Developing Creative Momentum

What is Creative Momentum?
Everyone has hit a patch in his or her creative work during which the ideas dry up. Motivation flies out the window. Productive sessions in the studio, on the dance floor or at the keyboard become distant memories. By the same token, we’ve all had days in which everything just “clicked” creatively. Original approaches to a subject seemed to suggest themselves, collaborative efforts yielded amazing synergy and the stamina to keep at the project wells up naturally.

Developing and maintaining the sort of momentum that enhances creative flow isn’t easy, but there are reliable foundations on which to build this motion. I’ve identified four elements that can propel your creativity forward, generating the momentum you need to power past blocks, setbacks and discouragements.

The Creative Momentum Model

The Creative Momentum model rests upon four practices, each of which builds on the stage before it.

Decluttering
Clearing a space – physical, mental or temporal – in your life to create greatly increases the likelihood you will create. Decluttering is a necessary precursor to the actual business of creating. In this stage, obstacles to consistent creative activity are identified and solutions experimented with.

More on decluttering:

Clutter-busting with…one-sentence journaling

Clutter-busting by … changing your mindset

Building Positive Habits and Rituals
Once the proverbial “ground” has been cleared, it’s time to plant your creative garden. Habit and ritual are the seeds that ripen into fruitful actions and output. Developing a routine that makes creative activity a part of everyday life ensures that creativity can continue despite setbacks, disappointments or an apparent lack of progress.

More on building positive habits:

What do you do when the fire goes out?

Attend to Practice and Technique
For adult creatives, particularly those who are self-taught in their discipline, paying attention to how skills are mastered can make the difference between stagnation and slow, but steady, forward movement.

More on practice and technique:

Practice makes fluent

Build your grid: Engage in “deliberate practice”

Pursue Worthy Projects
Once daily creative activity is inevitable, worthy projects harness that energy and channel it in exciting, challenging directions. Whether personal, charitable or entrepreneurial in nature, worthy projects provide a focus and an incentive for the effort required to create successfully.

More on pursuing worthy projects:

Falling in love with your creative projects

More than worthy: create an online dashboard for your creative project

Many creative blocks can be quickly dispensed with by using the Creative Momentum model as a diagnostic tool. In this blog, I provide a number of tips and tools and tips for doing that.

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