“I’m not creative.” You hear that statement all the time. You may even have said it recently yourself, and that’s the problem.
The problem isn’t a lack of creativity, the problem is a lack of effort.
Creativity isn’t a genetic trait that some people have and others lack. Creativity is a skill. The great thing about skills is that anyone can learn them. The bad news is that no one is born with them. No matter who you are, creativity takes (a lot of) time and effort.
To quote Macklemore from his song 10,000 Hours, “The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint // the greats were great because they painted a lot.”
So, if we accept that creativity is a skill then it’s time to stop making excuses and start making changes. Here’s the three basic steps to developing creativity:
OPEN YOUR EYES. Expose yourself to new influences. It doesn’t mean moving to Vietnam for a summer, but changing small parts of your routine can make a huge difference. Try reading a new blog every week (we use Feedly), or visiting a new restaurant for lunch.
EXERCISE YOUR MIND. Take any creative opportunity that comes your way. Try making your friends birthday cards by hand instead of buying them, or playing an instrument before bed.
REPEAT. Nothing is perfect on the first draft, so don’t expect it to be. Try once. Ask for feedback and listen to feedback (this is key). Then try again. Look for two different opinions on each iteration you do.
Becoming creative isn’t easy, but it is useful. Analytical minds who can think outside the box are driving the world today, from positions in startups and nonprofits to multinational corporations.
So why not give it a shot? Take a step outside your comfort zone and start creating creativity.
Tweet us what inspires you to be more creative at @Design4Change_