What seems to be a setback, error or limitation, may often be valuable for encouraging more creative thinking and innovation.
Valerie Young writes about two “mistakes” that resulted in very successful products:
“Did you know, for example, that Post-It-Notes were the result of what 3M Company researchers at first thought to be a bad batch of glue?
Maybe you kept a diary – or still do. Or use a notebook as a helpful tool for personal growth, to track thinking and inspiration.
Artists, as well as entrepreneurs and other creative people, often use storyboards, journals, mindmapping and other idea tools for developing creative projects.
How important is it to identify yourself as an artist – to others, and especially to yourself?
What if you don’t get awards for your creative work? What if it isn’t even seen by others?
Are you still an artist if you are doing something else for survival?
Psychologist Robert Maurer has worked with many creative people and researches the dynamics of success. He comments:
“The people who love their craft and see themselves as artists, and carry that identity through and study each day… are the people who thrive. To me, that’s the only definition of success that matters.”
[Continued from Part 1]
Musician Henry Rollins commented about being a performer and staying healthy on road tours:
“Eating well is becoming easier on the road as more places are health conscious. Gyms are easy to find anywhere there’s electricity and traffic.
“Time is the hard part. I do my best and I learned a long time ago that without recuperative sleep, good nutrition and constant exercise, this high stress lifestyle of traveling, etc. quickly takes a toll. I just see it as a very important thing and make sure I get it done.”
From my article Taking Care of Your Creative Self.
Good self-care is taking steps daily, even hourly, to stay replenished with the energy and positive attitude needed to be productively creative.
One way is to slow down or shift our thinking about having “too much to do.”
Entrepreneur coach Molly Gordon writes about this kind of shift:
“The act of making something new makes us vulnerable.”
That is a comment by artist and creative business consultant Lisa Sonora Beam, who writes in her book “The Creative Entrepreneur” about the variety of challenges that creative people face in developing a piece of artwork, a small business, or themselves as a writer or other artist – the central element of a creative endeavor.
She notes people may “experience a kind of mythic divide” between their creative work and business practicalities.
“This split can create tension and even trauma for the creative soul who is blessed with passion and purpose yet cursed by the seemingly mysterious realm of strategies and skills that are necessary to make an idea real.”
She notes that her book “addresses the three main issues that can result in creative business failure: emotional and psychological blockages, faulty thinking about the creative process, and a lack of practical business knowledge.”
One approach she finds very helpful for herself and clients is visual journaling:
“It is one of the most powerful tools I know to gain insight, solve problems, and explore new ideas without the pressure to produce a product… it is an appealing and unique vehicle for entrepreneurial explorations.
“If you have trouble with the word journal, call it a sketchbook or a notebook. Sketches and notes are never confused with the work they ultimately inspire.”
“But millions of people make another sort of choice, maybe only as part-time employment if you count the money they earn but as their full-time identity: they become artists.”
And, he adds, “they struggle.”
[Quotes from his site www.makingyourcreativemark.com]
In one of the chapters (“The Stress Key”) of his new book “Making Your Creative Mark,” he writes about how the creative life can be an ongoing source of stress – if we interpret or frame it as such.
This series of posts on “How To Be More Creative” offers articles, books and other resources on developing creative thinking and innovation, and enhancing our creative expression.
My other Creative Mind posts, hopefully, do that as well – but these new posts specifically provide brief excerpts of selected material by other authors that have a more “how to” flavor. Feel free to make any comments or suggestions.
by Gregory Ciotti
“Have you ever wished you were more creative? If you do creative work, have you ever suffered from a creative block and been stuck wondering what exactly is wrong, and how you can get yourself out of it?”
There are a number of examples of people bold enough and entrepreneurial enough to create and publish their own books, often leading to being traditionally published and marketed.
Christopher Paolini began writing “Eragon” at the age of 15 and his parents decided to self-publish the novel, which was re-published by Alfred A. Knopf.
“The Artist’s Way” began as a collection of “tips and hints from different artists and authors” by Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan. After it was turned down by literary agency William Morris, they self-published it and it was later published by Jeremy Tarcher (Penguin) in 1992.
The book was eventually put into the “Self-Publishing Hall of Fame” after “selling millions of copies worldwide.” [Wikipedia]
Author and personal development coach Tama Kieves self-published her first book “This Time I Dance!: Creating the Work You Love” and its level of popularity led to Tarcher/Penguin re-publishing new editions.
How can parents, educators and business leaders support people to become more creative, innovative and entrepreneurial?
“Innovation-minded parents encouraged their children’s play, passion and purpose.”
Tony Wagner is currently the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and the founder and former co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
The quote above is paraphrased from his article My View: Creating innovators, in which he notes that many people believe that “America’s economic future depends on more students taking courses in science, technology, engineering and math.”
“However,” he adds, “it is clear to me that the more important goal is for all students to graduate from high school or college ‘innovation-ready,’ and merely requiring students to take more of the same kinds of classes will not be adequate preparation.”