If you have been following me on the gram or Facebook, you’ll have seen my absolute barrage of holiday photos, but it’s for good reason. A bit of relaxation got the creative juices flowing (I really hate that phrase) and some time away made me understand the true importance of creativity and the effort it takes to keep your mind creating and innovating.
Facing a creative dry spell
Before I went away on holiday, I was suffering from major burnout. Not only did I feel like my body and mind was failing majorly, but I was sitting down to do some idea generation for my content and drawing a complete blank!
I work as a content creator both as a blogger and 9-5 in an agency, so my brain is switched on 24/7 and I got to a point where my creativity just disappeared completely. I would think about what video tutorials to film (these have been put on pause until I get a laptop that works properly), what blogs to write or what content to put out on my social media and I just couldn’t do it.
I thought by taking a break and forcing myself to just live life on instinct and impulse for a few days, was a way for me to simply take care of my mental health, but it turned out to be so much more!
New experiences lead to new ideas
The importance of creativity as a content creator is pretty obvious when you think about it, how can we create content without creativity?
However, when it comes to looking after that creativity and making sure it has room to grow and rest, we usually think that simply taking a step back will do it, but that’s not always the case.
What I’ve realised about my own creativity, is it needs new experiences to draw from in order to really grow and progress. I can sit and binge watch Netflix until the cows come home, but all that will do is make me feel lethargic and sleepy.
My creative brain needs to be put into situations that are completely alien to me or out of my comfort zone. These help me to not only learn more about myself, what I’m capable of and the world that surrounds me, but it also gives me a different perspective on topics and subjects I thought I knew inside and out.
That’s it, my holiday is over and I deffo needed another 2-3 days ?? I LOVED Croatia! My new favourite place! Everyone was so friendly, chatty and even those that didn’t speak very good English made sure you felt welcome! Made 2 German friends, re-enacted Pocahontas for one of them because they’d never seen it, learned about the German saying ‘donkey bridge’, burnt my entire body, wore a bikini in public, wore shorts in public (both of which I have never done!), stayed in an amazing hostel that gave me breakfast every morning, ticked off ‘watching a sunset’ from my bucket list, had the best coffee of my life, listened to the sea organ, got drunk on good wine, fed biscuits and straight vodka for breakfast by a Croatian lady on a boat, and most importantly, didn’t feel lonely once! Every single time I’ve traveled alone, I’ve always had at least one day where I felt completely lonely, but I loved being on my own this time and people are so chatty when you’re on your own and old/middle aged ladies in airports feel the need to mother you. And all of this was just in 3 days! What I could have achieved if I’d had just a few days more!
The comfort zone
It’s something we know all too well and you may think that because you are always creating new content that you are always pushing out of your comfort zone. But are you really?
Think about it honestly, how do you feel in the creative space you are currently in, do you feel confident and self-assured about what you’re creating? Yes? Amazing! But you are sitting all snug in your comfort zone, stand up and get out.
I’m pretty lucky (I think?) that due to ongoing mental health struggles, I have constantly been encouraged to get out of my comfort zone, no matter how small. I have become so comfortable (ironically) with pushing myself to my limits and putting myself in situations that make me feel uneasy. Has anything bad happened since I started doing this? Nope! In fact, it’s the COMPLETE opposite.
Travelling solo has been a huge influence on my creativity, something that I only do now because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. The people I’ve met, the culture I’ve opened myself up to and the beauty that I have been able to see along the way have all injected life into my creativity. After every single trip I make, I always come back ready to start creating fresh and new content.
“The best things lie on the other side of fear” – Will Smith
I recently watched one of Will Smith’s YouTube videos where he talks about fear and how doing the things that scare us, often lead us to the most beautiful moments in life. If you haven’t seen it I’ll embed it below because it’s well worth a watch.
The thing is, this has really stuck with me. Whenever I face something new that scares me, whether it is creatively or in life, I think about those words. That the very best things in life lie on the other side of fear. Because it is true. Every amazing moment I’ve ever had in my life has been on the other side of fear and the same applies to your creativity as a content creator.
The key to true and impassioned creativity is fear. If what you’re about to create fills you with a little bit of fear, it usually means that something amazing lies on the other side.
Creativity gives us a free pass to experiment and create something amazing without judgement and when we start to fear the consequences of that and dig our heels in, that’s when creativity dries up and disappears.
So next time an idea pops into your head but you think, ‘what if people don’t like it?‘ or ‘this is completely different to what I normally put out there‘ do it anyway because the result of that will put you on a path you never thought possible!
How do you reset your creativity? Have you noticed any patterns in when you feel the most creative?
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