So you’ve seen the name of this blog and maybe it sparked your interest – but you might still be wondering if being a clear-minded creative is even possible. Isn’t it a contradiction in terms?
After all, aren’t most creative people the opposite of clear-minded, with so many thoughts going round their heads they feel as if they might explode? Aren’t creative people spontaneous, confused and more often than not intoxicated?
It’s on the tip of my tongue..
I can’t deny that confusion, spontaneity and occasional hedonism are often part and parcel of a creative life. However there are great benefits to getting as clear-minded as possible if you want to really achieve something remarkable.
You know when you have the name of something on the “tip of your tongue” but no matter how hard you try you can’t think of it? Then ten minutes or an hour later, when you’re involved in something else entirely, it suddenly comes to you out of the blue?
Inspiration is like that – it needs space to grow, just like you need to make time to practice if you want to get better at a creative skill. The more clear-minded you are, the more access you have to that mysterious input.
Becoming a clear-minded creative takes a lot of hard work and determination. It begins with learning about yourself and making changes where needed. It involves setting up habits and systems that help you achieve as much as possible. And it involves continuous awareness.
Read on for three simple questions that are difficult to answer but key to being a clear-minded creative:
1. Knowing Who You Really Are
Whilst we tend to make pretty quick judgements about who other people are, sometimes after spending only minutes in their company, really knowing ourselves is a much harder task. All sorts of things conspire to cloud our vision of who we really are, such as low self-esteem/lack of confidence, bad experiences, other people’s opinions and negative self-beliefs.
The fact is that every single one of us is different and has what personal development gurus like to call “a unique gift” to give to the world. But society expects us all to conform to the same lifestyle and values – no wonder so many of us are dissatisfied with our jobs and lifestyles.
2. Knowing Exactly What You Want
It’s taken me 33 years to even get close to knowing what I want out of life, and I’ve got the feeling in a year’s time it will be different again. Some people of course know from an early age what they want but I suspect they are the lucky few.
Creative people usually work out what they want through trial and error, or experimentation, and so being flexible is important. However you can also learn to recognise patterns and mainstays which show you where your real passion lies.
3. Knowing How to Get It
When I was younger I thought it would be easy to become a successful writer – all I had to do was write a novel and the rest would follow. I took several months off work to get it written but was never able to finish the task – mainly because I didn’t have a clear idea of what my story was, or the self-discipline to write every day without fail.
As I got older I realised that whilst producing something creative was a great achievement, it’s only the beginning of the story. You have to get creative about how you present and market yourself, how you build relationships with other people, and how you organise your time and lifestyle.
However you can quickly learn this by watching other people who have already been successful at what you want to do. Now imitating someone else will never impress anyone, but as long as it fits with your own thing, you can use the techniques and strategies they’ve used to create similar results.
Working Out These Things is What This Blog is About
The aim of this blog is delve a little deeper into each of these areas and share what I’ve learnt and continue to learn about these topics.
I’ll also be writing about all the books and other resources that I’ve found useful over the years and as I’m discovering new things on this topic every day I won’t be short of things to write about. Plus there are some great interviews coming up with some truly talented ‘clear-minded creative types’.
What Do You Think?
Do you worry that by examining this in too much detail it will interfere with the mysterious process of creativity? Or are you ready to try a new approach? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below!
Image: Self-Portrait, by chefranden