Are you feeling stuck in your personal creative process? Perhaps you feel as though you have been consuming loads of information, and before you know it, time has slipped by and you didn’t complete what you wanted to. We’ve all been there, especially in this ‘information age’. Information is good because it provides stimulus that your brain can process and integrate with existing information in the memory.
However, consuming too much information can overload your creative brain and keep it from coming up with a meaningful synthesis. This goes to show that consuming too much information can be counterproductive. So how can you work to find the right balance for you?
Take the Necessary Steps to Avoid Procrastination
Searching the internet for wonderful photos is a good excuse for stalling on your photography project. You probably have good reasons, like getting a good look at the works of successful photographers. But something’s not really adding up when you’ve been doing this for months without putting out new work. Artists – and creative folks in general – tend to procrastinate. I can attest to this wholeheartedly.
Sometimes it’s not because they are feeling lazy. Sometimes it’s because they think they are doing something productive. When you spend too much time gathering information for a book you’re writing, you’re stalling, and stalling doesn’t help you finish your material. Suddenly, you realize the manuscripts are sitting idly for too long a time.
Toss Out Your Uncertainty and Embrace Your Skills
One of the reasons writers or artists forego work and try to seek information and waste time trying to get “as much inspiration” as they can is because they are suddenly paralyzed by self-doubt. This totally happens. Even the best authors and artists struggle with self-doubt. When you watch your work slipping into oblivion, it can be hard to figure out what to do next.
It can be hard to fill a blank page or slate with something meaningful. Create anyway! Create new stuff. Write a new post. Forget about traffic. Forget about what’s going to be trendy. You’re a writer, an artist, a creative … not an Internet sensation.
Don’t Shy Away from Accountability
Many creative people work independently. Some are freelancers. Some have their own business. No one bosses them around and gives them their daily list of tasks to complete. No one gives them deadlines. No one holds them accountable for missed appointments or late submissions, and this is why you have authors who don’t publish work for years or painters who keep their canvas blank for several months. Most art is entirely self motivated work.
It’s hard to commit to develop your craft and to create new work when no one is managing you. You end up just savoring old accomplishments or the accomplishments of other people and not making new accomplishments of your own. You’re supposed to write songs, fill a canvas, draw up a page … but you find yourself listening to the lyrics or admiring the works of other artists. Put it all away, my creative friend. Sit down – or move around, whatever it takes – and create your work. No masterpiece has ever materialized from outward admiration and wishful thinking.
Learn to Embrace Your Imperfections
So many creative people are obsessed with perfection that they end up delaying important tasks – or not doing them at all. You are doing yourself a great disservice when you allow the fear of imperfection to leave you immobile. Of course, being a perfectionist has its role in the professional world, since it keeps us on our toes and sharpens our skills. Striving for perfection even makes us more responsible and attentive.
But obsessing with perfection has many drawbacks. In your earnest hopes to make no mistake, you may find that you seek as much detail as possible. Sometimes striving for too much detail can leave you incredibly overwhelmed – and this alone may freeze your creative process. Perfection can end up locking your creativity in and become boring. Perfection is truly only something subjective. Create something today, and you can fine tune it later.
Figure Out Where to Direct Your Creative Fire
You sit down and try to mull over your next project, but you can’t think of anything. You look around instead and try to figure out where’s the next stop. Writers and bloggers go through this, and their work may be in a drought for a very long time. Composers may spend a large amount of time listening to the works of their contemporaries, yet put their own work on the back burner. Novelists can spend years reading fiction but find great difficulty in creating the next chapter of the book in progress.
Sometimes creative people spend too much time seeking because they don’t know what to do or where to direct their creativity. Sometimes this becomes a vicious cycle of consuming so much information that they get consumed by information instead. The idea should be to consume information but not be too engrossed. Hold your vision on the work you wish to create, and use the snippets of information absorption to fuel your own work and ignite your own creative projects!