I'm a big believer in feeding your own creativity, as even the most creative of folk can find themselves becoming a little stagnant if they don't challenge themselves from time to time. For the past few weeks I've focused so much on just getting stuff done, meeting deadlines, and ticking everything off on my to-do lists that I've found myself in need of a little creative spark.
That's where these five creative challenges come in. For the next seven days I really want to focus on pushing myself out of my comfort zone and stepping things up with my work, all in the hopes of bringing some life back into my creative process again. If you're in need of some creative inspiration too, challenging yourself to one or two of these may be exactly what you need.
Create something that scares you I spoke about our blog post bucket lists earlier this week, and I've decided to brush the dust of mine and push myself to approach some of the topics that I've been avoiding out of fear. I've also been facing a whole lot of resistance recently while trying to finish up my first ever digital product and I know deep down it's just due to fear. I know that if I can push myself to move past it, embrace this new challenge, and do the work that scares me I'll find more creative fulfilment than just sticking to the projects that feel fuss free and easy. If you feel like you're just going through the motions, maybe it's time to step out of your comfort zone and create something that scares you a little.
Make time for your passion project Last month I spoke all about not forgetting our passion projects but since then work and life has just got in the way and I haven't put aside as much time as I'd like to focus on creating just for the sake of creating. Creating without the pressure of it being part of a business or for an audience is, in my experience, necessary for personal creative growth but I've really struggled to justify crafting out time that is just for fun. I'm realising though that I need that time just to flex my creative muscle or I'll just run out of steam and inspiration. If you don't have a passion project yet? Find one. Find an outlet where you have complete creative freedom to explore, experiment, and create.
Open yourself up to new skills A huge part of not staying stagnant is opening ourselves up to learning new skills along the way. I used to limit myself by believing that I just couldn't do certain things because I didn't know how, but what I've learned is that with enough practice and focus we can open ourselves up to whatever new skills take our fancy. Not everything will come naturally to us, but pushing ourselves to learn new things is a great way to challenge our creativity. I'm working on a tech based project at the moment (which is really out of my comfort zone) and over the next seven days I really want to make more time to really understand the intricacies behind it. Do you have a new skill you've been itching to experiment with? Challenge yourself to take that first step this week, even if at first it feels completely overwhelming.
Connect with other creatives Nothing feeds my creative soul more than connecting with fellow creatives and being inspired by their work, outlooks, and processes. I feel super lucky to have built so many awesome creative connections through this online space, and being surrounded by creative and likeminded people in real life too means that I'm never short of someone to bounce ideas off. If you're feeling a little stagnant and isolated, reach out and grab coffee (or Skype call if there's a distance between you) with someone you connect with, as I promise it can really make all the difference. Even just passing a few words via Twitter or email can really help to spark some new energy and motivation.
Leave judgement at the door I think a huge thing that can stand in the way of our creative potential is to waste so much of our time judging and criticising the work of others. I've spoken more in depth today over on ALO about Being An Encourager, as I've found recently that leaving judgement and negativity at the door allows us to develop and grow more as creatives. If we authentically support the work of others instead of looking of ways to criticise (because we all do it from time to time), we'll probably find ourselves enjoying our own creative process much more. Judging the work of others never makes ours better, and competing with our creative peers doesn't support our own creativity and work. Even if I don't connect with something, or agree with its point of view, instead of defaulting to a negative thought process I want to challenge myself to open myself up to different ways of thinking.
Will you be embracing any of these creative challenges over the next seven days?
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