Is There a Secret to Being Creative?
When someone says nothing is original, they don’t mean that everybody is stealing. A lot of people are stealing–that is true. Bastards. But what is normally meant by this, is we are all drawing from a pool of unconscious influences that has been slowly accumulating over a lifetime: The shows we watch, the books we read, the people we talk to. All of our material is borrowed, is what we’re saying. Hence, “nothing is new under the sun.”
But what does this tell us, if anything? Well, it tells us the creative process is one of compiling various reference points and connecting them, rearranging them, re-concocting them in some cool, new, odd, or otherwise curious way. It’s putting your spin on it. And the result is often something really nobody has ever seen before. And maybe it’s good and maybe people like it or maybe it’s trash. (Nobody ever said being creative will result in stuff that people like. That’s a whole ‘nother ballgame, right there.)
But if you want to be creative you need two things, in order to do so: The time to take in and the time to put out.
You need to sink styles into your nervous system. That’s the first part. And the only way to do that is by exposing yourself to everything on earth, pretty much. You need to read if you want to write. You need to listen to music if you want to make music. You need to taste foods if you want create foods.
Next, you need to try your daily hand at making something great, even if it sucks at first. The creative process is one that responds to frequency. So do it everyday. Write, strum, cook, dance, sing, whatever. Just do your thing. And don’t stop, don’t slow down, don’t let anyone get in your way. Make, make, make, make, make. The connections will form themselves, if you let them. So don’t “force” being creative. Just relax.
Otherwise there is really no other magical formula to it, as much as we wish there was one. If you want to make amazing things you just gotta’ expand your pool of influences, then put out your own unique blend of whatever it is you come up with. And that’ll be your style. And either people will love it, or they won’t. But at least it’ll be something they have never seen before.
PS – I have a pretty cool underground writing and business club email list thing.