Happy New Year! 2015 has welcomed us with a beautiful light snow and bitter cold. A fresh slate, a hot cup of coffee and a nice warm dog at my feet, I am ready to move onward and upward as I start on 2015’s ideas and projects.
I have been thinking about the creative process in general. I believe that everyone is gifted in one way on another. Carpenters, hair stylists, seamstress, computer geeks, actors, artists and bankers all are gifted in very different ways.
While new research does not totally support the right-brain/left-brain theory I am going to refer to this for convenience sake. Left brain people are usually strong in analytical and math skills. Right brain people generally have a holistic, artsy approach to life. In general, I am a right-brain, so I have to admit that it was a long time before I realized that my very left-brain husband was also a creative type. Engineers(left brainers) solve problems. Sometimes, boring problems, but they can fix a lot of things! Engineers have figured out how to build bridges, bring running water into our homes and make computers work. Have you every seen computer code? Looks like mumbo-jumbo to me! Now that’s brilliant creative brain work in action!
Right brainers operate differently. I know, because I am one! I find myself sometimes flooded with ideas. Ideas are great- until you try to pursue them all. The end result can be that nothing gets completed. So here are some loose rules that I have adopted for myself to make sure things get done.
- Write down your ideas. Keep them. Put them in a file that is labeled where you can find them later.
- Make a decision. Which project/ idea I am going to complete first? I usually do what I am most enthused about at the time. This gives fuel to the project. Be realistic. Start small. Start with what you love and know.
- Put your project goal in writing.
- Put your target completion date on your calendar.
- Guard your time. If you are at your creative best first thing in the morning carve out some time to work on your project. If you can only do this on Saturday mornings then make a date with yourself to work on your project.
- Keep pecking away at it. Twenty minutes a day of good focused effort per day will eventually get the job done.
- Don’t let a new idea distract you from your goal. However, capture your idea by writing it down and filing it for another season.
- When you hit a project brick wall, lay it aside for a few days. Do something fun and different. Ideas often come during down time. You will get back to it if is a written goal.
- Don’t over talk about your project while you are working on it. Somehow, talking and not doing drains energy out of a project.
- When your project is complete get some feedback from a honest friend that will tell you exactly what they think. You don’t want a “yes” person for this job. You need to know- is this useful to others? Did they enjoy it? Is it of value to others? Will it sell? Does it have mistakes?
- Try not to overwhelm your boss with too many ideas. Put your proposal in writing. Put it on the correct person’s desk as an idea and don’t take it personally if it is not immediately put into action. I have submitted ideas that were not used and ideas that were put into action two or three years later. Be patient. Be positive. Don’t worry about your brain child- maybe it just wasn’t the right time or place.
- Let go of perfection. If it has to be perfect NOTHING will ever get done.
- Real artists ship. Get it done. Get it submitted. Get it sold.
- If it is rejected… oh well- that what the file of ideas is for!
Best Wishes for the New Year my friend!