Do you share ideas? How about your challenges? Have you ever asked a colleague to help you clarify an unfocused composition?
Continuing from the Creative Process Series Part 1, I’d like to help dissolve the stereotypes of the creative and the creative personality. We can do this through the exploration of the creative process, sharing, and the physical manifestation of creativity and sharing.
We’ll learn that not all sharing processes are equal and only meant as spring boards for further problem sharing and solving.
Sharing makes good ideas better.
I believe sharing is another word for compliment. The act of sharing is a sincere compliment. When sharing advice, techniques, or even trends with someone you trust, the shared favors to help you move forward in your approach. I’m not talking about sharing your secret sauce that helps you stand unique against other entrepreneurs. I’m talking about cursory suggestions that are for the most part, common knowledge.
Reciprocating appropriate suggestions is appreciated, specially when it comes from a position of respect. You may not have any tips to immediately give -and this isn’t about keeping count- but when you start receiving more than you share, be mindful that it’s becoming lop-sided.
For me, it’s an honor when someone suggests a new product or idea to me when I know they’re coming from a point of respect and enthusiasm. Many of my customers make suggestions and I’m always willing to hear their perspective -it may be a similar aspiration that I have but they may suggest it just a bit differently to give me new insight on how to create it.
Apply the 80/20 rule to sharing. Try to share 80% of your perspective and receive 20% from your friends and colleagues. The baseline is just try to be helpful and this is a good ratio to live by.
Sharing the creative process, say, with something that I’m meeting on for the first time (tile ceramic class), I take the liberty of infusing my progress with ultimately raw perspective. I’ll unabashedly show you the shaky hand result that is the antithesis of my final work because I’m learning to work with a new material. I’m confident of my learning and know that my work will only get better, so I’m not filled with trepidation when revealing some of the most shocking and humorous results of my first attempts.
Physical Manifestation of Creativity
It’s not uncommon for me to get physically excited about possibility; I start shouting out ideas like a Jeopardy contestant. Fellow students in my ceramics class witnessed this one day.
When I get stymied on a project, I get physically active. I dance in place to dislodge any idea wedgies hampering me. Moving from physical manifestation to emotional manifestation is not uncommon for me.
Many times I find myself hovering between learning and moving into the act of creating. That fence is tough for me to hurdle. It could be performance anxiety of creating in public or the fact that I’m trying to incubate on the spot, further creating a confusion of priorities. Who knows, it may also be that my creative genie doesn’t want to come out and play.
When I share my ideas, work methods, and real world experience, I hope that others will share theirs, too. Again, this goes back to designing in a vacuum -I hesitate moving forward with only my opinion in hand- the results could be disastrous!
The reason I’m eager to feed people w/tips, how-tos, and you-shoulds, is because I see that you’re about to learn it anyway and quite possibly the hardway. I want to see you move beyond your current state of inertia caused by, say, lack of resources by saving you some steps. I might say, “This is what I know, I think you should know it, too. Hear it, consider it, implement it if you want.” Okay, it’s not that formal. It’s more like, “Hey! Do you know so-and-so? She does something similar. You may not want to copy her but it’s a new technique you might want to learn about. Certainly, if you have a different opinion or experience, I’m eager to hear and learn about it.
There is a big chance that you may not adopt my methods or processes, but at least this gives you a springboard to jump into your own pool of ideas. If that begins a discussion, I’m all for it because then I can continue learning and generate more ideas that are lurking in the darkness screaming to get out. 🙂
After years of learning my craft and all the supporting tasks as a entrepreneur, I feel confident in my ability because of the mistakes I’ve made. I expect mistakes to happen just so that I can check them off my list.
My ability to redesign my outlook if one solution doesn’t work makes me a better problem solver. This is why I’ve learned to develop at least 3 solutions to one challenge and continue to solve in the background while working if the first 3 don’t hit the mark. I know what works for me and what doesn’t and keeping a myriad of alternatives in my backpocket helps when life throws wildcards my way.
Do you have a posse?
I’ve learned not to fall in love with my own work or my own ideas. I have fallen madly, deeply, and passionately in love with the process of sharing. The pure act of sharing idea volley is electric to me. Kinetic. There are very few people with whom I am safely able to do this and constantly seek others who really dig the same act of back and forth.
Are there people with whom who can safely share your ideas or critiques? This is the time to surround yourself with your hand-selected posse. This go-to-group to bounce ideas and support each other in mastermind discussions to flush out great ideas from good ones.
What do you think?
Have you experienced any or all of these steps in your creative process? What kinds of physical manifestations do you experience? Do you have a trusted posse?
Please share your thoughts below, I’d love to hear from you!
Here’s to Cultivating Your Creative Independence
Up next in the Creative Process Series:
Part 1: Learn How to Embrace Your Inner Creative
Part 3: Assigning the Genius