by Christine Kane
"I'm not creative."
"I can't even begin to work on all these ideas I get."
These statements have one thing in common.
They're totally false.
Like it or not. You ARE creative. You have no choice but to be creative. It's your nature!
Yea yea yea. I know. It's WAY uncool of me to point that out.
After all, if you're really truly creative, then [gasp!] you might actually have to do something about it! (The horror!)
Some people spend years perfecting the art of stuffing down their creative impulses, convincing themselves of their lack of talent and ideas.
How do they do it?
Well, let me show you the way! I've been there a time or two. And here's 7 of my Tried-and-True Ways to Block Your Creativity...
1 - Check your email first thing in the morning.
Every morning when you wake up, you have a choice. Do you want to be a Creator? Or do you want to hit the ground running as a Reactor?
If you chose the latter, then Bravo! Perfect for blocking your creative impulses!
When you wake up and run to the computer first thing, you shut off your deep creative voices as they come to the surface. You tell them, "No no no! We'll have none of that! This is more important."
And by THIS, you mean "Everyone Else's Agenda."
When you do that, you're simply saying to the Universe, "I'd rather just spend the day reacting, thank you."
And the Universe says, "You got it."
2 - Worry about results before you begin.
Now, THIS is a good one.
Spend lots of time obsessing about whether your final product - be it speech, book, song, or business idea - is any good. If you're careful, you can burn up as much as 8 hours each day with this thought - all the while getting NOTHING done!
When I got the idea for my song, "No Such Thing as Girls Like That," I lost a good two days listening to thoughts that said, "This is a lame idea."
I called my friend Kathy hoping that she would help me kill my creativity. I shared my idea and asked her if she agreed it was a bad idea.
Alas, she did not join in.
She said, "Tell you what, Christine. Why don't you write it, and then we'll decide if it's good?"
(Friends like Kathy will only trick you into actually doing the work! Don't call them!)
3 - Try to be perfect right from the start.
"Books are not written, they are re-written," said Michael Crichton.
Aw, what did he know anyway?
If you want to keep that creativity at a stand still, then believe this instead:
Books, songs, paintings, entrepreneurial ventures...
Their creators all get it right on the first try!
Ask any Creative type. They'll all tell you: Their art always comes out perfectly and fully formed the first time!
And if you can't figure out how to get it perfect on the first try...
Then there's no hope.
Go grab some Cheetos and watch Sponge Bob.
4 - Worry about what people will think.
I've gotten loads of mileage out of this one.
In fact, allow me to tell you about an old music review.
I got ripped apart. BAD.
The critic was out for blood, telling her readers that I had become the "Critic's Darling" - but she was here to set the story straight. (It was like my own private showing of "Mean Girls.")
That was years ago.
But even now, if I ever want to stay stuck for hours, I invite that reviewer to hang out. "C'mon!" I say. "Tell me what you think of this verse! In fact, tell me what you think of ME while you're at it!"
Let ANYONE have a say about your wild creative side -- critics, friends, parents, siblings, mentors, bosses, co-workers -- and you've got yourself a life-long, sorority-sister, BFF relationship with being blocked.
5 - Require a Guarantee.
Sit down at your desk. (Or at your piano. Or in your studio.)
Roll up your sleeves.
Rub your hands together and say the following out loud:
"This had better be really good. In fact, this had better win a big huge award of some sort and make me really famous."
6 - Struggle.
(Like you need me to explain this one.)
7 - Wait til you're INSPIRED.
Everyone knows how it works if you're really truly creative:
And you wait some more.
You stare at clouds.
You eat some bon-bons.
Out of nowhere, the "muse" comes to you. She takes your hand and leads you seductively to your desk. (She looks a lot like Liv Tyler in Lord of the Rings.)
Dreamily, you ask the muse what, oh what, should you write.
And she tells you. It's like taking dictation. And you know for sure that you are, indeed, one of the chosen few. The ones who are... CREATIVE!
That will surely happen if you wait...