How To Be Preposterously Creative in 4 Simple Steps

People keep asking me how to stay motivated, and how to keep coming up with new ideas. I think the question really boils down to: how can I be more creative? Not just that, but how can I be preposterously creative? The type of creative that has people laughing, sobbing, thinking? It’s quite simple really, here it is in four simple steps:

1. Block out intentional time in your schedule.

This will ensure you are intentional about your creative time and stop other things from clambering into your day.

2. Seek inspiration.

Go to the local art museum. Read a few books. Listen to spoken word poetry on your commute. Humans feed off each other’s creativity. Let others inspire you.

3. Let Creativity Come To You.

When ideas ratchet in your head like unwieldy pinballs, let them go. Stop trying to trap them down, grasping on and holding them so tightly that they don’t have space to breathe. Reflect on the things in your life that made you who you are; yes, even the things you’d rather not think about. You thought you’d buried them deeply, but creativity has a way of unearthing it all, like a dangerous treasure chest peeking out from the sand. You can run from it — heart racing, hands clammy, breath coming faster. The sky above you is dotted with constellations, an inky blackness that simultaneously reminds you how little everything matters (should you stop trying so hard to be creative?) but at the same time your fears don’t matter much either (don’t let them hold you back). How long can you run until you bend over, hands clasped over your knees, head bent down, the throbbing of your heartbeat resounding in your skull? Eventually you will have to stop. Let creativity come to you like a shy winter fox.

Alone, it’s playful, but sudden movements might drive it away. Relax. Let it come to you. It’s a wild thing, just like you are a wild thing. It wants to be free just like you want to be free. Somehow you didn’t outrun it all, worries are still circling in your head, anxiety settles in your stomach– let those go. Take slow breaths, let them escape like fluttering moths seeking out another problem. Creativity bats at them with its little paws, chomping the air, making you laugh quietly to yourself. Turning its attention back to you, creativity sniffs closer. You close your eyes, taking deep slow breaths, remembering what it felt like as a kid to build sandcastles on the beach– the tide rolling in and out, sometimes inexplicably crashing down and splashing around your ankles. In the rolling waves, the ocean feels reliable, but the tide can betray you, tugging you deeper. You can’t be creative if you’re caught in a riptide. You open one eye and creativity is sniffing closer to your shoe. The pinball ideas are starting to settle, sliding through the paddles and lining up in their places. There’s a little spring nestled underneath, but don’t do anything yet. Sit quietly. Let the energy build.

There is peace in this moment so you create– everything else, the stars, your breath, the sandcastle, it disappears. Your breath slows and hands start moving. Let the paint drip over everything, the words flow over the page. Drill the final piece, cast off your last stitch. You are creating– rolling around with that playful little fox.

4. Light Cardio

Get that heart pumping!

This post was definitely inspired by Brendan Leonard’s “5 Steps To Ordering a Perfect Coffee– Every Time” and Aaron Bleyaert’s “How to Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps.”

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10 Comments

  1. I love this list! I’ve admired you as a prolific writer, so I’m glad you are tackling the topic of creativity itself. Anytime I am struggling to meet my creative potential, it’s easy to see how it involves holes in one or more of these four places. Blocking out intentional time is the one I am missing the most right now. Thanks for the ideas!

    1. I admired you on the What’s Up Next Podcast about creativity. I especially agreed with what you said when Paul said he didn’t belong because he’s not ‘creative,’ and you pointed out that all humans are creativity. It’s part of our humanity. I hope you get more time to be intentional about your creative pursuits!

  2. I admire you for being so creative. I spend more time thinking about what to write than writing what I’m thinking.

    1. It can be difficult to get started, but once you get some thoughts down I find it gets easier and easier to continue to write. I hope you get more time writing and less time overthinking!

  3. I find writing ideas down really help too. Lots of topics come up throughout the day and if you don’t write it down, you’ll just forget about them. Write a sentence down and follow up on it later.

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