The traits of inattention, impulsiveness, restlessness, daydreaming, lack of social skills, enthusiasm, hyperactivity, and difficulty in finishing projects are descriptive of successful and creative people as well as “ADDers.” – Karen Daniel
A psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity suggests “The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self … Imaginative people have messier minds.” also stating “It’s actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self”. – Gregoire Huffington Post (2017).
We are creative beings by nature, every one of us has creativity inside of us. But what happens when an overload of ideas leads to unfinished projects and a feeling of lack of inspiration? I certainly have been feeling this intensely over the last couple of weeks during lock down, which has got me writing this blog post to let out my thoughts on the topic of creativity and some interesting tips and ideas I have found to help gain clarity to produce authentic passionate work.
After reading an article from Karen Daniel’s ‘How to Focus the Creative Mind to Achieve success ( which I have posted below) after having one too many of my own full blown creative blocks recently, I began searching for answers. My question today is surrounding how to manage the mind when it pushes to over create, when too many projects and ideas are going at once in your head and your brains tells you have to do them all super fast in a small space of time to keep up, ultimately leading to a feeling of overload, fatigue and lack of clarity.
So, let’s get real honest.. Yesterday I had a moment of pure frustration because I couldn’t accomplish everything I wanted to creatively in that day, I wanted to paint, write, read, edit a video and plan a timetable for my dissertation. Not much right? Welcome to my brain.
I literally felt stuck and surrounded by my ideas in my head yet with nothing physically completed. I had something I once liked to call ‘the creative block’ as a dancer, however I am now beginning to dig deeper into why I experience this more frequently as I have gained more interests and skills. I believed the more creative I would become.. the further I would want to create to grow my ideas, however I have learned that the more creative I have become.. I more critical I have allowed myself to be against my own work whether it be dance, writing or art work that I am producing.
Things I am learning and wish to share to get you through your creative blockages..
Have no fear of perfectionism, you’ll never reach it – Salvador Dali
We often forget to remember why we first started what we love to do the most, what did it feel like when you were a child first beginning something? When perfectionism did not come into play and you created because it felt amazing and there was no other place your mind was other than that right there and not with the end result in fear of what might or not come of your creative ideas. This is something that helps me let go of thinking ahead or behind at the way that my work may or might not turn out.
Just create. Stop overthinking it. There is only one you.
We are living in a world of connection with inspiration everywhere, it is a beautiful thing to be able to watch so many wonderful creators in every part of the world sharing their process, work and teachings across online platforms. But don’t fall into the comparison trap, as I admittedly have and still do fall into occasionally. Envy is natural and part of our human nature, at its root envy stems from Leon Festinger’s 1954 Social Comparison theory in which people looks for positive traits in others to motivate personal growth.
Remembering your why.
Something I believe really helps me when I feel an overload of information is to take some time away from screens and social media to connect back to myself to just create anything I feel like with no outer source (except a book and music) to feel connected to. I believe after all, we should create because we love to and not to please or compare our work to others.
Letting go of perfectionism, connecting to myself and remembering my why are three key ways that are helping me calm my hyper creative mind, I hope you find these helpful on your journey of creations!
Creativity takes courage – Henri Matisse
I have posted a painting I completed today as I enjoyed a Sunday afternoon with Bob Marley’s 432Hz blaring through my headphones, I have recently started listening to 432 frequency music (I have posted a few below) to listen as I create anything! Science studies have shown results of the frequency of 432hz to be able to slow down the heart rate raising your vibration putting you in the here and now. A randomised control trial (also below) results shows the effectiveness of listening to this frequency of music on patients undergoing root canal surgery, significantly reducing anxiety.
If you enjoy listening to music as you work.. I highly recommend you give this a try to get you in the ultimate creative zone.
i like this: “Yesterday I had a moment of pure frustration because I couldn’t accomplish everything I wanted to creatively in that day, I wanted to paint, write, read, edit a video and plan a timetable for my dissertation.” Often i have entire days like this. There is so much i want to do, creatively, i have yet to overcome, sometimes i sucomb to depression in these moments. But yes you captured something real and true to the creative mind, a sense of being overwhelmed by ideas and i experience it too!
Thank you.It’s so lovely to connect and read your response, I think it is also a blessing that we are able to have so many ideas in our mind, it’s trying to structure them that I am working on…
Have a wonderful day!
Many beautiful things take courage. Releasing the need for perfection is a beautiful thing and more beauty can come from it. I loved all of what you’ve said here. Creative minds are messy and disordered. Maybe others are neater and more organised in their thinking, but I’m sure they have a lot less fun (: