“Creativity comes from limits, not freedom.” ~ Jon Stewart
If we were watching a TV show, or movie about two friends, one who was considered to be “creative” and the other who was not, we would probably see them be portrayed very differently. The “creative” character would be easygoing and wearing a loose, colorful, or eccentric outfit. The “not creative” character would be uptight and dressed in neat, tidy, and plain clothing.
We tend to associate creativity with effortlessness, freedom and lack of structure, which makes sense. When we are in a creative groove and the ideas keep coming, we feel “in the flow,” but what if one of the keys to unleashing our creativity is structure?
I mentioned this week that one of the most common questions I’m asked in the Juicy Blogging E-Course is, “How do I continue to generate content that is interesting and engaging?” One of my answers is: have a writing schedule and/or editorial calendar.
There’s something about committing to the day I’m going to write, or in the case of blogging, the day I’m going to publish, that sets my creative gears in motion. If I’m committed to publishing on a certain day each week, I’ll always be looking for inspiration in what I read, watch, or experience. And I’ll take more photos. Consequently, when it comes time to sit down and write, some of the “what am I going to write about?” work has already been done. I have a collection of ideas and images to pull from.
There has been a fair bit of writing about the daily routines of people who create:
- The Daily Routines of Great Writers via Brain Pickings
- Rise and shine: the daily routines of history’s most creative minds via The Guardian
- The Daily Routines Of 26 Of History’s Most Creative Minds via Fast Company
Although their schedules, lifestyles and backgrounds are very different, one of the threads that runs through all of their lives is that they regularly made time for their creativity.
The first day of fall is next week. What if you made a commitment to schedule time to write at least once a week for the next three months? It might take you a little while to figure out when your best writing time is based on your work, your family’s schedule, and your personality (even though most people recommend writing in the morning, I know many of you are night owls), but I bet if you put at least an hour of writing time in your calendar each week, by the end of the fall you will have found a structure that unleashes your creative flow.
The next session of the Juicy Blogging E-Course: The Art & Play of Blogging is October 3-31, 2016. Earlybird pricing ends September 22nd.
Photo by me.