Six Tips for a More Creative 2018

I have come to despise articles with titles like this one. The intertubes are flooded with them this time of year, and almost all of them are more concerned with being more productive than creative, and you know how we feel about that.

After reading one too many of these things and finding it missing the entire point, I decided I should just write my own.  So here you go: six tips for a more creative 2018.  (Pro tip: buy the book instead.)

1. Trust yourself.

Every human being is creative.  That includes you. If you drew as a child, you can draw now.  And no one cares if you don't draw any "better" now than you did then.  You don't have to draw for anyone but you.  You're your own AUDIENCE.  If it makes you happy, then do it to make you happy: draw, write, paint, sing, compose, dance.

2. Create crap.

No one is waiting for your perfect painting or your perfect song.  Just create crap. You can fix it once you've created it, but if you wait until you can do it "perfectly," you will never do it.

3. Create more crap.

And more and more and more. Practice makes... well, not "perfect," because there's no such thing unless you're Mozart, but it will produce a body of work.  Think of it this way: if 90% of everything is dreck, then if you draw 100 apples, 10 of them might be pretty good. The more crap you produce, the less crappy it will be.

4. Fail.

Failure is always an option.  Do not concern yourself with success, especially if you're defining it as fame and fortune.  You're not doing this for The Crowd.  You're doing it for you. You are a child coloring. You are allowed to fail.  Lots.

5. Allow yourself the RITUAL of Proposed Efforts.

Yes, this is kind of like those awful "A goal that is not written down is just a wish" memes, but for once the inspirational gurus have a point.  Take out your WASTE BOOK and allow yourself to list the projects you'd like to work on in the coming year.  It's not that you're committing yourself to bullet journaling your way into success; it's that you're giving yourself permission to get started on something that interests you.

6. Admire.

Admire others' work.   Admire yourself.  (See Tip #1.) Admire them on Twitter or Facebook or Instragram.  Go to their exhibits or their concerts.  Figure out why you admire them.  (Pro tip: if it's because they're "successful," stop it.)  Figure out what that has to do with you and your work.  Explore that.

And there you go.  Six ways out of many that you can use to be "more creative" in 2018, and not a single one of them requires you to be more efficient.  Go forth into the new year and Make the Thing That Is Not.  And remember: always use your powers for good!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year — I'm going to take this week off and will be back next week.