The Creative Squeeze

mind

Creativeness might be a less important search term on LinkedIn nowadays. It has, as so many terms before it, been used up to such an extent that it hardly means anything anymore to your average person. This is a bit of a shame, as creativeness is becoming an increasingly important trait in just about every profession, when it comes to dealing with the ever changing and quickly-adapting world of today.

In my profession – i.e. that of a content producer, strategist, consultant, storyteller, filmmaker etc – creativeness is an absolut must. It is what makes you rise above the competition in a number of ways, it’s what makes your stories get listened to and watched and it’s what allows you to find your way out of seemingly fortified cul-de-sacs.

Creativity and creativeness can’t be taken for granted, though. More often than not, you find yourself bashing your head against the wall of frustration, unable to find suitable solutions and credible ways of doing and expressing things. In the end, you might end up with something substandard, something you look at in disgust and throw away, ending up empty handed.

There are any number of books on creativeness and creativity that will guide you through the process of fostering your creativity. What I’ve found, for the fields I’m active in, and what I hope can be something that other people in similar sectors might have use for, are three main ways to squeeze your own creativity to the fullest and get you out of your creative wasteland.

Do your audience research. This is something I see creatives and producers do waaaaay too little of. I’m not sure why, even though I have my suspicions. What audience research will help you with, apart from letting you target your marketing, allowing you to be more certain about what you’re trying to create and giving you valuable insights into what things matter to the people you’re trying to reach and influence, is to give you a well of inspiration for your creative doldrums. Whatever place you’re stuck in, you can be absolutely 100% sure that some in your target audience will be able to show you a way out, through means you could never find yourself. More than that, the knowledge gained from thorough audience research will most likely prevent you from ever entering into such doldrums in the first place.

Re-tweak, repeat and re-think. Many creatives I’ve come across have been reluctant to build on previous successes, or touch on areas where they’ve failed before. There is absolutely no need to start from an empty slate each and every time! No one knows your successes and the underlying work better than you yourself. No one knows why your failures failed and how they could have been handled in another way better than you yourself. All knowledge is worthwhile, but knowledge that can be translated into more successful projects at whim is worth a lot more than that.

De-focus. This is most likely something that is stated in many of the creativity books I mentioned above. Honestly though, there’s little that helps a creative process as much as not giving a damn about the creative process. Let your mind free, in whichever way suits you the best. Go out for a walk? Take a shower? Think about ancillary areas and ancillary products? Whatever suits you – just make sure you keep your mind off the subject at hand, while still keeping it within grasp, so that it can suitably influence your subconscious thinking. You’ll be amazed at the effectiveness!

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