If you do any sort of creative work, you’ve probably experienced moment or two of anxiety worrying about what will happen if you don’t have a good idea. If you let it get to you, it can be almost impossible to come up with something creative, and suitable, and in a timely manner.
Maybe you need to write some inspired copy, or you’ve been commissioned to create a piece of art, or you are a designer who needs to create the perfect logo for a client before their grand opening. Regardless of the project, it’s pretty easy to get worried and short circuit the creative process.
Not to say you should wait for inspiration to “strike.” It is important to write or to paint or to design or whatever it is you do everyday. Deliberate practice allows the creative door to open so that inspiration can enter.
With each new project, I am learning the best thing is to just let my mind do it’s creative thing. Sometimes, I will have a particular project planned for a certain day, but when that day comes, I just can’t get the work done. Maybe I try to write, but end up chatting on Twitter or playing a game or even writing a post for this blog.
Still, the whole time I am thinking about the project. It’s just sort of sitting in the back of my head, perculating or brewing or whatever you want to call it.
It’s taken years for me to realize that through all that thinking I am working. Given enough processing time, I can usually sit down get the project finished. Maybe I already have the important sentences worked out in my mind, or the theme has quietly presented itself, or I’ve figured out the order of the main points of the article.
As time goes on, I’m learning to plan time to conceptualize and to think about each new project. It’s much easier to acknowledge you need time to think than to feel anxious because you can’t create on command.