What haven’t I done before that I have been thinking of doing? Your brain will find answers for you, just keep asking until you find some new things to try.
Start small. Try not to overwhelm yourself with this exercise. There are likely lots of huge projects you would like to jump into, and if you know yourself well, then do that. Otherwise, start with a little step. A small thing you haven’t done before. It can be ingredients you have never cooked with or write a little story with a twist in the way you write it, or try a photography project using some found objects from your living room.
Strain yourself. In finding a solution to your challenge, make sure you push yourself. Whatever ideas you have, try to get a few more, and then take the time to really develop them. Feel free to go a little crazy.
Have some fun. Whatever you do, make it fun. Try taking a playful approach. Look at your problem from new perspectives.
Getting on your edge
I’ve often read articles about living life on the edge. I’ve pondered what exactly that meant and how one goes there. (Notice, I’ve been asking questions!)
This is how.
The edge is where the things you know how to do meet those that you don’t. This is where you get to make it up as you go. This is where you grow.
Remember these things when you go to your edge:
- Leave your perfectionism at the door. It doesn’t serve you.
- Focus on making a real effort.
- Gather your resources and let them work for you in new ways. Tthis includes how you feel, what moves you, what guides you and what brings joy.
- This is experimenting, finding what doesn’t work and what does.
- Face fears with courage and go on despite them.
- Feel yourself in action, doing and becoming. Feel what it is like to use your body in new ways as well. Show yourself creativity is doing.
If you do this practice exercise over and over, you start to appreciate your own abilities, you gain confidence, you get to see what you are capable of, and it might surprise you.
And one last thing. Whatever the result, be sure to give yourself a win. It’s very important to link up pleasure with expanding yourself. This will ensure that you are ready to come back tomorrow and push yourself once again.