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How To: Improve Creative Thinking Skills

From what I’ve read and studied, I think a lot what we call creativity is inherent in genetic disposition and personality…

But, if a non-creative type decides to put in the required effort, he can definitely improve creative thinking skills. If you have creative tendencies already, this article can help you hone in your skills and create a structure for building upon an inherent strength.


Creativity Work-outs

We must treat the trait of creativity like a muscle in order to build it. Like a muscle, the more it is used the stronger and more developed it will become. Here are three easy workouts we can implement. I will also go into them in more detail so you can come up with ways to incorporate the practices in your schedule.

  1. Free-writing
  2. Examining other works of creativity
  3. Creating a project

Free-writing

This is something I’ve learned and observed from musicians and actors. A lot of them do some form of writing.

It can be journaling, it can be prose, it can be poetry, or it can be just writing whatever comes into your mind in a notebook for fifteen minutes!

There isn’t a lot of science to back this exercise up (there isn’t a lot of science behind creativity at all because it is, after-all, quite subjective), but I think this works because it requires the brain to structure our thoughts and musings into words and then written words onto a page. There are a lot of steps to this procedure, more than we imagine. Firstly, written words are pretty aesthetic, so we try to make our writing look good. Also, turning thoughts into words takes some effort because we have to search for the right words in our head. Therefore, our brain becomes better at popping¬†up ideas, and voila, creativity.

Write for 15 minutes, everyday.


Examing other works of creativity

Aside from the obvious fact that humans are creatures that inherently enjoy art (I should source these things, but nah, this ain’t a scientific paper. Google it, or just believe me), examining creative endeavors accomplished by others will force you to find meaning and purpose in their creative techniques.

For example, every time you listen to a song, ask yourself how this song makes you feel. Does it make it feel sad? Does it make you feel fired-the-hell up? After you do that, ask yourself why it does that. This will lead you into a rabbit hole where you will notice certain musical techniques in a song that are there purposely to give the listener a set of specific feelings. Maybe you can even start to imagine how you would structure a piece of music to do the same thing. The fun thing about this is that you can do this with every song.

Prepare to annoy any fellow music listeners from now. But, hey, you’ll become more of a creative thinker.

Examine creative techniques in one piece of art, everyday

Creating a project

Here’s where things get a little bit more time consuming. This is a bit of an advanced technique, but I think if you’re really determined to be a more creative person, you’ll set aside time for this.

Brainstorm with a friend, preferably more creative than you, about a creative project you want to work. I’ll give you some ideas:

  • A website
  • A painting
  • A short-story or novel
  • Take some artsy photos and explain their significane

Obviously, pick something you already have an interest in. If you’re a movie bluff, write the opening scene for a movie idea you have. By the way, if you want to make a website, here’s a link to build a free one. The world is your oyster. Once you have your idea solidified, spend 30 minutes everyday working on it. This will definitely get your creative muscles warm and limber. You’ll have to think about colors, stories, characters, plot, setting and countless other mechanisms which require you to tap into the creative part of your brain.

 

For someone who is really¬†not creative, you might be just stuck. Here’s a tip on getting unstuck. When it comes to creative decisions, they are just what they sound like. Decisions. Because you’re so left brain dominated you might not be able to feel what the right decision is, so just make a random one. Put it all together and see it how it makes you feel. This might jump-start things. Try it out.

Another reason you may be stuck, is because of just emotional pain associated with putting in work of this kind. I would recommend reading this book by Steven Pressfield. It has helped me greatly in seeing progress in my creative endeavors.


Consistency is key…

Like any endeavor, if you give up in the beginning, when you likely really suck at it, you’ll never get better. Especially if you are not naturally endowed with creative juices flowing through your veins, you will really suffer in the beginning. But just like the scrawny guy at the gym who works out consistently, results will come.

You may never be Steven Spielberg, but you will be far, far more creative than when you started. Happy creating, to you!

 

 

 

 

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