Creating Time and Space

Do you know why people have trouble accessing their innate creativity?  We’re all born creative, but some lose touch with that faculty, or grow up and have a hard time reaching it.  Do you know why?  It’s basically because we don’t create the time and space for creativity to flourish.

There are two essential ingredients you need:

  1. Some solitude – a place to just mull and ruminate, without interruption or distraction.
  2. Some time – carve out enough commitment-free time to first enter that zone where your mind is able to feel the freedom of its own wandering/wondering and then some additional time to let your creativity do its thing

The third ingredient is a problem to solve.  It’s important not to rush the solution or settle for the obvious one.  If you want a genuinely original answer, it pays to learn to stick with the problem for as long as you can stand the discomfort of the unresolved, avoiding the trite, clichéd or unoriginal answer, until the good answer – the leap – occurs.

Hard work and diligence is not enough.  Grinding it out can give pretty good results, but for the truly creative, imaginative, breakthrough idea to come, you have to have created the time and space for your ideas to percolate within and then be prepared to trust in your subconscious, while it tries to solve the problem you have set for yourself.  Lean into it.  Let it happen.  Let your mind wrestle with the problem until a satisfactory solution occurs.

Solemnity is not required.  You probably will get a better answer, or a more creative one, if you are prepared to entertain the improbable, ridiculous, silly, unrealistic and unworkable ideas too.  Surprisingly, these modes of thought can often lead you to an entirely doable thing.  Rule nothing out until you have to.

There’s more to creativity than slamming yourself violently against your blank canvas, or empty music track, or clean white sheet of word processing virtual paper.  Stepping back and letting your thoughts run free, daydreaming, if necessary, can lead you to a better answer than working to a deadline or strict timetable.  That’s not to say that the hard work doesn’t matter.  It’s just pointing out that there’s more to it than application.  You have to work for the inspiration as well.  Ironically, the work of bringing forth inspiration feels more like letting go and being a passenger, than a series of methodical steps.

Purposeful procrastination pays dividends.  You never know what you’ll come up with if you just permit yourself to do so.  It isn’t a race or a competition and there is no finish line.  Just be with your ideas, in a state of co-existence and watch what happens.

About tropicaltheartist

You can find out more about me here: There aren’t many people that exist in that conjunction of art, design, science and engineering, but this is where I live. I am an artist, a musician, a designer, a creator, a scientist, a technologist, an innovator and an engineer and I have a genuine, deep passion for each field. Most importantly, I am able to see the connections and similarities between each field of intellectual endeavour and apply the lessons I learn in one discipline to my other disciplines. To me, they are all part of the same continuum of creativity. I write about what I know, through my blogs, in the hope that something I write will resonate with a reader and help them enjoy their own creative life more fully. I am, in summary, a highly creative individual, but with the ability to get things done efficiently. Not all of these skills are valued by the world at large, but I am who I am and this is me. The opinions stated here are my own and not necessarily the opinion or position of my employer.
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6 Responses to Creating Time and Space

  1. mikzdeclaro says:

    I agree with what you’re saying. When I was a kid, I always loved to draw but when I grew older I kinda left it with my childhood.
    I grew up and in all I do, no creativity can be seen. As in zero creativity. When I do my class project I would always get an average score. Never did I get a 90 or above.
    But now I’m rediscovering myself. Letting the creative person in me flourish. I even got a 97 when I sketched a 3 dimensional store layout for my retail class.
    So yeah, everyone is truly creative. We just need to let that creativity roam free. Nice post!!! 🙂

  2. I love the purposeful procastrination! Time and solitude definitely. I am getting better at purposeful procastrination. When I’m stuck I read something. Go back to what I’ve last written. Read some research that I’ve been putting off for a while – a subject touching on what I’m writing about, and suddenly and often unexpectedly the words do come. Thanks Michael for your post!

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