You are your own muse: tapping your creativity

box and clouds

When ideas take flight

What does it mean to be “creative” and what does it take to get there? Although this blog devotes itself to exploring creativity in all things (from arts and culture to medical apps and political speech), we’ve never actually focused on how to think more creatively and what it might mean for whatever you do for a living or in life.

Thankfully, there’s Antoinette Seaman whose 7 Habits of Highly Creative Minds draws upon the experiences of such iconic creatives as Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso and identifies seven ways to maximize creative thinking. Her take (and mine):

1. Learn something new every day. The best way to keep your brain sharp and all creative cylinders firing is to challenge it with new skills or knowledge. Seaman’s a fan of tutsplus; mediabistro is one of our faves.

2. Connect the dots. There are patterns to knowledge. When you can see them, it changes your perspective and allows you to make the leap to something new and unexpected.

3. See the potential and make a list. Don’t limit your thinking because you think the funding, technology or markets don’t exist for your ideas. Create it and they will come. Kickstarter is just one of the new funding mechanisms that combines the best of crowdsourcing, new product incubators and venture capitalists.

4. Don’t shut the door on creativity. Feedback is one thing. Self-censoring is another. Take your ideas as far as they can go.

5. Keep a broad perspective. It’s not all about your “art.” Consider your audience/end user and create/invent/ reimagineer/innovate accordingly.

6. Just say no. Create with abandon; refine with finesse

7. Share your a-ha moments. Two heads are better than one, but if you’re a solopreneur (as many of us are), find a few trusted colleagues in your field and ask to bounce ideas off them. (And make sure to return the favor.)

Inspiration can come from wherever you find it—starting with the man or woman in the mirror. Unleash your inner muse and get started.

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