Updated: Jul 20, 2019
Creativity: A kind of genius or a developed practice?
Coming up with ideas can be challenging whether it is creative ideas for new ventures, ideas for new classes, or themes for shows. Waiting for inspiration can be time consuming and the success rate is not good. You can be left feeling really inadequate and into your head come the little self destruct demons telling us that we are not creative people, that everyone else in the world is more creative than us and even if we came up with something it would not be good enough.
However, there are ways that you can boost your own creativity and dancers already have a head start. Dancers truly understand discipline. The sort of discipline that makes us practice a piece of choreography or some element of technique over and over again is the discipline you need to develop your creativity. It is a recipe for success and starts with this simple practice.
Every day at the same time write down three ideas towards an ongoing project. This could be development of something you are working on, self-development, something that needs change, or the realization of a change in life, work, or life/work balance. The discipline is that you do not immediately assess the ideas you just write them down. They do not even need to be wholly practical. Depending on the project they could be just words or for the more visual amongst you, try cutting out three pictures each day and pinning them to a board.
We often come up with our best ideas when we least expect it. I find myself coming up with ideas when driving. However I still practice the discipline of creativity every morning to become more creative by habit. Sometimes I am frustrated to only write three ideas! Imagine at the end of one week you will have 21 new ideas and at the end of one month 84 ideas. Realistically only one or two ideas will be possible to take forward but you will have the reward of reminding yourself how creative you have become, by looking at how many ideas you have generated. Creativity is not an aptitude it is a learned discipline.
The second essential element in this is to quash the fear of failure. Successful people are less afraid of failing than they are of not even trying. Aim to get over procrastination, perfectionism, and the paralyzing fear of failure. They are the thieves of creativity.
Embrace failure as a learning opportunity. Whilst you are learning from failure, giving you experience to move on, someone else is still staring at a blank sheet of paper learning nothing. Dancers are remarkable people with skills way beyond their expectations. Practice the discipline of creativity. Start today. Just start.