Creativity isn’t just for creatives: Part I

From the desk of “a creative:” 10 ways anyone can get out of a rut and start soaring again

What? You don’t have “producer,” “designer,” or “creative director” in your job title? This is no excuse. You were made in the image of our Creator God. He didn’t just give you creativity, he made you mentally sharp. And you’ve got problems to solve. This makes you…

a creative.

No matter what role you play in your organization, you can’t let the creative team have all the fun. 

As you’ll see in this post, inspiration rarely comes through a screen or your social media feed. It’s time to put your phone down and unleash all those suppressed brainwaves, the ones that are dying to hear you say, “Oh my gosh, I have an idea!” and “Problem? Solved!” Here are the first 5 of 10 ideas for doing just that:

1 – Strike up a convo 

Have a real, voice-to-voice chat withOUT video. Go beyond your usual sphere of influence. Reach across departments. Step outside and chat with your neighbor. Call someone you don’t normally connect with and say you’re just checking in on them during the pandemic. Then have a convo — a real convo. Listen. Be open to fresh ideas and unique perspectives.

Since the pandemic started, I’ve learned my house is sandwiched between a conservative republican and a couple of relaxed democrats. I love being in the middle, physically and politically, and learning from both sides of my house.

2 – Take a walk

Get out of your head. Observe nature. It seems to still be thriving, regardless of the world’s (and your own) problems. How is this so? Watch the birds, the squirrels, your neighborhood dogs. See the leaves, the grass, the clouds. Touch the bark, the rocks. Be present. Learn from the creatures and created things that aren’t affected by the stock market’s peaks and plummets. See what they might have to say to you. 

Since the pandemic started, I’ve put foot to trail on the same path by a river time and time again. I never fail to notice something new.

3 – Pray

Don’t hurl your thoughts at the Lord; pray Scripture specific to the problem you’re trying to solve, then listen for His voice. This means diving into the Word. Try using a real Bible with pages you actually turn. You could use an app…but remember, the fewer screens you tap into, the better.

Since the pandemic started, I’ve rediscovered the way God’s Word is living and active. Somehow this becomes even more real when I’m holding the actual Good Book versus looking at YouVersion on my phone.

4 – Read hard (as in, not-digital) stuff

Pick up other kinds of old-fashioned, hardcopy material. Flip through magazine and book pages. Go to your mailbox; read other orgs’ direct mail and seasonal catalogs. Touch and feel the paper. Be an idea catcher, a shameless idea thief.

Since the pandemic started, I’ve been reading more physical books than at any other period in my life. It’s liberating.

5 – Get crit

Look in the rearview mirror: That idea, that project, that event you held (something that’s already been completed or passed)? Critique it. If you’ve had overall negative or positive feelings about it since, get specific. Write down key points that contributed to its success or failure

Look through the windshield: Whatever’s coming at you and has yet to come to fruition, do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) assessment. This is best when done with others involved with the project who will approach it from their own unique angles.

Since the pandemic started, I’ve been so busy I haven’t done either of these. #fail

Come back for Part II next week, with the final five ways to step out of a rinse-and-repeat mindset.