Perhaps you don’t think creativity is your strong suit. Or maybe you’ve found yourself in a creative rut and need help getting unstuck.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Whether you’re in the business of PR or a different industry entirely, these tips will put you back in touch with your creative self.
Recognise everyday acts of creativity
There are two big myths about creativity. One, is you’re either a creative person or a strategic person. And, if you fall into the first category, you must have been born with it.
Another myth is that creativity equals art.
The truth is, there’s no such thing as a creative person or a strategic person. And creativity isn’t some God-given talent. Just because you aren’t the modern-day equivalent of Picasso or Mozart in your field, it doesn’t mean you can’t create something worth sharing with the world.
We’re all born with the ability to create. Think back to when you were young – chances are you were painting, drawing and yes, creating, as much as the next kid. But for whatever reason, most of us don’t get to keep playing in this way as we get older.
The best way to start reconnecting with your creative self is to recognise your everyday acts of creativity. Have you ever followed a recipe but swapped some ingredients to make the dish your own? Boom. That's being creative. Or put together a new outfit from your wardrobe you've not worn before? That is a creative act. You've chosen to do that.
Start looking at creativity through this lens and you'll see you make creative decisions daily.
There's no such thing as a new idea
At the end of the day, public relations is the business of problem-solving. A client has a problem and it’s up to you to come up with the solution.
The good news is, every problem in this business (or any business) has happened before. And, there’s a solution out there for every one of them.
So, don’t fall into the trap of believing creativity and originality are one in the same. What matters is your interpretation of the problem and how you choose to solve it. Do some research and find out how a similar problem has been tackled by others. What would you do differently? Or, could you draw from a range of approaches to get the best result. Just remember, good artists borrow. The great ones steal.
Deal in possibilities
When working on a project, it’s all too easy to get stuck in the mindset of what’s probable. The client probably only has enough time/money/resources for a given project. Or the client probably won’t think this is a good idea. This way of thinking can really throw down roadblocks in your creative journey.
To break through these roadblocks, take some time out to imagine what’s possible for your project. Don’t worry about things like budgets and timelines. Or what anyone else thinks, for that matter. These are just ideas after all – no less hypothetical than the stuff you’d dream up by sticking to the realms of probability.
By considering possibilities instead, you’re opening up the playing field. Big ideas can always be scaled down to fit the project's needs. Or, if the idea is just too good to compromise, maybe your client will see the value in scaling up!
Creativity is a confidence game
It’s important to think of creativity as a skill set we can develop over time. What’s equally important is to stop measuring ourselves against those who have allowed themselves the time to hone their own skill set.
Imagine if you had to run a marathon tomorrow. You could try but you probably wouldn’t get far if you’ve never run a day in your life. But, if you started training today and built your stamina over the next 12 months, you could almost certainly run that marathon next year. You just need to give yourself permission to start walking.
Just remember – comparison is the enemy of creativity. And the sooner we stop measuring ourselves against those we perceive to be more creative than us, the sooner we start running our own race.
Loved these tips and want to learn more about improving your creativity? Listen to our podcast interview with Wade Kingsley, professional creativity facilitator and founder of Creative Champions Course. Wade has coached thousands of people to tap into their creativity and was kind enough to share some of his tips in this podcast interview, some of which has been integrated into the above blog.
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