How to Stop Trying to Be Creative, and Just Create

As a women's life coach I meet many people who would like to be more creative. I've found the problem to be lack of creative freedom, not creative inability. Somewhere down the line they had their creative endeavors squelched by a harsh critique, a disapproving parent, a friend who was "just kidding", or a superior who could never be pleased. Just one of those scenarios is enough to make anyone think twice about putting themselves out there creatively.

I've realized one other thing: the more you try to be creative, the more difficult it becomes. Instead, I'd like you to know that creativity is innate; it's natural. Follow along and I will show you how to stop fretting and just create!

There are several steps that I take clients through in order to bring about the natural, fulfilling creativity that resides in all of us. The exercise is called S.P.A.R.K., AND IT WORKS! And, of course, you are welcome to add to this or throw out whatever does not serve you. This is about you and your creativity, not me and my silly acronyms. Have fun and see what wonderful creations come from inside of you!

S - Start Simple
P - Pull from the past
A - Accept your creations
R - Realize you ARE creative
K - Keep good company

Now, here's the meat...

1. Start Simple - If your creative juices have all but dried up, it's imperative to start slowly and allow them to come naturally. In other words, don't go off and spend a fortune on art supplies and quit your day job. This process is going to take some much is up to you, but I do know baby steps work better. You'll know when it's time to move faster.

2. Pull from the past - Can you remember a time as a child that brings a natural smile to your face? I hope that you all can. When you have it clearly in your mind, I want you to creatively express what you are feeling through whatever medium you want. Write a poem or song about it; draw or paint a picture of it; recreate it with your own child; take photos of a child; visualize it. It doesn't matter how you do this; what matters is that you are sending a signal to your brain that says to relate creativity to joy and playfulness.

3. Accept your creations - This is not the time to seek perfection...honestly, no time is a good time to seek perfection. It's a creativity killer. Furthermore, comparing yourself to others and their work is also one way to bring doubt and stop the creative flow. Celebrate every little thing you do that shows a piece of who you are. Be proud of yourself. Love yourself.

4. Realize you ARE creative - You are an individual who sees the world in a way that no one else does. You are you. That in itself is a creative miracle. So, it's reasonable to say that what you create is just as special as you are. You already possess everything you need to show the world what you're made of. For the love of god, give yourself some credit!

5. Keep great company - Community is an important part of creativity. Find someone who is like-minded and shares a common interest with you. You also need to trust that this person will be kind and gentle when it comes to critiquing your creations. Be specific when asking for their opinion. If you just want a proofread of your latest short story, then say so. That way you won't get more than you asked for. Remember, that works both ways. Don't give them more than they ask for either.

This is just a sample of the creative tricks I have up my sleeve. If you want to read more about creativity and other self-improvement topics, visit my life-changing e-zine, Women's Life Link. When you get there, drop me an email and I'll send you a pre-sale copy of my new mini book, Out of Your Mind Creativity. Be well - be creative!

Photo: Stuart Miles /

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