GETTING yourself stuck in a creative rut can completely halt your productivity and hold you back. In my day-to-day, it’s difficult to write about things like credit cards and debt in an engaging way without at least a little creativity.
When you find yourself struggling to think of something new and innovative, consider these words from 10 great thinkers.
1. “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
– Scott Adams (American cartoonist)
Allowing yourself to make mistakes, without fear of failure, can be liberating for your creativity. This kind of anxiety keeps you from expressing your opinions and ideas, so get rid of it.
2. “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”
– Ray Bradbury (American sci-fi novelist)
Tying in nicely with the first quote, the ability to relinquish your fear of failure puts you in a position where you can simply pour every thought and idea out of your head. Don’t keep your bad ideas to yourself; let them out as they may develop into something better. Don’t second-guess your creative ideas, give them a fair shot.
3. “The air is full of ideas. They are knocking you in the head all the time. You only have to know what you want, then forget it, and go about your business. Suddenly, the idea will come through. It was there all the time.”
– Henry Ford (American industrialist)
Sometimes, ideas need to occur to you naturally. Sitting down and trying to come up with an idea can be counter-productive, so by busying yourself you may be just as likely to be struck by inspiration.
4. No chaos, no creation. Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime.
– Mason Cooley (American aphorist)
If you want to make an omelette, you have to break some eggs. The comparison to cookery is the perfect example of how creativity can be messy. You may have to tear up and throw away old ideas and practices to come up with something new.
5. “What’s the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.
– Christopher Nolan (via Dom Cobb in the 2010 movie: Inception)
A good idea should take root and be self perpetuating. Allowing an idea to take hold and develop organically is important.
6. “And on the seventh day he rested.”
– Book of Genesis, the Bible
Creationists believe that after six days of creating the heavens and the Earth, God had a day to rest. Taking a break is important for creativity, because working solidly will stress you out and stifle your creativity.
7. “Speed is absolutely key to creativity. The more time it takes to create something, the less likely you are to create something.”
– Patrick Stump (American musician)
Ideas are fleeting; make sure you capture them as soon as they strike. Carrying a notepad and pen or some sort of camera or audio recorder is the best way to lock down your ideas.
8. “Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
– Charles Mingus (American jazz musician and Civil Rights activist)
The best ideas are often so simple everyone wonders why they hadn’t thought of them first. Think of things in their most basic forms, and eliminate the parts you don’t need.
9. “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”
– John F. Kennedy (American President)
Romanticize your ideas – believe that one great idea can change the world, and there is no reason that idea can’t be one of yours.
10. “Creativity is contagious, pass it on”
– Albert Einstein (German theoretical physicist)
Surround yourself with other creatives, sharing ideas breeds new ways of thinking and presents alternative points of view on the same subject.
Author Bio: Mark Hooson writes for Moneysupermarket.com about money-saving, consumer issues and personal finance.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.