This year Kacee and I decided to get annual passes for Disneyland. If you haven’t been recently (or at all), they have a new fireworks show to celebrate their 60th anniversary. At the top of the show there is an audio clip of Walt Disney at opening day. He said, “As long as there is imagination left, Disneyland will never be complete.” This quote has stuck with me and I have applied it to my life. I am a creative person. Creativity needs to be fueled.
These are 5 keys to creativity that have worked for me. The first is inspiration. What inspires you? For me, getting Disney passes has been a big inspiration. When I am at Disneyland I am not looking at the dollar signs, crowds, and 8 hour drive to get there. I am listening to the music, looking at the lighting, watching the amazing creativity in the parades, and seeing the magic they have created. I leave each trip feeling excited to write, create, and explore new ideas. The other way that I am inspired is sitting and looking at nature. Whether it is walking through the woods, fishing on a quiet pond or river, or taking a drive on the backroads. I use the time to see creation and what God created from nothing.
The second key to creativity is space. We all have a workspace where we do bills, details, and other works related stuff. Creativity needs room to breathe. Eliminate distractions. At my studio I have converted the basement into a writing, rehearsal, and recording space. This is not a space for work. Its a place I can that is free of life’s distractions and allows me to be creative. Where is your space?
The third key is the biggest culprit. It is time. This is the biggest hinderance in the creative process. Its not a task to be completed. A common answer to “How’s life treating you?” is “I am so busy. Waiting for things to calm down.” I am here to tell you that busy is now just called normal in my life. We are all busy and finding time to be creative is almost impossible and really easy to schedule things over. I schedule time in my calendar to be creative. Its an appointment in my schedule. I understand as a songwriter that songs can come at random times. This is where voice memo apps can come in handy. Sing a line into your phone and when you have creative time you can work through that thought you had. When you find time to fuel creativity it will continue to grow within you.
Being creative involves brain space. The fourth key to creativity is to clear your mind. There are many meaningless things that clutter your mind. If you are anything like me the never ending task list is running through your mind. I have worked to be diligent in using the Reminders App on my iPhone to write things down and when I have time to complete them I look at the list. I use to dream at night about tasks I had to do. It cluttered my mind. As I transitioned to writing things down my mind became more and more uncluttered. Find a hobby that you can do to clear your mind as well. I am a flaming extrovert that needs people. I have learned that taking time to do things like play racquetball, mowing the yard, and flying on an airplane are good chances for me to clear up my mind.
The fifth key for me is to try something new. I have played guitar for 15 years and recently I was introduced to the short cut capo from Kyser Musical Products. I had one in my case for a long time but never quite understood it. Now that I took time to learned how to use it, new life has been breathed into my playing. That has also translated into how I see arrangements and write new songs. What is something you could explore? What creative element will help aid your creative process?