Most creative people have great ambitions for their creativity, at various different levels. We all have some dream project or series of projects we’re striving towards, and then smaller but no less creative or worthwhile pieces of work along the way.
For example if you’re a graphic designer, a small ambition may be to design a logo for your new side project business. A major ambition of yours may be to write, design and publish your own definitive graphic design bible.
As a wood sculptor, making simple wooden toys to give to children’s charities might be a small ambition. One of your dream projects might be sculpting a life size model of your own children in a single piece of oak.
If you’re a a jewellery designer, maybe you have the small ambition to make earrings as presents for family and friends. Your big goals may include being the exclusive designer to a number of major Hollywood stars.
We all have to start somewhere, and every great creative achievement in the world began as a mere glimpse of an idea in someone’s mind.
When we have only these huge ambitions for our creativity – and becoming blind to the steps and effort needed along the way, the everyday creativity that is our lifeblood – it’s easy to get stuck.
There are few things more de-motivating and depressing than having a huge complex project and not being able to work on it because it simply feels too big and too overwhelming.
So what can we do to build on our creative strengths and become better prepared for these huge dream projects, our “creative mountains”?
Put simply, the more we create, and the more “stepping-stone” projects we do, the better prepared we are for our conquest of that major creative mountain. By doing a number of small projects around the same theme or area of our mountain – frolicking around in the foothills as it were – we gain the confidence and momentum to climb ever higher.
Another effective way of tackling these large creative mountains, and not becoming stuck or overwhelmed, is to break them down into smaller parts and set a timescale for each part.
Commit yourself to specific times and dates when you’ll work on the component elements of the project, and constantly review and re-plan as you go along, as well as remembering to acknowledge your progress and achievements.
To continue the graphic designer example from before, maybe your first step would be to outline the aim of your design bible, what you want it to achieve, who you want to aim it at, what kind of form it will be presented in and other such details.
You can then plan the outline of each section, work out the order they’d best be done in and give yourself dates and times to begin and end each part.
By continuing to create a little each day, whether it be on one of your dream projects, or on smaller works, you will step closer and closer to the summits of your creative mountains and the incredible feelings of pride and achievement you’ll experience when you get there…
© Copyright 2006 Dan Goodwin.
Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin is the author of “Create Create!”, a FREE twice monthly ezine for people who want simple and powerful articles, tips and exercises to help them unleash their creative talents. Sign up right now and get your FREE “Explode Your Creativity!” Action Workbook, at http://www.CoachCreative.com.