STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS
Have you ever thought about all the steps it takes to create something? to do anything.
Lately, I have been thinking about this, about the creative process. I reflected on the steps that a creative entrepreneur or any creative really, would follow to create anything. I have been thinking about the process and how to improve it, how to obtain the maximum advantage from it.
Doing a bit of research on the internet about this topic I have found some interesting facts. I have read that you have an idea before you realize you had an idea. Usually, you have an idea and it goes to the subconscious part of the brain. Then, it rests there indefinitely until the “eureka” moment, when you finally realized you have an idea, our brain it´s incredible.
“Everything begins with an idea”
This post is about the following steps, the steps from the idea (you already know you have an idea) to the end.
No matter how big or small your idea is. If you are a creative entrepreneur or if just want to build a coffee table or design a planner. Well, if you just want to build a coffee you can skip some points, I think, but it´s totally up to you. You can apply this process to any idea and hopefully, you will improve your creative process.
Let´s do it.
#1 YOU HAVE AN IDEA, NOW WHAT?
Okay, you have an idea, what will you do next?
This is the first and most important point.
Will you develop this idea? Will you commit to it? or, will you let it go?
Depending on the idea you will need to consider different points, the resources you will need to invest on it, time or/and money. However, the most important factor is how much you want to do it. If you really want to do it, then you will figure out everything else.
Take your time to think about it. If you cannot stop to think about it then you have to do it, it´s the only way to solve this.
What is the worst the could happen? what do you have to lose? what will you win?
If you finally commit to the idea, you have already done the most difficult part.
#2 YOUR WHY
Why do you want to do it?
This will be your motivation. Perhaps, there will be moments when the idea of quitting crosses your mind, in this moments, you will need to remember your why.
So, now that you are at the beginning of the creative process, your motivation is high and your whys are fresh. Grab a paper or the freebie (the idea develop freebie) and write down all your whys.
Write down why you are doing it and what would happen once you finish it, how would you feel?
Write as much as you can, it could be very helpful in the future.
#3 TELL EVERYONE
You have already committed to the idea and you know why you want to do it.
Now, you can share your great idea with some people, not the world, just friends and family (sometimes it´s even harder to share with people we know, right?).
You might think that it´s too soon, and it might be. However, you will share it with just to some people and you will benefit from it.
Sharing your idea will make you more accountable, now you have to do it, there´s no way out. Also, when you share it this two options could happen:
- People like it. Great! you will have support
- People doesn´t like it. In this case, you will have an even more powerful weapon than support. You will have a challenge, you will do it to demonstrate you can do it
As you can see, telling everyone is always a win-win.
Another advantage is that you will have someone else to discuss it, know another point of view is always useful.
You can do a brainstorm session, but careful, do it with useful people. Open minded people, people that make constructive criticisms and share their honest point of view, avoid negative people.
#4 A BIT RESEARCH
As a way to develop your idea, learn how to do something, or maybe find someone who could help you, do a bit of research.
You might find that someone had a similar idea, that´s good and that doesn´t mean that you should quit. You can have the same idea, but with your unique point of view it will turn out something completely different. So, use their experience to learn from them and adapt it to your idea. To learn from other creatives experiences is a really good way to learn anything.
Warning! This step could be dangerous. I feel that the research phase could last forever, you could always learn more about it, the internet is full of information. So, do a bit of research and learn when to stop researching. You will never know everything about your idea before you do it, the only way to figure out how to do it is doing it. Step out of this comfy phase and just start.
An easy way to this research is to use Pinterest.
#5 PLAN IT
It´s time to make a plan.
You have done your research and know more or how to do it. So, take a sheet or your planner and list out the tasks to be done.
If it´s a big idea, you might need to split your final goal into smaller goals. Then, list out the tasks to achieve each small (smaller) goal and assign them an order and/or a time frame.
To assign a time frame could be a bit tricky, if it´s the first time you are doing these tasks you don´t know how long it will take you, right? Also, you might need to invest more time learning something. So, give yourself margin to learn and practice, but assign a time frame, this will make you work harder.
For this phase, I have two recommendations.
- The Goals Planner. It will easily help you to achieve your monthly goals. There´s also a free version!
- Asana, an easy to use time management app, really project oriented. I like it
After the previous step, you might have a really long list os tasks to be done, skills to learn, things to figure out, and you might feel a bit overwhelmed, it´s totally fine.
Stop and relax.
Maybe have a cup of coffee, tea, a glass of wine, go for a walk…
Stop and think about your “why”, it´s the perfect moment to consult your “why” list. Remember why you want to do this, why you need to do it.
It´s time to begin to work.
Find a pace that fits you and your life, a pace that will make you enjoy the creative process and keep going.
Avoid comparing yourself to others, only you know the pace that will make you happy and only you know your circumstances. So, do not compare yourself to others, only you know the pace that will make you enjoy not only the destination but also the way.
The key is to keep going, keep moving forward, even if it´s just a bit, slow as a snail, keep going. Think that if you do not move towards your goal you will never reach it, and this is not and option. DO IT YOUR WAY and keep going.
Consistency is the key to achieving anything.
#8 TRY AND ERROR
So, during the creative process, you might find that your first try is not what you have expected.
Totally normal, it might be the first time you are doing it, you are learning. So, learn from this first attempt and try again.
Do it until you find a solution you can live with.
“Have no fear of perfection, you´ll never reach it”
Careful, this step is similar to the research phase, you could spend all your life improving and developing an idea. However, that´s not the point of the creative process. The reason you are putting all this effort on it is to create something. So, remember that perfection does not exist, do some compromises and find an end to the madness. Find a solution you can live with, just that.
You did it, congratulations!
Your hard work has finally paid off, be proud of yourself.
Before the celebration starts it would be great to do a review.
Review the process now that it´s fresh. Just take a bit of time and reflect on each step of the creative process, think about your experience. Take notes about everything it could be useful next time.
- What have you learned?
- What could be improved?
- What have you achieved?
- How have you felt along the process?
- How do you feel now?
- Was it worth it?
Write down anything you can think of.
Okay, you have officially finished, it´s time to celebrate.
It´s time to get your reward, treat yourself, you have earned it, good job!
#11 A LITTLE HELP
To guide you and help you during the creative process I have designed a freebie, the Idea Developer Plan.
It will help you to decide to commit to your idea or let it go, it will remember your “why” and your reward, it will help you with the planning…. Perfect to develop your next idea!