“Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better.” – John Updike, Born Mar. 18, 1932.
A lot of writers worry too much about creativity, and not enough about consistency of output.
If that’s you, let’s talk about manipulating your mind out of making that mistake, shall we?
Creativity is NOT a primary factor in anything. Creativity does NOT come first, and it’s NOT something you need to have worked out before you begin.
In fact, you don’t even need a good idea before you begin working. Just start working.
Write about your day. Write about anything. Something you like. Something you hate. Something you wish could be better, but isn’t. Anything. Just start.
Then, just try.
Try to make it good.
Try to move the reader emotionally.
Even if it’s just getting them to crack a smile.
That’s where the creativity arises. Creativity is the mind’s response to a problem. But a blank page isn’t a “problem” to your brain’s computer. It’s blank. It’s nothing. It’s got no fiddly bits to go to work on subconsciously.
But when you fill the screen or page and work that keyboard or pen – you’re creating REAL “problems” that have physical attributes. You’re giving the creative part of you something to latch onto. Something solid to grip and manipulate and fix.
THAT will pull your creativity out of you. Expecting it to just come to you out of nothing, when you’re working with nothing – that’s madness.
And it will delude you into mistakenly thinking you’ve got no magic of your own.
It’s there. It just needs coaxing and cultivation. Give it something to work with, and watch it erupt almost involuntarily.
<!— lagniappe So, like I was saying, creativity isn’t the main concern. It’s providing value, and doing it right and doing it better than whatever else is available. Here are some ways to focus on that. 1. Give more - if the competition gives one tip, give three. If they have a blog post, make a two parter. Go one step farther. It creates an easy choice for the audience. 2. Make it better - if there are only posts and blogs on your topic, make the video version. Make it a series. Show demonstration and use. Dive deeper. 3. In cases where the audience has TOO MUCH info, whittle it down. Eliminate lesser options and explain why. Show them what to choose instead and for what reason. 4. In places where short answers are expected, give long, detailed ones. Be thorough and over-deliver. Keep that content to use again later, of course. But develop a reputation for giving the best responses. 5. Present info in story format. A lesson learned, a warning tale, a hero’s journey. Lots of choices. Stories are easy to remember, and can inject a lot of valuable details on the sly. Look, we could go on all night, but start here. It’s a manageable handful and gives you something solid instead of just “do it better” right? —>