Any creative task or project requires a series of steps. The steps will vary depending on your goal for the completed project, but in general, the following overview is pretty accurate:
- Selling / Promotion
We don’t need to finish something as soon as we start it. The process above doesn’t have to be completed for each project, or idea, before we can contemplate another. Some ideas flow simply from beginning to end. That’s fine. If they do, go with the flow. At other times, that doesn’t happen. We’ll get tired. We may get frustrated that our hands aren’t doing what our brain is telling them to do.
When I feel very creative, it seems like I have tapped into some cosmic stream of ideas. When this happens I need to capture them and work on them. It could be musical themes, streams of powerful prose or ideas for this here blog. Quite often when I get into this creative zen zone I don’t just get one idea… or two. The ideas don’t stop, they keep coming. It’s like I have sent out a message into the universe for an idea and I am getting replies from every sentient soul that ever existed. So I capture them to a level that I will be able to return to them when I get more time.
When this happens the thought of completing an idea is far off. This is the capture time. Here the wild creative thoughts are to be tamed for later use. We can batch ideas. If we feel creative then focus on creative tasks. When the words are flowing and you finish that blog post, or that scene or that journal page… keep going, begin another. You don’t need to finish what you begin here, but keep writing. Keep writing until the words dry up. This may mean starting several projects. It’s batching the creative process.
Sometimes creativity isn’t flowing. Because, as hard as it is to believe when the ideas are flowing, sometimes the ideas flow like mountains don’t! The words aren’t coming and the paint is simply drying on our palette. When this happens, what other jobs in the creative process can be done? Do you need to jot down ideas? What about updating your blog or website? Has that twitter icon been the same one for five years? Do the accounts need doing? Are all your listings on Etsy up to date? Just as we can batch creative tasks, we can batch our admin type actions for when the creative ideas aren’t flowing.
We can edit when we can’t write. We can take photos of our art and share on social media when we can’t paint. We can tell others of the work we have finished when other projects remain incomplete due to a creative barren spell.
When you batch similar activities together you get a lot more done in the long run. When creativity strikes, be creative, when it isn’t there, try admin.
Make the most of when we feel creative, but make the most of when we don’t too.